Build Custom Dashboards

Note: Our custom dashboards feature is currently in open beta.

While Instana provides curated dashboards to support common use-cases and remove the necessity for custom dashboards, there are situations where a custom dashboard is the right tool for the job.

There are three custom dashboarding options with Instana:

  1. Leverage our Grafana plugin when you'd like to combine Instana data with other data sources, or if you have advanced dashboarding needs.
  2. Query our Web REST API and build dashboards in the tool of your choice for complete flexibility.
  3. Build native custom dashboards from directly within Instana (read on.)

Native Custom Dashboard

Create a Custom Dashboard

To create a custom dashboard, simply navigate to the landing page and click on the "Instana" dropdown, then give the dashboard a name. The best names are easy to remember and if you plan to share it, carry meaning to others in your organization.

This dashboard will by default only be accessible to you, but you may choose to share it with others later.

Create a Custom Dashboard

Adding Widgets

Select and configure the widget and place it freely on your dashboard. We are constantly adding new widget types.

Add Widget

Choose the Data

All your high-cardinality data and the underlying correlation (leveraging the Dynamic Graph) is also available to you within custom dashboarding. Select a data source, then specify a filter, and you're on your way.

Filters can be added by selecting a tag from the top bar. Clicking any of the available categories opens a list of suggestion for you to search in and choose from. Multiple filters may be specified.

Filter Configurator

When configuring a stacked chart, you may also group the result to show the Top or Bottom 5 results, depending on the metric you choose. Clicking any of the categories here groups by the related tag. Please note that grouping is disabled when configuring non-stacked charts or when configuring multiple metrics for one chart.

Grouping Configurator

Once you have chosen a tag to group by, you can specify whether you want to show the Top or Bottom 5 results in the chart. You may also choose to show the aggregation of all other groups (that are not part of the Top or Bottom 5) as a separate value on the chart. The groups are sorted by the metric and aggregation that are displayed on the chart. If enabled, the other groups are also aggregated using this metric and aggregation.

An example: Top 5 calls with HTTP status greater than 500

Let's take a look at an example of how you can use the functionality of custom dashboards to visualize meaningful insights. For instance, in this example, you can show your Top 5 erroneous endpoints over time in a chart.

To create such a chart, go to a custom dashboard and add a widget using the button in the top right corner. Make sure to choose "Chart" on the left side of the dialog that opens. For the example, we want to group endpoints, so set the chart type to either "Area (stacked)" or "Bar (stacked)". Once you choose "Applications (Traces and Calls)" as your data source, you will be presented with configuration options to filter and group by.

In this example, we filter to find all calls with a HTTP status greater than 500. So, we filter by the "call.http.status" tag. You can filter by any tag by clicking on "All Filters".

Similarly, we want to group by endpoints, so we can see which endpoints are related to the most erroneous calls. Again, you can group by any tag. Endpoint names are already available as a shortcut, so just click on "Endpoint", and it will group accordingly. If you want to see all other groups aggregated outside of the Top 5, make sure to enable the toggle below.

Finally, set your widget to show the sum of calls as a metric. Your final configuration should look similar to this:

Top 5 Endpoints Configuration

Once you have created the widget as detailed above, you will find a new chart on your dashboard. If you have the same configuration, it will show you the Top 5 endpoints returning a status code of 500 and above over your selected timeframe.

When something fails now, you can see which endpoints are at the center of that failure. For example, it might look like this:

Top 5 Endpoints Chart

Compare to the Past

To compare widgets to past timeframes, we provide a Time Shift functionality as can be seen in the image above.

Make It Your Landing Page

If there is a custom dashboard you view frequently, you may want to make it your default dashboard. That way, every time you visit Instana it will be the first thing you see. This is a per-user preference, so don't worry – it will not affect your colleagues.

Share a Dashboard

To make your dashboard accessible to others, simply specify it as a public dashboard. You may also add others as editors, but otherwise it will remain view-only.

Share a Custom Dashboard

Display on a Big Screen

Select TV Mode if you want to display the dashboard on a big screen or TV. We hide the main navigation and header for an optimal large-format viewing experience.

TV Mode