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.)

Infrastructure correlation

Starting with host agent version 1.1.582, Zipkin tracing data received by the host agent are correlated with the process sending them, provided that:

  1. the host agent is running on a Linux system with the following commands available: lsns, nsenter and ss;
  2. the process sending the tracing data is running on the same host as the host agent;
  3. the process sending the tracing data is not ignored using the Ignore Processes capability;
  4. report traces directly to the host agent, rather than running over a proxy like the OpenTelemetry Collector; if the tracing data go over a proxy, the proxy will be associated with the traces instead.

The Application Perspective Service dashboard will correctly reference any process from which related traces were ingested, including for example infra changes that took place for this service.

If any of the preconditions above is not fulfilled, the tracing data will be corrwelated with the host on which the host agent is running.

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.
  • 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.