Monitoring IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service with Outlyer

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What is IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service?

IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service is a managed Kubernetes offering to deliver powerful management tools, an intuitive user experience, and built-in security and isolation to enable rapid delivery of applications—all while leveraging IBM Cloud Services, including cognitive capabilities from Watson. IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service provides native Kubernetes capabilities like intelligent scheduling, self-healing, horizontal scaling, service discovery and load balancing, automated rollouts and rollbacks, and secret and configuration management. Additionally, IBM is adding capabilities to the Kubernetes Service, including simplified cluster management, container security and isolation choices, the ability to design your own cluster and leverage other IBM Cloud services such as Watson for your cognitive applications, completely native Kubernetes CLI and API, and integrated operational tools or support to bring your own tools to ensure operational consistency with other deployments.

Partnering with Outlyer

I’m very excited to partner with David Gildeh, Founder and CEO at Outlyer (@dgildeh). Outlyer is a server monitoring and analytics solution focused on self-service monitoring of cloud infrastructure and microservices. It is used by anyone who needs to monitor cloud infrastructure and/or microservices. Outlyer enables self-service monitoring with a unique built-in deployment technology and enables adoption by all your teams by being the fastest and easiest monitoring solution to deploy. The rest of this post was written by David.

Outlyer on IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service

For those of you using the IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service, IBM’s managed Kubernetes offering, you’ll be happy to hear that Outlyer, with its best-in-class Kubernetes monitoring, has you covered! Outlyer is now on IBM’s Cloud Marketplace, and we’ve extended our agent to support IBM Cloud instance metadata so you can see all the details about your nodes in our status views.

If you haven’t used IBM’s Cloud Kubernetes Service, it should definitely be on your list if you’re looking for a managed Kubernetes service. In our testing, it was really easy to spin up a cluster, upgrade it, and deploy services in minutes. Now, with just an additional two to three minutes, you can get complete visibility into your IBM Kubernetes cluster, too.

In our example below, we set up a three-node cluster on IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service and deployed an example microservice application to it to show how easy it is to set up all the application monitoring with Outlyer.

Getting started

Once you’ve created your Kubernetes Service cluster, just follow the instructions on the Access tab of the console to setup kubectl and then follow the instructions on our Kubernetes Documentation. In less than two minutes following the instructions, Outlyer should be fully deployed on your cluster and you should be able to see the cluster in Outlyer and all your Pods soon afterward:

The Outlyer agent automatically picks up the IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service instance metadata so that you can select and group your nodes and pods by region, availability zone, and other properties about the instance too. In our cluster above, you can see each of our nodes is deployed in a separate availability zone in IBM’s Dallas region.

The next step is to set up our Kubernetes integration in Outlyer, which only takes a couple of clicks when using our unique setup technology. This will install all the plugins, dashboards and views you need to monitor your cluster in Outlyer in only a few seconds:

And that’s it. You now have full visibility for your IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service cluster in less than five minutes, and you can just as easily monitor all your application pods and services on the cluster too!

Monitoring our microservice application

For a good example of how easy it is to set up monitoring of the services and applications you deploy on Kubernetes Service cluster, I deployed a simple eCommerce application called Sock Shop to the cluster:

kubectl apply -f

Once deployed, I configured a *saved Status View* in Outlyer so I can see all my Kubernetes Pods organized by service. You can see I have a few MongoDB instances, MySQL, RabbitMQ, and some custom microservices that expose Prometheus endpoints:

Setting up monitoring for all of these services only takes a few more minutes by installing Outlyer’s out-of-the-box integrations that are automatically set up in the cluster once you configure the integration in the UI using our unique deployment technology as you saw above with our Kubernetes integration. For example, I can set up checks for all the microservice Pods using our Prometheus Integration to automatically scrape all the metrics from their endpoints. With just four integrations and 14 checks, I can monitor the entire application, and our auto-discovery technology will automatically start monitoring Pods as they come and go:

Now that I have all my checks configured and service statuses and metrics coming in, I can also create a custom dashboard to show the key metrics and status for all the services running my eCommerce site. Using widget links, I can also link specific widgets to other dashboards so I can easily click through into a more detailed dashboard if I see one of my services is down on the top-level dashboard:

And that’s it! In less than 10 minutes, we have complete monitoring of your IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service cluster and a sample eCommerce microservice application running in the cluster. From there, you can start putting your status views and dashboards on TV screens around the office, invite team members, easily set up real-time alerts, and use our powerful analytics to explore and understand all the metrics from your Kubernetes cluster and services.

You can sign up for a free account on Outlyer’s website to try it for yourself here.

Contact IBM Cloud

If you have questions, engage our team via Slack by registering here and join the discussion in the #general channel on our public IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service Slack.

Program Director, Offering Management, IBM Kubernetes Service & IBM Container Registry

David Gildeh

Founder and CEO – Outlyer

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