How To Monitor Google Cloud Storage


Google Cloud Storage is a cloud service used as durable, reliable, and secure object storage built to store and retrieve data from anywhere. According to the Google Cloud site ”Cloud Storage is a service for storing your objects in Google Cloud. An object is an immutable piece of data consisting of a file of any format. You store objects in containers called buckets. All buckets are associated with a project, and you can group your projects under an organization.”

Using Google Cloud Storage

Google Cloud Storage provides the following features:

  • Unlimited storage with no minimum object size
  • Worldwide accessibility and worldwide storage locations
  • Low latency
  • High durability (99.999999999% annual durability)
  • Geo-redundancy if the data is stored in a multi-region or dual-region

The main storage unit in Google Cloud Storage is a bucket. Buckets are used to organize objects and to control access to them. Each bucket must have a globally unique name, geographical location and storage class.

Bucket stores and retrieves objects which represent files of various formats. Google Storage provides a high level of security as all objects are encrypted at-rest by server-side encryption before they are written on disk. One of the main properties of the object is its immutability which means that an object can’t be changed during its lifecycle. On the other hand, object versioning allows you to store and track different versions of the same object.

Objects and buckets can be assigned one of the following storage classes: Standard, Nearline, Coldline, and Archive. The storage class defines objects’ availability and pricing model.

Monitoring Google Cloud Storage with Instana

When monitoring application performance it’s critical to have a holistic, end-to-end view of your application. Google Cloud Storage is now part of Instana’s automated Application Performance Monitoring solution. When an Instana agent is deployed into Google Compute Engine (GCE) it automatically detects the presence of Google Cloud Storage and configures itself to monitor Cloud Storage along with its configuration data and performance metrics. In addition to gathering performance metrics, Instana will automatically map all dependencies and relationships to and from Google Cloud Storage. This is included in Instana’s Dynamic Graph which contextualizes all collected monitoring data.

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^Google Cloud Storage dashboard

As you can see from the picture above Google Cloud dashboard displays:

  • KPIs: requests per second, objects count and objects size in the bucket
  • Charts for relevant metrics
  • Snapshot data (metadata): Project, Region, Storage class, etc.

Instana support for Google Cloud Storage also offers a list of predefined built-in health rules.

One of Instana’s core capabilities is automatic discovery, monitoring, and tracing of all application components, however, in some cases you may want to have control on which specific buckets are important for you to monitor. You can include or exclude your bucket from monitoring by labelling (tagging) your bucket and adding labels to the include or exclude lists in the configuration file. Bucket will be monitored by default in the following situations:

  • If it doesn’t contain labels
  • It contains labels but they are not added to the exclude or include list

Instana ensures complete distributed tracing by capturing traces for all requests going from your applications to Google Cloud Storage, with support for the Google Cloud Storage SDKs for .NET Core, Go, Java, Node.js, and Python. This enables you to get to the root cause for any detected issue or incident, immediately. The Dynamic Graph, Instana’s logical model, contains all contextual information necessary to automatically determine the root cause of issues in applications that use Google Storage.

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^Google Cloud Storage tracing

By using Instana’s Google Cloud Storage sensor you gain complete control and an end to end view of performance for your applications relying on Cloud Storage. This enables you to quickly identify and resolve application issues or bottlenecks.

To get deep visibility into your applications utilizing Google Cloud Storage and GCE, sign up for a free trial of Instana today.

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