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InfoQ Homepage News CRI-O Infrastructure and Application Monitoring Now Supported by Instana

CRI-O Infrastructure and Application Monitoring Now Supported by Instana


Kubernetes application performance management vendor, Instana, has announced support for managing CRI-O Kubernetes run-time containers and the applications that run on that infrastructure.

Instana monitors applications that run in containerised environments orchestrated with Kubernetes distributions including open source K8s, Red Hat OpenShift, Tectonic, IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service, Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service, Amazon Kubernetes Service, Google Kubernetes Engine, Pivotal Kubernetes Service and Rancher Kubernetes. Now Instana also natively monitors container infrastructure and containerised applications by automatically discovering, deploying, monitoring and analysing data from CRI-O, correlating infrastructure and application information with other monitoring information.

Instana automates the lifecycle of application monitoring from application discovery and mapping to monitoring sensor and agent deployment, and application infrastructure health monitoring. When an update occurs to dynamic applications, Instana recognises that a change has happened within the application, and then makes the appropriate adjustments to maps, monitoring thresholds and health dashboards. InfoQ asked Matthias Luebken, infrastructure product manager at Instana to expand on the announcement.

InfoQ: Why is CRI-O considered important by Instana?

Luebken: CRI-O is the first Kubernetes run-time based on the Open Containers Initiative (OCI). That makes CRI-O attractive to application developers standardised on OCI. As those applications go live, correlated visibility into the applications and the stack will be critical for production monitoring.

InfoQ: How does Instana automatically deploy its monitoring capabilities?

Luebken: Instana has a single agent, multi-sensor system that builds on our experiences in APM along with later breakthroughs in SaaS and cloud computing. Our single agent runs at the host level and auto-detects what's running from infrastructure up through application code. When it finds a particular technology it loads a purpose-built sensor, providing visibility into the stack and application. On bigger clusters the agent is backed by a Kubernetes operator which injects cluster knowledge into the management of the agent.

InfoQ: How does Instana help operators avoid alert noise or fatigue?

Luebken: By correlating infrastructure, scheduler and logical events and only reporting escalated incidents which may have an impact on end users. Events associated with the incident are then shown, along with analysis and a recommendation of the probable root cause.

InfoQ: How does Instana integrate with other tools such as service desk management?

Luebken: Instana makes use of APIs for both data collection and operations management, allowing data outside of Instana's monitoring sensors to be included in the performance management analysis. There are also several methods for integrating with service management solutions - also through APIs or other standard communications.

InfoQ: Can Instana measure the business impact of a change?

Luebken: Instana works on an infrastructure level, on schedulers and on a logical level which provides users with insights into their business services. Individual services can be tied to the specific business processes or transactions with Instana's application perspectives, which measure the parts of the application needed for specific business processes. Together with custom business metrics, it allows users to measure the impact of any particular change for the business.

InfoQ: How can Instana help organisations who are rearchitecting applications from monoliths to microservices?

Leubken: The automatic discovery and monitoring setup and the ability to support both a microservices and monolithic application architecture help here. The best practice our customers employ is to first place Instana on the monolith they're going to convert. Instana will deploy all necessary sensors and capture the performance data needed to establish the golden baseline for post-conversion. This can be captured and stored as a snapshot in time. After deploying the microservice version, Instana will gather the new performance characteristics of the respective services. Instana identifies newly installed pieces of technology, begins monitoring their performance and displays them side by side to the monolith performance.

InfoQ: When teams are deploying to hybrid cloud environments, how does Instana help them manage that complexity?

Luebken: The key to monitoring applications in hybrid cloud environments is the ability to see the entire application end-to-end, even as it crosses cloud boundaries. Instana has that ability, which not only helps understand how one cloud system impacts another, it is also critical to Instana's ability to trace every request end-to-end.

CRI-O is an implementation of the Kubernetes Container Runtime Interface (CRI) to enable using Open Container Initiative (OCI) compatible runtimes. It can be accessed on GitHub here.

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