Monitoring GKE On-Prem Services Using Instana

No surprise, it just works…

Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) is the reference implementation of Kubernetes. Google donated Kubernetes to Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) in 2015 and continues to be closely involved in its development. Instana is the next generation of Application Performance Monitoring (APM) solution for containerised microservice architectures. Its high level of automation ensures that the monitoring is always up to date in a rapidly changing CI/CD environment with minimal intervention from your DevOps team.

Managing Your Cloud and On-Prem Services Using GKE

The availability of GKE on-prem means that you can now use the same Kubernetes implementation to manage both your on-prem and cloud based services. Cloud migrations and hybrid deployment models are easier to achieve when you use the same management tools across all deployments.

GKE is already considered by many industry professionals to be the easiest of all Kubernetes (K8s) implementations and this new capability to manage all K8s clusters (on-prem and/or in Google cloud) using Google Cloud Console makes it even easier. GKE on-prem provides the same features as GKE Cloud; identity and access management, security and compliance, stateful application support, integrated monitoring and logging, and multi-cluster dashboards. Additionally GKE on-prem offers secure VPN connection between on-prem and cloud clusters, workload portability, and Google Cloud Build for on-prem. It’s an impressive set of capabilities that is further enhanced by using Instana GKE monitoring to supplement the Stackdriver monitoring.

Monitoring Your Cloud and On-Prem GKE Services Using Instana

Instana has already been extensively tested with GKE on the cloud platform and is used by many of our customers. The on-prem version of GKE is available in beta and Instana has worked closely with Google to test compatibility. The good news is that all worked as expected, no changes were needed to deploy Instana against GKE on prem. The only additional considerations for an on-prem setup are for egress for the Instana agent’s data stream. The Instana agent uses HTTPS to send the collected data to the Instana SaaS backend and to fetch sensor updates. Additional firewall rules may be required to allow this on your site. Alternatively the agent can be configured to use a proxy to communicate. If you want to keep everything in-house the Instana backend is also available for an on-prem install as well.

Instana Agent Installation

There are a number of ways to install the Instana agent onto your GKE cluster.

The agent installs as a daemonset and, once up and running, starts to automatically detect the technology running in other containers on each worker node. When a technology is recognised, there are over 100 supported technologies, the matching sensor is dynamically loaded and metrics start to flow at a 1 second granularity. For most language runtimes the Instana sensor will automatically attach without the need to change any code and rebuild the container image, and without the need to restart the container. The code will be dynamically instrumented to provide full end to end tracing for every request.

If you have already manually instrumented your codebase for OpenTracing, Instana provides an OpenTracing compliant tracer or alternatively the agent will accept both Zipkin and Jaeger traces just set the collector to point to an Instana agent.

  • Jaeger – http://instana-agent:42699/com.instana.plugin.jaeger.trace
  • Zipkin – http://instana-agent:42699/api/v2/spans

See Results Quickly

There are multiple benefits to using Instana to monitor you GKE Services:

  • Automatic, continuous discovery of all the containers and services deployed to GKE
  • GCE services (e.g. SQL) are automatically correlated to application services making it easy to analyze end to end performance
  • Know the real-time status (healthy, sick, or failing) of your GKE platform to ensure the stability and performance of your GKE deployed applications
  • Monitor every component in high fidelity (1 second data for 24 hours) so you’ll have complete coverage and analysis of your applications, enabling you to get to the root cause of any issue in seconds
  • Easily navigate between infrastructure, Kubernetes, and application performance data to have a holistic view of your environment

Instana provides infrastructure data, GKE Dashboards, service and endpoint quality, website end user monitoring and distributed tracing all in one user interface. There is too much to show in a blog post but here are some sample screenshots.

GKE Monitoring Kubernetes Cluster Metrics
Kubernetes cluster overview for GKE On-prem

GKE Monitoring Kubernetes Namespace Deployment Metrics
Deployments in a namespace for GKE on-prem

GKE Monitoring Kubernetes Pod Summary Metrics
Pod overview for GKE on-prem

GKE Monitoring Service Dependency Map
Flow between services for GKE on-prem application services

GKE Monitoring Distributed Trace
Distributed trace for a request within an application deployed by GKE on-prem

If you want to try Instana in your GKE environment (on-prem or cloud) you can sign up for a free 14 day trial.

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