LightStep [π‘₯]PM

This task shows you how to configure Istio to collect trace spans and send them to LightStep [π‘₯]PM. [π‘₯]PM lets you analyze 100% of unsampled transaction data from large-scale production software to produce meaningful distributed traces and metrics that help explain performance behaviors and accelerate root cause analysis. For more information, visit LightStep. At the end of this task, Istio sends trace spans from the proxies to a LightStep [π‘₯]PM Satellite pool making them available to the web UI.

This task uses the Bookinfo sample application as an example.

Before you begin

  1. Ensure you have a LightStep account. Contact LightStep to create an account.

  2. Ensure you have a satellite pool configured with TLS certs and a secure GRPC port exposed. See LightStep Satellite Setup for details about setting up satellites.

  3. Ensure sure you have a LightStep access token.

  4. Ensure you can reach the satellite pool at an address in the format <Host>:<Port>, for example lightstep-satellite.lightstep:9292.

  5. Deploy Istio with the following configuration parameters specified:

    • global.proxy.tracer="lightstep"
    • global.tracer.lightstep.address="<satellite-address>"
    • global.tracer.lightstep.accessToken="<access-token>"
    • global.tracer.lightstep.secure=true
    • global.tracer.lightstep.cacertPath="/etc/lightstep/cacert.pem"

    If you are installing via helm template you can set these parameters using the --set key=value syntax when you run the helm command. For example:

    $ helm template \
        --set global.proxy.tracer="lightstep" \
        --set global.tracer.lightstep.address="<satellite-address>" \
        --set global.tracer.lightstep.accessToken="<access-token>" \
        --set global.tracer.lightstep.secure=true \
        --set global.tracer.lightstep.cacertPath="/etc/lightstep/cacert.pem" \
        install/kubernetes/helm/istio \
        --name istio --namespace istio-system > $HOME/istio.yaml
    $ kubectl create namespace istio-system
    $ kubectl apply -f $HOME/istio.yaml
    
  6. Store your satellite pool’s certificate authority certificate as a secret in the default namespace. If you deploy the Bookinfo application in a different namespace, create the secret in that namespace instead.

    $ CACERT=$(cat Cert_Auth.crt | base64) # Cert_Auth.crt contains the necessary CACert
    $ NAMESPACE=default
    
    $ cat <<EOF | kubectl apply -f -
      apiVersion: v1
      kind: Secret
      metadata:
        name: lightstep.cacert
        namespace: $NAMESPACE
        labels:
          app: lightstep
      type: Opaque
      data:
        cacert.pem: $CACERT
    EOF
    
  7. Follow the instructions to deploy the Bookinfo sample application.

Visualize trace data

  1. Follow the instructions to create an ingress gateway for the Bookinfo application.

  2. To verify the previous step’s success, confirm that you set GATEWAY_URL environment variable in your shell.

  3. Send traffic to the sample application.

    $ curl http://$GATEWAY_URL/productpage
    
  4. Load the LightStep [π‘₯]PM web UI.

  5. Navigate to Explorer.

  6. Find the query bar at the top. The query bar allows you to interactively filter results by a Service, Operation, and Tag values.

  7. Select productpage.default from the Service drop-down list.

  8. Click Run. You see something similar to the following:

    Explorer
    Explorer
  9. Click on the first row in the table of example traces below the latency histogram to see the details corresponding to your refresh of the /productpage. The page then looks similar to:

    Detailed Trace View
    Detailed Trace View

The screenshot shows that the trace is comprised of a set of spans. Each span corresponds to a Bookinfo service invoked during the execution of a /productpage request.

Two spans in the trace represent every RPC. For example, the call from productpage to reviews starts with the span labeled with the reviews.default.svc.cluster.local:9080/* operation and the productpage.default: proxy client service. This service represents the client-side span of the call. The screenshot shows that the call took 15.30 ms. The second span is labeled with the reviews.default.svc.cluster.local:9080/* operation and the reviews.default: proxy server service. The second span is a child of the first span and represents the server-side span of the call. The screenshot shows that the call took 14.60 ms.

Trace sampling

Istio captures traces at a configurable trace sampling percentage. To learn how to modify the trace sampling percentage, visit the Distributed Tracing trace sampling section. When using LightStep [π‘₯]PM, we do not recommend reducing the trace sampling percentage below 100%. To handle a high traffic mesh, consider scaling up the size of your satellite pool.

Cleanup

If you are not planning any follow-up tasks, remove the Bookinfo sample application and any LightStep [π‘₯]PM secrets from your cluster.

  1. To remove the Bookinfo application, refer to the Bookinfo cleanup instructions.

  2. Remove the secret generated for LightStep [π‘₯]PM:

$ kubectl delete secret lightstep.cacert