Skip to main content

Send metrics to Librato via ZeroMQ.

Project description

Zibrato provides Python decorators and context managers that instrument code. It attempts to do this very efficiently, so the metrics are collected and then shifted into a ZeroMQ queue, where a backend process can collect them and send them to Librato. Other backends such as statsd are contemplated for the future.


Zibrato is available through PyPi at

Alternatively, one should be able to clone this repository and run pip install with the requirements.txt file.

Please note that pyzmq is an installation prerequisite. Ubuntu users (and probably others) will need the python-dev package installed in order to build pyzmq:

sudo apt-get install python-dev


Zibrato consists of two parts. First, it provides the zibrato module used for instrumenting code.

Zibrato module

from zibrato import Zibrato
Librato, Backend, and Broker modules also available. See code.
z = Zibrato()

Set up a new instance of Zibrato to use in your code. Accepts several settings:

  • host: The FQDN or IP address with which to connect. Optional. Defaults to ‘’. See “Zibrato workers” below.
  • port: The port with which to connect. Optional. Defaults to 5550.
  • context: A ZeroMQ context instance. This is completely optional and only desirable under advanced circumstances where ZeroMQ is being used in other ways, too.
@z.count_me(level = ‘info’, name = ‘counter_name’)
Increment a counter named ‘counter_name’ each time the decorated function is called.
z.Count_me(level = ‘info’, name = ‘counter_name’, value = 4)
Increment a counter named ‘counter_name’. To increment by an interval other than one, set value to the amount.
@z.time_me(level = ‘debug’, name = ‘timer_name’)
Record the decorated function’s execution time under a gauge named ‘timer_name’.
z.Time_me(level = ‘debug’, name = ‘timer_name’)
Record the time spent within a given context.
z.gauge(level = ‘crit’, name = ‘gauge_name’, value=123)
Record a value.

Zibrato decorators, of course, return the result of the wrapped function. Context managers return None as they are not intended to be used from within the ‘with’ block. The gauge method returns None also.

Metric decorators and context managers take up to four arguments:

  • level: Required. Monitoring level, modeled after logging levels (i.e. debug, info, warning, error, critical) but completely arbitrary so you can use whatever labels work for you. Zibrato workers are configured to pay attention to only specified levels.
  • mtype: Required. Type of metric, typically ‘counter’, ‘timer’, and ‘gauge’. See “Metric types” below.
  • name: Required. Name of the metric being recorded.
  • value: Value to record. For timing functions, value is neither required nor desirable to provide, and if provided it will be replaced by the measured time. For counters, value represents the quantity by which the counter should be incremented, and defaults to 1 if not provided. For gauges, this is the fixed reading and should be provided.
  • source: The source of the metric. This might represent the name of the program, class, or server for instance. Optional and defaults to ‘not_specified’.

Example code:

import zibrato
z = Zibrato()
# or z = Zibrato(host = '', port = '5550')
@z.time_me(level = 'debug', name = 'myfunct_timer', source = 'myprog')
def myfunctt():
@z.count_me(level = 'info', name = "myfunct_counter', value = 5) # inc by 5
def myfunctc():
with z.Count_me(level = 'info', name = 'counter_name', source = 'deathstar'):
with z.Time_me(level = 'debug', name = 'timer_name'):
z.gauge(level = 'crit', name = 'gauge_name', value=123)

Zibrato workers

Zibrato requires a backend worker (actually a ‘broker’) that connects one or more publishers of measurements (source code being run in parallel) to one or more measurement backends (Librato and Statsd, for example.)

The Zibrato broker

The Zibrato broker runs as a daemon under supervisord or other process controller. It provides a TCP endpoint for the Zibrato publishers (code instruments) to send measurements, and a TCP endpoint to which the Zibrato backends can subscribe to get measurements for sending off to other services.

The broker might be started like this:

python /usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/zibrato/ \
    --host --port 5550

where ‘host’ specifies the IP address or FQDN and ‘port’ specifies the lower port of a consecutive pair to which the broker should bind. Both host and port are optional. Default values are and 5550, respectively. The lower port address is used to listen to Zibrato publishers (see ‘Zibrato module’ above) and the higher port is used to publish to Zibrato workers (see ‘Zibrato workers’ below).

The preferred way to start the Zibrato backend would be to use a service such as supervisord:

command=python /usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/zibrato/ \
    --host --port 5550

Zibrato workers

This version of Zibrato also includes a worker that processes queued measurements and sends them to Librato.


python /usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/zibrato/ \
    --username USERNAME --apitoken KEY --levels test,debug,info --flush 60

The available parameters are:

  • –host: The FQDN hostname or IP address of the Zibrato backend.
  • –port: The port to which the Zibrato work should connect. This is the higher of the two ports in the pair, and one greater than the port specified when starting the backend.
  • –levels: The levels to which this worker should subscribe.
  • –flush: The frequency with which the measurements should be sent to Librato.
  • –username: The Librato username for connecting to their API.
  • –apitoken: The Librato API Token for connecting to their API.

Alternatively, the worker can be run from supervisord:

command=python /usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/zibrato/ \
    --username USERNAME --apitoken KEY --levels info,warn --flush 60

Creating a new Zibrato worker

New Zibrato backend workers should subclass the Backend class specified in zibrato/ They probably need to reimplement the connect, parse, post, and flush methods, and must include code for running as __main__. See zibrato/ as an example.

Metric types

  • Counters. Zibrato counters keep track of how many times an event with a common name happens between two flushes on the back end. So for example, let’s say you’re keeping track of how may times ‘myfunct’ is called, and you’re flushing your data to the back end every 60 seconds. If you don’t specify a value, then the ‘myfunct_counter’ will be incremented by one each time the counter is encountered, sent to Librato and reset to zero every 60 seconds. If source is specified, the counter uniquely tracked by source and name, rather than just name. The timestamp for a counter is given as the time the counter is flushed.
  • Gauges. Gauges hold a value at a given time. Each gauge measurement is recorded to the backend with a timestamp for the time Zibrato received the measurement.
  • Timers. Zibrato provides a special gauge that it fills in automatically with the amount of time something took. Time is measured in seconds to microsecond resolution using Python’s method.

Please note that the Zibrato backend is ultimately responsible for implementing how each metric type is recorded. In this release only one backend is provided, but in future releases check with the backend documentation to determing exactly how a metric behaves.

Please also note that Zibrato was originally written to provide code instrumentation specifically and to connect to Librato specifically. This introduces an impedence mismatch, as Librato’s availble metric types as of this writing are limited to gauges and counters, and Librato’s counters don’t work the way we need our counters to work. So the metrics implemented in this code translate into only gauges at Librato.

Other business


Zibrato includes nose tests in the tests/ directory.

Pull requests

Pull requests are welcome!

Thank you

Special thanks to Tracy Harms @kaleidic who coached me on Agile methodologies and test driven development, plus helped tease out the intricasies of ZeroMQ and the architecture of this program.

Also, thank you to regulars on #zeromq who answered beginner questions patiently.


Zibrato is released under a 3-clause BSD license, which can be read in the LICENSE.txt file.

Project details

Release history Release notifications

History Node


History Node


History Node


History Node


History Node


History Node


This version
History Node


History Node


History Node


Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Filename, size & hash SHA256 hash help File type Python version Upload date
Zibrato-0.1.2.tar.gz (12.9 kB) Copy SHA256 hash SHA256 Source None Jan 8, 2013

Supported by

Elastic Elastic Search Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Google Google BigQuery Sentry Sentry Error logging CloudAMQP CloudAMQP RabbitMQ AWS AWS Cloud computing Fastly Fastly CDN DigiCert DigiCert EV certificate StatusPage StatusPage Status page