IBM® Instana Observability (Instana) is a fully-automated application performance management (APM) solution designed for the challenges of managing microservice and cloud-native applications. Instana automatically makes your applications and services visible, provides context to that observed information, and then enables you to take intelligent action based on that information.

Instana monitors and analyzes your applications, services, infrastructure, web browsers, mobile applications, and more for over 200 domain-specific technologies. In addition, Instana displays real-time data through distributed tracing and 1-second metrics.

Instana automates dependency mapping across the full stack for flexible application perspectives and provides powerful and easy-to-use data analytics. You can drill down to generate new insights with infinite flexibility from the entire repository of application-request trace data.

Instana informs you whenever your customers are impacted by performance or stability issues in your applications within a few seconds of impact. In addition, Instana automates root-cause analysis by using event correlation, performance thresholds, errors, changes, and analysis of service level agreement (SLA) violations. Instana puts performance data in context to deliver rapid issue prevention and remediation.

How Instana can help

Real-time observability: Find

  • Provides real-time observability metrics with data at a granularity of 1 second.
  • Monitors mobile, web, and application perspectives.
  • Traces every end-to-end mobile, web, and application transaction.
  • Provides full context across the application infrastructure.
  • Maps, monitors, and traces every production application across all cloud environments.
  • Supports all physical, virtual, and serverless services and functions.

Rapid-issue prevention and remediation: Fix

  • Automated Smart Alerts that provide threshold-based alerts based on out-of-the-box blueprints.
  • Automatic full-stack code profiling that takes you to root cause with a few clicks.
  • Fully-correlated and unsampled transaction traces that instantly identify application and infrastructure issues.
  • Automatic Unbounded analytics for every metric and trace.

Open Standards and OpenTelemetry: Expand

  • Fully-integrated support for Prometheus, Jaeger, Grafana, cAdvisor, Fluent, Telepresence, and other open-source technologies.
  • Open-source telemetry support that uses both Open Collector and high-performance Instana Agent’s knowledge graph correlation.
  • Automatic Unbounded analytics for every OpenTelemetry metric and trace.
  • Ongoing integration of new Open Standards and Open Source technologies.

Automation and intelligence: Optimize

  • Prevents or minimizes troubleshooting and optimizes performance by using automated AI-driven intelligent actions.
  • Automates configuring, monitoring, tracing, and profiling for all applications and services.
  • Captures and isolates browser and mobile application errors, including errors in JavaScript, automatically.
  • Enables fully-automated, semi-automated, or manual remediation procedures in real-time through integration with IBM Watson AIOps and Turbonomic ARM.

Instana capabilities

Instana architecture

For the architecture of Instana, see the Architecture topic.

Personas and use cases

For IBM® Instana Observability (Instana), four personas are defined: Site Reliability Engineer, DevOps,IT admin and developer. Each persona can complete their tasks more efficiently and easily with IBM® Instana Observability (Instana).

For more informations, see the Personas and use cases topic.

Instana deployment options

Instana can be deployed either as a SaaS solution with the option of retaining data in the cloud, or as a self-hosted (on-premises) solution. With Instana, you have control of where your data resides, on the cloud or on-premises. Thus, Instana combines the simplicity of SaaS with the control of an on-premises deployment.

For more information, see the Deployment options topic.

Observability in mainframe application environments

For observability in mainframe application environments, IBM Instana Observability on z/OS helps application and SRE teams to gain end-to-end visibility across mobile and mainframe systems, including the following capabilities:

  • Track the performance and availability of transactions when they flow through CICS, IMS, and Db2 for z/OS.
  • Visualize infrastructure monitoring metrics for z/OS, CICS, and Db2 on z/OS.

IBM Instana Observability on z/OS also expands the monitoring capabilities of IBM Instana to include hybrid applications in the public cloud and mainframe. You can easily pinpoint z/OS-based components that impact these hybrid applications and view complete end-to-end transactions by using customizable dashboards.

Both IBM Instana Observability and IBM Instana Observability on z/OS are needed to form a full end-to-end trace from distributed side to z/OS services. Before you start monitoring z/OS systems with IBM Instana Observability on z/OS, you must first install and configure IBM Instana Observability, which is licensed separately and includes all the distributed host agents, the Instana backend, and the Instana user interface.

For more information about using Instana for observability of mainframe application environments, see IBM Instana Observability on z/OS.