v1.x Guarantees

For the v1.0 release, we want to provide the following guarantees:

Flags, Config and minor version upgrades

Upgrading cortex from one minor version to the next should “just work”; that being said, we don’t want to bump the major version every time we remove a flag, so we will will keep deprecated flags around for 2 minor release. There is a metric (cortex_deprecated_flags_inuse_total) you can alert on to find out if you’re using a deprecated flag.

Similarly to flags, minor version upgrades using config files should “just work”. If we do need to change config, we will keep the old way working for two minor version. There will be a metric you can alert on for this too.

These guarantees don’t apply for experimental features.

Reading old data

The Cortex maintainers commit to ensuring future version of Cortex can read data written by versions up to two years old. In practice we expect to be able to read more, but this is our guarantee.

API Compatibility

Cortex strives to be 100% API compatible with Prometheus (under /api/prom/*); any deviation from this is considered a bug, except:

  • Requiring the __name__ label on queries when querying the chunks storage (queries to ingesters or clusters running the blocks storage are not affected).
  • For queries to the /api/v1/series, /api/v1/labels and /api/v1/label/{name}/values endpoints, query’s time range is ignored and the data is always fetched from ingesters. There is experimental support to query the long-term store with the blocks storage engine when -querier.query-store-for-labels-enabled is set.
  • Additional API endpoints for creating, removing and modifying alerts and recording rules.
  • Additional API around pushing metrics (under /api/push).
  • Additional API endpoints for management of Cortex itself, such as the ring. These APIs are not part of the any compatibility guarantees.

For more information, please refer to the limitations doc.

Experimental features

Cortex is an actively developed project and we want to encourage the introduction of new features and capability. As such, not everything in each release of Cortex is considered “production-ready”. We don’t provide any backwards compatibility guarantees on these and the config and flags might break.

Currently experimental features are:

  • Azure blob storage.
  • Zone awareness based replication.
  • Shuffle sharding (both read and write path).
  • Ruler API (to PUT rules).
  • Alertmanager API
  • Memcached client DNS-based service discovery.
  • Delete series APIs.
  • In-memory (FIFO) and Redis cache.
  • gRPC Store.
  • Querier support for querying chunks and blocks store at the same time.
  • Tracking of active series and exporting them as metrics (-ingester.active-series-metrics-enabled and related flags)
  • Shuffle-sharding of queriers in the query-frontend (i.e. use of -frontend.max-queriers-per-tenant flag with non-zero value).
  • TLS configuration in gRPC and HTTP clients.
  • TLS configuration in Etcd client.
  • Blocksconvert tools
  • OpenStack Swift storage support (both in blocks and chunks storage).
  • Metric relabeling in the distributor.
  • Scalable query-frontend (when using query-scheduler)
  • Querying store for series, labels APIs (-querier.query-store-for-labels-enabled)
  • Blocks storage: lazy mmap of block indexes in the store-gateway (-blocks-storage.bucket-store.index-header-lazy-loading-enabled)
  • Ingester: do not unregister from ring on shutdown (-ingester.unregister-on-shutdown=false)
  • Distributor: do not extend writes on unhealthy ingesters (-distributor.extend-writes=false)
  • Ingester: close idle TSDB and remove them from local disk (-blocks-storage.tsdb.close-idle-tsdb-timeout)
  • Tenant Deletion in Purger, for blocks storage.
  • Query-frontend: query stats tracking (-frontend.query-stats-enabled)
  • Blocks storage bucket index
    • The bucket index support in the querier and store-gateway (enabled via -blocks-storage.bucket-store.bucket-index.enabled=true) is experimental
    • The block deletion marks migration support in the compactor (-compactor.block-deletion-marks-migration-enabled) is temporarily and will be removed in future versions
  • Querier: tenant federation
  • Alertmanager: Sharding of tenants across multiple instances