Level Up Your Monitoring Game: Grafana with Docker Compose for Next.js Apps

Hey everyone! Today, we’re diving into the world of application monitoring with Grafana. We’ll also introduce Prometheus, a metrics tool, working alongside Grafana through another tool named Promotheus exporter. Let’s get started!

Grafana, Prometheus


1. Setting the Stage: Docker Compose for Grafana and Prometheus

First, create a new Docker Compose file named docker-compose.monitoring.yml in your project directory (separate from your Next.js project):

version: "3.8"

    image: grafana/grafana:latest
      - 3090:3000
      - grafana-data:/var/lib/grafana
      GF_PATHS_STATIC: /usr/share/grafana/public/app

    image: prom/prometheus:latest
      - prometheus-data:/prometheus
      - 9090:9090

    image: prom/node-exporter:latest
      - ./node-exporter.yml:/prometheus/node-exporter.yml:ro  # Optional configuration for node-exporter

  grafana-data: {}
  prometheus-data: {}

Let’s break it down:

  • We define services for grafanaprometheus, and node-exporter.
  • grafana uses the official grafana/grafana image, mapped to port 3090 for easy access.
  • A volume named grafana-data persists Grafana’s data for future use.
  • We enable anonymous access (GF_AUTH_ANONYMOUS_ENABLED) and configure static paths (GF_PATHS_STATIC) for Grafana.
  • prometheus utilizes the official prom/prometheus image with a volume for persistence (prometheus-data).
  • Finally, node-exporter exposes system metrics through port 9090 with an optional configuration file mounted.

Pro Tip: Replace latest with a specific version number for stability if needed.

2. Prometheus Exporter for Next.js Monitoring Magic

We’ll use Prometheus exporter to scrape metrics from our Next.js application. Install the exporter package within your Next.js project:

npm install prometheus-node-exporter

Create a file named node-exporter.yml (referenced in the docker-compose.monitoring.yml file) and define the metrics you want to scrape from your Next.js app. This might include request counts, response times, and memory usage. Refer to the Prometheus exporter documentation for detailed configuration options: https://prometheus.io/docs/guides/node-exporter/

Remember: Update the paths in node-exporter.yml to reflect your Next.js project structure.

3. Firing Up the Monitoring Stack

Now, with all the pieces in place, it’s time to bring the monitoring stack to life! Navigate to the directory containing your docker-compose.monitoring.yml file and run:

docker-compose up -d

This command spins up all the services defined in the Compose file in detached mode (-d).

4. Configuring Grafana and Visualizing Your Next.js App

Open http://localhost:3090 in your browser to access the Grafana interface.

  • Adding a Prometheus Data Source:
    • Go to Configuration -> Data Sources -> Add data source.
    • Select Prometheus and configure the URL as http://prometheus:9090 (assuming default port).
  • Building a Dashboard:
    • Head over to the “Dashboards” section and click “Add.”
    • Choose “Prometheus” as the data source.
    • Use Grafana query language (PromQL, ex: rate(http_request_duration_seconds[1h])) to visualize the scraped metrics from your Next.js application. Explore the various visualization options to create informative dashboards for monitoring purposes.

Pro Tip: Explore the vast collection of pre-built dashboards for various technologies on

Alright, folks! We’ve established the foundation for monitoring our Next.js application with Grafana and Prometheus. Now, let’s dig into customizing and optimizing this setup.

5. Next.js Specific Monitoring:

Remember the node-exporter.yml file we created? This is where the real customization happens. Here are some key metrics to consider scraping from your Next.js app:

  • HTTP Request Metrics:
    • http_requests_total: Tracks the total number of HTTP requests handled by your Next.js server.
    • http_request_duration_seconds: Measures the average time to process each request.
    • Use these metrics to identify potential bottlenecks and performance issues.
  • Application Metrics:
    • process_cpu_usage: Monitors CPU utilization by your Next.js application.
    • process_resident_memory: Tracks the amount of memory your application is actively using.
    • Keep an eye on these metrics to ensure your application has sufficient resources and prevent resource exhaustion.
  • Custom Metrics (Optional):
    • You can leverage the flexibility of Prometheus to define custom metrics specific to your Next.js application.
    • For example, track the number of database queries or user login attempts.

Refer to the Prometheus documentation for detailed information on scraping specific metrics: https://prometheus.io/docs/guides/node-exporter/

6. Grafana Dashboard:

With the right metrics scraped, it’s time to unleash the power of Grafana dashboards! Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Overall Application Health:
    • Create a dashboard displaying CPU usage, memory consumption, and HTTP request counts over time.
    • Set up alerts to notify you if these metrics exceed predefined thresholds.
  • API Performance:
    • Dedicate a dashboard to HTTP request duration and error rates for key API endpoints.
    • Identify slow-performing APIs and investigate potential optimization opportunities.
  • User Experience (Optional):
    • If your Next.js app tracks user interactions, visualize them in Grafana.
    • Monitor metrics like user login attempts, page load times, and error occurrences.

Remember: Explore the various visualization options in Grafana, such as line graphs, heatmaps, and gauges, to create insightful and visually appealing dashboards.

7. Advanced Monitoring Techniques

As you delve deeper into monitoring, consider these advanced techniques:

  • Alerts and Notifications:
    • Configure Grafana to send alerts via email, SMS, or your preferred notification channel when specific metrics reach critical levels.
    • Make sure you’re promptly notified of potential issues in your Next.js application.
  • External Data Integration:
    • Grafana allows you to integrate with other data sources besides Prometheus.
    • Consider incorporating infrastructure metrics, server logs, or external service data for a holistic view of your system’s health.
  • Advanced Dashboards with Annotations:
    • Use Grafana’s annotation feature to add them in metrics with specific events like deployments or code changes.
    • Gain deeper insights into the root causes of performance fluctuations.

Remember: Monitoring is an ongoing process. Continuously refine your dashboards and alerts based on your application’s unique needs and the valuable insights you gather.


By combining Docker Compose, Prometheus, and Grafana, you’ve created a cool monitoring solution for your Next.js application. So, keep monitoring, keep optimizing, and keep your Next.js app running like a champ!

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