The Instana Host Agent is capable of ingesting Zipkin tracing data, in both v1 and v2 of the Zipkin trace format.


  1. Install an Instana host agent on the same host as the processes emitting Zipkin traces.
  2. Configure the HTTP Collector of Zipkin to send traces to port 42699 of the host agent. (This is done differently for different Zipkin-instrumented project, so you will have to look up the respective documentation; it usually mentions an endpoint setting.)

Known Limitations

  • The tracing data collected from Zipkin will not be correlated with the tracing data collected via AutoTrace, resulting in separate traces even if the systems traced by Zipkin and Instana AutoTrace, respectively, where directly interacting with one another.
  • Since the Zipkin tracing data do not convey a notion of which process is sending them to the host agent, Instana will correlate those traces to the host underpinning the host agent. This prevents the association with the process, and therefore also container and platform hierarchy (e.g., Kubernetes pod, namespace and cluster).
  • Zipkin has no notion of end-user monitoring (although this may eventually change with the adoption of W3C TraceContext); as such, beacons collected with Instana Website Monitoring will not be correlated with backend traces collected from Zipkin.
  • The host agent supports the collection of Zipkin traces only over HTTP, which corresponds to the COLLECTOR_HTTP_ENABLED setting of Zipkin.