Monitoring Alibaba Cloud (AliCloud) with Alibaba Cloud agent (technology preview)

The Alibaba Cloud Agent collects data from Alibaba CloudMonitor APIs, and monitors resources of each cloud service under your Alibaba Cloud account.

Monitored services

Note: Due to the nature of the Alibaba CloudMonitor API, a delay in metrics retrieval is possible.

  • The displayed metrics values are delayed ensuring consistency.
  • This delay depends on the actual status of the AliCloud service and the availability of data then.


Note: To collect data from Alibaba CloudMonitor API managed by Alibaba, you need to install an agent.

Note: Depending on the number of monitored entities in your cloud environment, you might need to increase the maximum amount of available memory to your host agent. Agent memory can be increased by setting the environment variable AGENT_MAX_MEM to a value that is greater than the default value 512MB. For example, to set the agent memory to 1GB, you can set AGENT_MAX_MEM=1024mb.

If you want to monitor an AliCloud Elastic Compute Service virtual machine, a Kubernetes cluster running on AliCloud either installed and managed by you or using an AliCloud Elastic Kubernetes Service, or an AliCloud Elastic Container instance, refer to the Install the Instana Host Agent documentation.

  1. Retrieve access key pair to verify your identity of Alibaba Cloud resources

  2. Install the Instana host agent.

    Note: The agent can be both installed and run in AliCloud and outside host that can access the Alibaba Cloud public endpoint

  3. Enable the AliCloud sensor in the agent's configuration.yaml file. A minimal sensor configuration looks like the following Configuration

Retrieve AccessKey pair

An AccessKey pair consists of an AccessKey ID and an AccessKey secret. Create and obtain an AccessKey pair for an Alibaba Cloud account or a Resource Access Management(RAM) user. When the AliCloud sensor calls CloudMonitor API operations, the AccessKey pair must be provided to verify your identity.

Refer to Obtain an AccessKey pair

  • The AccessKey ID is used to verify the identity of the user.
  • The AccessKey secret is used to encrypt and verify the signature string. You must keep your AccessKey secret strictly confidential.


Enable Monitoring for Alibaba Cloud Monitoring

Enable the AliCloud sensor in the agent's configuration.yaml file as follows:

  # Valid values: true, false
  enabled: true # enabled (true) by default
  # Alibaba Cloud AccessKey ID  is used to verify the identity of the user
  # Alibaba Cloud AccessKey secret is used to encrypt and verify the signature string

Enable Monitoring for specific services

For each service, you need to add the permissions as on the individual service pages. See the Monitored Services section.

If you want to exclude a service from monitoring, you don't need to add the permissions for the service.

Alternatively, another way to exclude a service from monitoring is to set the enabled flag to false in <agent_install_dir>/etc/instana/configuration.yml as described on the individual service pages.

Monitoring services through individual AccessKey pair

For each service, you can configure the individual AccessKey pair and it overrides the AccessKey pair in the com.instana.plugin.alicloud section. Refer to the Monitored Services section.

Note: The instances of a specific service must be in the same Alibaba account, and only one AccessKey pair can be used for the service. Using multiple AccessKey pairs for a service is not supported.

API Operation Billing

  • The sensors access the Alibaba APIs of a product (RocketMQ or Apsara RDS MySQL). You must first activate the product on the Alibaba Cloud console if needed. It costs the product API operation bandwidth.

  • The sensors call CloudMonitor API operations to query the metrics data. The operations cost CloudMonitor Query Data API quota.