Installing and Configuring Instana Microservices Application Monitoring for PCF

This topic describes how to install and configure Instana Microservices Application Monitoring for PCF.

Install and Configure Instana Microservices Application Monitoring for PCF

To install Instana Microservices Application Monitoring for PCF on the Ops Manager Installation Dashboard, do the following:

  1. Download the product file from Pivotal Network.
  2. Navigate to the Ops Manager Installation Dashboard and click Import a Product to upload the product file.
  3. Under the Import a Product button, click + next to the version number of Instana Microservices Application Monitoring for PCF. This adds the tile to your staging area.
  4. Click the newly added Instana Microservices Application Monitoring for PCF tile. The Instana Microservices Application Monitoring for PCF tile is added, and it need a minimal configuration
  5. Instana Microservices Application Monitoring for PCF requires minimal configuration:
  • Backend connection menu:
    • Endpoint host: the DNS name of the Instana backend, e.g., saas-us-west-2.instana.io
    • Endpoint port: the port number on which the Instana backend listens; for the SaaS offering of Instana, the value is 443, but it can be configured differently for on-premise Instana backend installations
    • Agent key: the secret used by the Instana agent to authenticate itself to the Instana backend

NOTE: The data required for the configurations listed above is readily available in the Instana dashboard, under More > Management Portal > Install agent.

  1. Click Save. The Instana Microservices Application Monitoring for PCF tile is configured
  2. Return to the Ops Manager Installation Dashboard and click Apply Changes to install Instana Microservices Application Monitoring for PCF.

  3. The Instana agent is rolled out to the PCF foundation.

After the changes have been rolled out, whenever a new Virtual Machine is created in the PCF foundation, for example by adding new tiles or creating new service instances, the Instana agent is automatically added to it.

Configuring Updates for the Instana Agents

Instana Microservices Application Monitoring for PCF is self-contained, meaning that it ships with a version of the Instana agent that has all sensors needed to monitor PCF, its services, and the applications running on it.

Nevertheless, Instana regularly release agent updates providing new sensors as well as performance improvements, and it is highly recommended to keep the agents updated to enjoy the continous improvements in terms of features, performance, and reliability.

There are the following options to keep updated the Instana agents deployed via the Instana Microservices Application Monitoring for PCF:

  • Install the latest version of Instana Microservices Application Monitoring for PCF; for instructions, see the Install and Configure Instana Microservices Application Monitoring for PCF section
  • Use the Agent Configuration tab of the Instana tile, which allows you to configure the update policies of the Instana agents via the Ops Manager:
    • Static Updates: the Instana agents will run in the version shipped with the installed tile version and never update themselves unless a new versiomn of the tile is rolled out.
    • Dynamic Updates with Regular updates: the Instana agents can be instructed to update themselves at regularly intervals, once a day, either once a week or every day.
    • Dynamic Updates with Pinned version: the Instana agents can pull specific versions of their components, based on the Git commits available on the Instana Agent Updates repository.

Instana advises the use of Dynamic Updates with Regular updates whenever compatible with the policies of the end users. Dynamic Updates with Regular updates also avoids the need of applying changes via Ops Manager, as the agents will update themselves without having to be redeployed.

If strict control is desired in terms of agent updates, Dynamic Updates with Pinned version provides fine-grained control without requiring updating the tile. To change which version is pinned, the configuration change will require applying the change via Ops Manager, including in the change all tiles and the respective errands that are responsible for updating the Virtual Machines to which the agent updates need to be rolled out.

In cases requiring advanced control in terms of how updates are rolled out, end users can point the agents to internal Maven-compatible repositories, as means of tighly regulating the rollout of updates. For more information about configuring agent updates, see the Agent Versioning and Update Management section of the Instana documentation.

Configuring Advanced Configurations for the Instana Agents

Instana Microservices Application Monitoring for PCF offers some configuration options that are seldom required through the Advanced configurations menu.

Download Key

The Advanced configurations > Download key setting allows to specify which secret is used by agents to download their updates. This setting is only ever required in case you are running you own mirror of Instana’s updates repository and have set up a different authentication secret than the value of Backend connection > Agent key.

Agent Environment

Some advanced configurations of the Instana agent are triggered via environment variables. Environment variables on the Instana agent are set using the Advanced configurations > Environment settings menu.

Setting the `USE_ATTACH_TOOLS` advanced configuration in the **Advanced configurations** menu

After saving the new configurations, it is necessary to Apply Changes in the OpsManager dashboard to roll them out to the Instana agents installed across the PCF foundation. It is possible to roll out changes only to the relevant tiles in the PCF foundation. For example, the USE_ATTACH_TOOLS advanced configuration is relevant only for Diego cells, so the Apply Changes process could be run to affect only the BOSH Director, Instana Microservices Application Monitoring for PCF and Pivotal Application Service tiles.

In general, the Advanced configurations > Environment settings should be used only when instructed by Instana’s support or explicitly mentioned in this documentation.