How Instana’s Automatic Application Performance Management Works

Built to handle the complexities of cloud-native microservice architectures

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Deploy a Single Agent Per Host

HowInstanaWorks

Instana’s Automatic APM is achieved using a single, lightweight agent that manages sensors, small programs expertly crafted to monitor each technology.

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The sensors are completely configured, loaded, and updated by the agent without human intervention and automatically collect configuration, changes, metrics, and events.

HowInstanaWorks

After discovering and monitoring each component, the agent streams data to the Instana backend for real-time analysis.

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Sensors deliver high fidelity visibility with 1 second granularity, taking less than 5 seconds to process and deliver these metrics to your screen.

HowInstanaWorks

The Agent also injects trace functionality into the service code, automatically capturing the response time and context of EVERY request.

HowInstanaWorks

Automatically and Continuously Discover Every Component

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Instana automatically discovers all of your application building blocks: physical components (datacenter, hosts, containers, processes, clusters, etc.), logical components (services, endpoints, applications, traces, and calls), and business components (business services and business processes).

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Discovery is continuous. Any changes due to code deployment, container allocations, or reconfigurations are immediately discovered, understood, and reflected in Instana with:

  • Overviews of the service dependencies within you application
  • Visual representations of interactions between services to understand communication paths and throughput
  • Diagrams depicting the infrastructure stack for each service
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Containers are automatically discovered and monitored, enabling the tracking of configuration, metadata, changes, and metrics. Any technologies running within discovered containers will in turn be automatically discovered and monitored as well.

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Automatically Monitor and Trace Across All Deployed Technologies

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Instana monitors every component and traces every request end to end. No sampling, no partial traces, no gaps in your data – complete coverage and analysis of every request.

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AutoTrace™ is Instana’s tracing and service discovery technology that powers the fully automatic, no-effort, and instant observability experience.

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Instana uses distributed tracing to understand the interactions of different components and the messages that are passed between them.

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To understand how a system of services works together and the impact of subsequent component failure, Instana enhances traces with information about the underlying service, application, and system infrastructure using our Dynamic Graph.

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The Dynamic Graph – A Continuously Updated Model of All Dependencies

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The Dynamic Graph, unique to Instana, is a model of your service and infrastructure components that understands all physical and logical dependencies.

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Every node in the Dynamic Graph is continuously updated with state information like availability, configuration data, and a calculated health value.

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Machine Learning techniques are leveraged to analyze the dependencies in the graph to find logical groupings like services and applications to understand impact and criticality of issues.

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The Dynamic Graph is the “brain” that is used to understand the impact of any change and how issues and changes impact user experience over time. This is a key enabler of Automatic Root Cause Analysis.

Automatically Uncover the Root Cause of Any Performance Issue

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Instana uses stream processing to analyze incoming data within a few seconds, uncovering service impacts nearly instantaneously.

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Instana aligns alerts with service impacts using a combination of:

  • The Dynamic Graph – deterministic dependency information
  • Curated expert knowledge
  • Machine learning anomaly detection
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Instana correlates related events into a single, actionable alert. Metrics, traces, changes, exceptions, logged errors, and more are all correlated to formulate a singular, detailed understanding of why an incident occurred.

Optimize the Performance of Every Request with Insights from Unbounded Analytics™

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Unbounded Analytics is an analysis layer covering all of the browser and backend trace details collected by Instana.

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Dig deeper into every aspect of the data by filtering in a nearly unlimited combination of ways.

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All data is analyzed and understood in context (provided by the Dynamic Graph) to easily understand performance issues and optimization opportunities.

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