Instana Adds Pipeline Feedback to APM Platform

Instana, a provider of an application performance management (APM) platform optimized for microservices and containers, has added a pipeline feedback capability.

Company COO Pete Abrams says the pipeline feedback enables DevOps teams to map, visualize and manage microservices-based applications in a way that enables them to better optimize pipelines within a continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) environment. As part of that effort, Instana has now been integrated with the open source Jenkins CI/CD platform.

Abrams says that with the rise of microservices based on containers, the need for an APM platform that is integrated with a CI/CD platform is becoming more pressing. The dependencies that exist between all the microservices-based applications deployed, for example, on a Kubernetes cluster are simply too complex to track without the aid of an APM platform, says Abrams.

Instana automatically deploys sensors for each part of the application technology stack and traces all application requests without requiring any application restarts. Rather than sampling the application, Abrams says Instana discovers the application environment on its own and detects any chronological changes in the application environment in real-time to adjust its models and visualizations. That, in turn, enables developers to discover more easily the impact any build is having on the application environment, says Abrams.

Whenever a software release is deployed, Jenkins notifies Instana Pipeline Feedback to discover ad isolate each new service or piece of code, build application performance reports and compare service and application health to pre-release health and performance. The goal is to determine whether each build meets all requirements before being promoted to the next stage of the CI/CD process, says Abrams. That capability tends to limit the amount of technical debt any development team might accumulate during the development process, adds Abrams.

As reliance on microservices increases, Abrams says it is apparent the responsibility for monitoring application environments is being pushed further left on to the shoulders of developers. The challenge they face is that as hundreds of microservices are deployed and updated, developers need access to a platform that automatically instruments them, notes Abrams.

Historically, most organizations have only subscribed to an APM service for their most mission-critical monolithic applications. As IT organizations embrace microservices, the need to track APM metrics dynamically is going to increase regardless of how critical the application is, because of all the dependencies that exist between microservices that might adversely impact application performance intermittently. The challenge is that without access to analytics tools, replicating the exact set of circumstances cause that issue is often next to impossible.

Of course, Instana isn’t the only provider of an APM platform focusing on cloud-native applications based on microservices and containers. Instana is making a case for an APM platform that is specifically optimized for these environments versus trying to repurpose an APM built for monolithic applications.

Whatever the path chosen, the one thing that is for certain is tolerance for manual instrumentation of applications is falling as DevOps teams struggle to manage application environments that now change daily.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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