Enabling optional features

Some features are not enabled in a self-hosted backend by default. You can enable such features by using more configuration options.

The following features are optional:

Feature name Feature flag
Action & Automation feature.automation.enabled
Analyze Infrastructure (BeeInstana) feature.beeinstana.infra.metrics.enabled
Business monitoring components feature.business.observability.enabled
Log Analytics feature.logging.enabled
IBM Power HMC platform dashboard feature.phmc.enabled
IBM Power VC platform dashboard feature.powervc.enabled
IBM Z HMC dashboard feature.zhmc.enabled
OpenStack dashboard feature.openstack.enabled
Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF) platform dashboard feature.pcf.enabled
SAP dashboard feature.sap.enabled
Synthetic monitoring feature.synthetics.enabled
VMware vSphere dashboard feature.vsphere.enabled

Notes:

  • You can enable the documented features yourself as described here. IBM support might advise you to enable other beta features in the same way.

  • To enable one or more features, add the featureFlags: block with your choice of feature flags in the core.yaml file. Each of the following sections shows an example of setting the feature flag for the one feature. The following example enables two features:

    apiVersion: instana.io/v1beta2
    kind: Core
    metadata:
      name: instana-core
      namespace: core
    spec:
    ...
    featureFlags:
      - name: feature.pcf.enabled
        enabled: true
    
      - name: feature.zhmc.enabled
        enabled: true
    ...
    

After updating the core configuration, apply your settings to the cluster.

BeeInstana Metrics Pipeline

This feature includes a new data pipeline with more Instana backend components and a data store (BeeInstana) to the store of the infrastructure metrics. Based on this data, further features are activated in the product.

  • Custom Infrastructure Dashboards
  • Infrastructure Unbound Analytics (beta)

Run and configure BeeInstana data store with Operator

For self-hosted Instana environments on Kubernetes with large metric loads, you should deploy BeeInstana by using the BeeInstana operator. See the documentation for using BeeInstana on Kubernetes.

Configuration for the core

Now the BeeInstana data pipeline must be added to the operator Core spec, and the following feature flags must be enabled. The main feature flag feature.beeinstana.infra.metrics.enabled activates new components and a set of features based on them.

apiVersion: instana.io/v1beta2
kind: Core
metadata:
  name: instana-core
  namespace: core
spec:
...
datastoreConfigs:
  beeInstanaConfig:
    clustered: true
    authEnabled: true
    hosts:
      - <beeinstana_operator_service>
...
featureFlags:
  - name: feature.beeinstana.infra.metrics.enabled
    enabled: true
...

In addition, you can enable Native histogram metric support (beta).

To enable the native histogram metric feature, run the following command:

...
featureFlags:
  - name: feature.beeinstana.infra.metrics.enabled
    enabled: true
  - name: feature.beeinstana.histograms.enabled
    enabled: true
...

In addition, the credentials for the BeeInstana cluster or host must be configured in the core secret as follows:

...
datastoreConfigs:
  ...
  beeinstanaConfig:
    user: beeinstana-user
    password: <SECRET_PASSWORD>
...

Analyze logs

Analyze logs must be enabled by using a feature flag in the Core spec.

Analyze logs uses a new Clickhouse schema (logs). You are highly recommended to use a separate Clickhouse cluster or host.

Using instana-console data store host

If instana-console is used as the database backend, a dual-host installation is recommended, with a second Clickhouse instance on another host. For this purpose, the second host needs to be set up with a settings.hcl file as follows:

type      = "dual-clickhouse"
host_name = "<IP-accessible-from-the-k8s-cluster>"

dir {
  metrics    = "" // data dir for metrics
  traces     = "/mnt/traces" // data dir for log data
  data       = "/mnt/data" // data dir for any other data
  logs       = "/var/log/instana" // log dir
}

docker_repository {
  base_url = "artifact-public.instana.io"
  username = "_"
  password = "<Your-agent-key>"
}

By default, the logging data is stored in the existing ClickHouse cluster. A separate ClickHouse cluster must be configured for the distribution of the data from Application Analytics and Logging.

Using Clickhouse operator cluster

In this scenario, set up another Clickhouse cluster according to the operator instructions.

Operator Core spec

On the operator side, the Core spec needs two Clickhouse entries and the feature flag feature.logging.enabled.

apiVersion: instana.io/v1beta2
kind: Core
metadata:
  name: instana-core
  namespace: core
spec:
...
clickhouseConfigs:
  - clusterName: local
    authEnabled: true
    hosts:
      - <application_ch_cluster>
    schemas:
      - application
  - clusterName: local
    authEnabled: true
    hosts:
      - <logs_ch_cluster>
    schemas:
      - logs
  ...
featureFlags:
  - name: feature.logging.enabled
    enabled: true
...

In addition, configure the credentials for the new Clickhouse cluster or host in the core secret as follows:

...
datastoreConfigs:
  ...
  clickhouseConfigs:
    - user: clickhouse-application-user
      password: <USER_GENERATED_PASSWORD>
      adminUser: clickhouse-application-user
      adminPassword: <USER_GENERATED_PASSWORD>
      schemas:
        - application
    - user: clickhouse-logs-user
      password: <USER_GENERATED_PASSWORD>
      adminUser: clickhouse-logs-user
      adminPassword: <USER_GENERATED_PASSWORD>
      schemas:
        - logs
...

Automation framework

This feature enables an automation framework in Instana to remediate events. You can use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to associate actions with events and run actions directly from the Issues tab in the Instana UI.

Enable automation framework components by using feature flag

To enable automation framework components, update the feature flags for Analyze logs, BeeInstana and the featureFlags section in the core.yaml file as shown in the following example:

featureFlags:
  ...
  - name:  feature.automation.enabled
    enabled: true
  - name:  feature.action.automation.enabled
    enabled: true

For more information about this feature, see Managing automation.

Synthetic monitoring

This feature includes support for enabling Synthetic monitoring in the self-hosted operator. With this feature enabled, the Operator can deploy Synthetic monitoring components. Those components can be used by a Synthetic Point-of-Presence (PoP) agent to run Synthetic tests against your web applications and display results in the Instana UI.

Configure external storage for Synthetic monitoring

Before enabling Synthetic monitoring, configure two external storage configurations in the storageConfigs section in the Core spec (synthetics, syntheticsKeystore).

By default, the data stored in the Synthetics storage configuration is retained for 60 days. To modify the retention for Synthetic monitoring, see Synthetic monitoring data retention.

Currently, GCloud and S3 or compatible Buckets are supported, and the file system is based on a multi read/write persistent volume.

For more information about storageConfigs spec for synthetics, see storageConfigs

Enable the feature flag for Synthetic monitoring components

To enable Synthetic monitoring components, set the following feature flag under the featureFlags configuration in the Core spec.

featureFlags:
    ...
      - name: feature.synthetics.enabled
      enabled: true

End-user monitoring

Configure external storage for uploading the JavaScript source maps

You can upload JavaScript source mapping files for private websites monitoring with Instana SaaS. Before uploading JavaScript source maps, you need to configure external storage in the storageConfigs section in the Core spec. The following are the 3 options for storing JavaScript source maps:

  • S3 (or compatible)
  • Google Cloud Storage
  • Filesystem

For more information about StorageConfigs spec for End-User Monitoring (EUM) source maps, see StorageConfigs.

Extra platform dashboards

The following infrastructure platform dashboards are not available in the product by default. To add a dashboard to the Platforms menu item, set its feature flag in the Core spec.

SAP

To enable the SAP platform dashboard, set the following configuration in the core.yaml file:

apiVersion: instana.io/v1beta2
kind: Core
metadata:
  name: instana-core
  namespace: core
spec:
...
featureFlags:
  - name: feature.sap.enabled
    enabled: true
...

Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF)

To enable the PCF platform dashboard, set as follows in the core.yaml file:

apiVersion: instana.io/v1beta2
kind: Core
metadata:
  name: instana-core
  namespace: core
spec:
...
featureFlags:
  - name: feature.pcf.enabled
    enabled: true
...

VMware vSphere

To enable the VMware vSphere platform dashboard, set as follows in the core.yaml file:

apiVersion: instana.io/v1beta2
kind: Core
metadata:
  name: instana-core
  namespace: core
spec:
...
featureFlags:
  - name: feature.vsphere.enabled
    enabled: true
...

OpenStack

To enable the OpenStack platform dashboard, set as follows in the core.yaml file:

apiVersion: instana.io/v1beta2
kind: Core
metadata:
  name: instana-core
  namespace: core
spec:
...
featureFlags:
  - name: feature.openstack.enabled
    enabled: true
...

IBM Power HMC

To enable the IBM Power HMC platform dashboard, set as follows in the core.yaml file:

apiVersion: instana.io/v1beta2
kind: Core
metadata:
  name: instana-core
  namespace: core
spec:
...
featureFlags:
  - name: feature.phmc.enabled
    enabled: true
...

IBM Power VC

To enable the IBM Power VC platform dashboard, set as follows in the core.yaml file:

apiVersion: instana.io/v1beta2
kind: Core
metadata:
  name: instana-core
  namespace: core
spec:
...
featureFlags:
  - name: feature.powervc.enabled
    enabled: true
...

IBM Z HMC

To enable the IBM Z HMC platform dashboard, set as follows in the core.yaml file:

apiVersion: instana.io/v1beta2
kind: Core
metadata:
  name: instana-core
  namespace: core
spec:
...
featureFlags:
  - name: feature.zhmc.enabled
    enabled: true
...

Beta features

Service Level Objectives

The components and database migrations that are needed for Service Level Objectives are configured by the feature flag feature.slo.enabled. After activating this feature flag in the Core spec, more components are deployed in the cluster and the custom dashboard area shows the widget SLO.

featureFlags:
    ...
      - name: feature.slo.enabled
      enabled: true

Business monitoring

This feature includes support for enabling Business monitoring in the self-hosted Instana Operator. With this feature enabled, the Operator can deploy Business monitoring components.

Enabling the feature flag for Business monitoring components

To enable Business monitoring components, set the following feature flag under the featureFlags configuration in the core.yaml file:

featureFlags:
    ...
      - name: feature.business.observability.enabled
      enabled: true