Instana is a fully automated Application Performance Management (APM) solution specifically designed to address the challenges of managing modern and cloud-based applications. It started as a startup in Germany in 2014 and gained strength through its acquisition by IBM, becoming a platform that empowers DevOps and AIOps infrastructures worldwide.
Over the years, Instana has been developed to observe and monitor complex systems' performance and health, such as microservices and dynamic environments. It is designed to track and resolve issues automatically. The platform scans all layers and dependencies of the application, identifying points that impact the application's performance and health. Instana provides real-time visibility into the application's state, enabling DevOps teams to identify and solve problems quickly.
IBM Instana provides enterprise observability to improve application performance management and accelerate CI/CD pipelines, regardless of where your applications and infrastructure reside. IBM Instana allows users to observe their application performance more closely with over 250 industry-specific microsensors. By leveraging these microsensors, users can gain deeper insights into their application's performance, identify bottlenecks, and optimize their systems for better efficiency and user experience. The extensive range of microsensors enhances the observability of applications, enabling users to make data-driven decisions and take measures to improve performance.
What is Observability?
Observability is a concept that helps measure, understand, and analyze a system's internal state and behavior based on external observations. It is widely used in monitoring complex and distributed systems.
Observability plays a crucial role in uncovering the causes of system changes and understanding their effects. By promptly identifying and addressing system anomalies, whether they appear as errors or performance issues, organizations can rely on observability to streamline their troubleshooting efforts. Achieving this requires carefully collecting, monitoring, and analyzing data from various system components.
The concept of observability has become increasingly significant, particularly in the realm of modern technologies such as cloud computing, microservices, container technologies, and serverless architectures. With these new technologies, which bring about complexities and distributed systems, observability emerges as a crucial tool for effectively managing and optimizing them. By utilizing observability, organizations can fully harness the potential of these technologies and derive their benefits more efficiently and effectively.
Instana offers remarkable features for measuring and monitoring application performance. Below, we have listed these impressive features:
Instana's "Application Perspective" feature provides a comprehensive view of an application's performance from different angles. It combines various components of your application, including servers, databases, network services, and more, and showcases their performance. This functionality lets you pinpoint and quickly address performance issues in different application components. With the "Application Perspective" feature, you can gain valuable insights into the performance of each component and take prompt action to resolve any issues that may arise.
In addition, the "Application Perspective" feature also offers customizable panels and metrics, empowering users to define their preferred set of metrics and panels. This flexibility enables them to identify and prioritize performance issues based on their needs swiftly. By tailoring the panels and metrics, users can focus on the specific aspects of their application that matter most to them, streamlining troubleshooting efforts and issue identification. This personalized monitoring experience empowers users to efficiently manage performance and swiftly address any challenges impacting their application.
As shown in the visual above, the "Application Perspective" menu provides a wide range of templates to create perspectives for different use cases quickly. One key feature of the "Application Perspective" is the ability to offer role-specific viewpoints, allowing various application stakeholders to focus on what is most relevant to them. Each user can access information related to their specific role and responsibilities. By concentrating on these relevant insights, users can avoid navigating through many irrelevant data, maps, or dashboards.
Instana allows users to create customized dashboards through its "Custom Dashboard" feature. This feature provides a visually-rich tool for monitoring application performance. With the "Custom Dashboard," users can design and configure their dashboards according to their specific needs and preferences. They can select the metrics, visualizations, and layouts most relevant to them, resulting in a personalized and intuitive monitoring experience. This level of customization empowers users to have a comprehensive, real-time view of their application's performance presented in a visually appealing manner.
The "Custom Dashboard" feature empowers users to display specific metrics, graphs, services, or components in a single, customized view. This feature lets users quickly identify and address performance issues by tailoring their dashboard to focus on the most relevant information.
With the "Custom Dashboard" feature, users can enjoy a visually appealing presentation of performance data. It offers various pre-defined and customizable widgets, such as dynamic graphs, informative tables, and insightful lists. Users can choose from preconfigured widgets or create their own, allowing them to monitor the performance of their applications closely. With real-time data readily available, users can promptly track and respond to any fluctuations or improvements in application performance.
Events and Alerts (Olaylar ve Alarmlar)
Instana'nın "Events" özelliği, uygulamanın gerçek zamanlı olarak ürettiği olayların izlenmesine ve analiz edilmesine olanak tanır. Bu özellik, uygulamanın performansının izlenmesini ve bu sayede sorunların hızlı bir şekilde tespit edilmesini sağlar.
“Events” sekmesi, uygulamanın farklı katmanlarındaki (sunucu, ağ, veri tabanı, uygulama kodu vb.) olayları yakalar. Bu olaylar, uygulamadaki değişiklikleri ve durumları gösterir ve birçok farklı durumu izleyebilirler. Örneğin:
- Sunucu kaynaklarının tükenmesi,
- Hizmet kesintisi veya hizmet kalitesinde düşüş,
- Uygulama hataları veya başarısızlıkları,
- Güvenlik açıkları veya saldırı girişimleri,
- Uygulama yapılandırma değişiklikleri,
“Events” sayfası, mevcut tüm olayların bir listesini görüntüler; hazır yerleşik olaylar (out-of-box) ve herhangi bir kullanıcı tanımlı özel olaylar.
Instana detects three types of events: incidents, issues, and changes. Here's a brief overview of each:
"Incident" is a feature in Instana that automatically identifies critical conditions affecting your services and infrastructure. It learns the behavior and state of your services and infrastructure and sends alerts when they become unhealthy. This proactive detection enables you to identify and address potential issues before they cause significant disruptions or downtime. Instana's incident detection helps ensure the health and stability of your systems by providing timely notifications and enabling prompt troubleshooting and resolution.
"Issue" refers to an event that occurs when something unexpected happens. It often arises from critical infrastructure problems, such as running out of disk space, which can trigger other errors and potentially lead to data loss. Issues serve as indicators of unforeseen circumstances that require attention and resolution.
"Change" denotes an event that signifies modifications to the configuration or behavior of your services and infrastructure. These changes can include adjustments in settings, updates to code, or alterations in the deployment environment. Tracking changes allows you to understand the impact of modifications on the performance and stability of your systems.
By detecting incidents, issues, and changes, Instana provides comprehensive visibility into your services and infrastructure's health, stability, and configuration.
"Change" events encompass deployments, configuration modifications, server startups, or shutdowns. These events capture any changes made to your system's environment or infrastructure. By monitoring and tracking these changes, Instana provides visibility into the modifications that occur in your application or system.
Instana actively monitors and tracks these events and conditions to generate alerts. The alerts are customizable and can be configured for specific events and conditions. Users have the flexibility to define how alerts are created and under which circumstances they should be triggered. Additionally, alerts can be sent to different channels such as email, Google Chat, Slack, etc., and can be prioritized based on different levels of severity (e.g., critical, high, informational). This functionality ensures that users receive timely notifications about important events, enabling them to take immediate action and address any issues or potential problems affecting their applications or infrastructure.
Role-Based Access Control - RBAC
Role-based access control (RBAC) is a security method that determines the resources (such as files, databases, applications, etc.) users can access in a system. It operates on a hierarchical system where each user is assigned a specific role, and the accessible resources for that role are predefined. RBAC efficiently manages the authorization process for users and ensures the system's security. By granting users the appropriate level of access, RBAC strengthens data security.
RBAC enables organizations to easily manage different roles and access permissions, allowing for effective resource management in a controlled manner. For example, you can authorize the relevant development team with "read-only" access to the components of your application in development environments, assign full permissions for Kubernetes nodes to the platform team, or authorize support teams to have access only to alarms within a specific zone.
By implementing RBAC, organizations can streamline access control, simplify permission management, and reduce the risk of unauthorized access to sensitive resources. RBAC provides a structured approach to managing user privileges, enhancing security, and ensuring users have appropriate access rights based on their roles and responsibilities.
In this article, we gave you a general overview of Instana and emphasized the features that would bring significant benefits. If you would like to delve deeper into Instana, watch a presentation or demo, or engage in a Proof of Concept (PoC), please don't hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be delighted to assist you in exploring the wide range of possibilities and benefits that Instana offers.