Tutorial: Configuring Prometheus to Collect Istio Metrics


In this tutorial we’ll take a look at how to configure the Prometheus monitoring system to scrape our meshes for metrics using SuperGloo.

Monitoring the traffic being sent between a system of microservices is one of the primary features provided by service meshes. Service meshes make it easy to collect metrics from a large, distributed system in a centralized metrics store such as Prometheus. Typically, when installing a mesh, the mesh and metrics store must be manually configured in order to produce readable metrics.

SuperGloo provides features to automatically propagate metrics from a managed mesh with one or more instances of a metrics store.

Let’s dive right in.


First, ensure you’ve:

Next, we’ll need an instance of Prometheus running in our cluster. If you’ve already got Prometheus installed, you can skip this step.

Note: For SuperGloo to configure Prometheus correctly, it requires that the Prometheus server is configured with a ConfigMap, and that the key for the Prometheus configuration file is named prometheus.yml

To install a simple Prometheus instance for the purpose of this tutorial, run the following:

kubectl create namespace prometheus-test
kubectl --namespace prometheus-test apply --filename \

Note: We can watch the pods get created for Prometheus with kubectl --namespace prometheus-test get pod -w

Let’s take a look at the configmap that was created by this install for us:

kubectl --namespace prometheus-test get configmap
NAME                DATA      AGE
prometheus-server   3         5s

We’ll need to pass the name prometheus-test.prometheus-server to SuperGloo as a configuration option for our mesh.

SuperGloo will append jobs to Prometheus’ scrape configuration when it is connected to that instance’s configmap. Run the following command to connect SuperGloo to the Prometheus instance we just installed:

supergloo set mesh stats \
    --target-mesh supergloo-system.istio-istio-system \
    --prometheus-configmap prometheus-test.prometheus-server

After a few seconds, we should be able to see that SuperGloo updated the Prometheus config with jobs telling it to scrape Istio:

kubectl --namespace prometheus-test get configmap --output yaml | grep istio
      - job_name: supergloo-istio-supergloo-system.istio-envoy-stats
      - job_name: supergloo-istio-supergloo-system.istio-galley
            - istio-system
          regex: istio-galley;http-monitoring
      - job_name: supergloo-istio-supergloo-system.istio-istio-mesh
            - istio-system
          regex: istio-telemetry;prometheus
      - job_name: supergloo-istio-supergloo-system.istio-istio-policy
            - istio-system
          regex: istio-policy;http-monitoring
      - job_name: supergloo-istio-supergloo-system.istio-istio-telemetry
            - istio-system
          regex: istio-telemetry;http-monitoring
      - job_name: supergloo-istio-supergloo-system.istio-pilot
            - istio-system
          regex: istio-pilot;http-monitoring

We can see the configuration that this applied to our Mesh CRD by running:

kubectl --namespace supergloo-system get mesh istio-istio-system --output yaml
apiVersion: supergloo.solo.io/v1
kind: Mesh
  creationTimestamp: 2019-03-28T18:44:46Z
  generation: 1
  name: istio-istio-system
  namespace: supergloo-system
  resourceVersion: "178284"
  selfLink: /apis/supergloo.solo.io/v1/namespaces/supergloo-system/meshes/istio
  uid: 8f57f47e-5189-11e9-9c12-b0cb59a58200
    installationNamespace: istio-system
    - name: prometheus-server
      namespace: prometheus-test
    mtlsEnabled: true
  reported_by: istio-config-reporter
  state: 1

Notice how the monitoringConfig now contains an entry for our prometheus-server configmap.

Let’s take a look at the metrics that our Prometheus instance should have started collecting for our mesh.

Open up a port-forward to reach the Prometheus UI from our local machine:

kubectl --namespace prometheus-test port-forward deployment/prometheus-server 9090

Now direct your browser to http://localhost:9090/

You should see the Prometheus Graph page show up:

Prometheus Landing Page

Let’s enter a query to see some stats from Istio. We’ll try istio_requests_total:

Prometheus Initial Query

Let’s try creating some metrics by sending traffic to some of our Bookinfo pods. Open the port-forward to reach the productpage:

kubectl --namespace default port-forward deployment/productpage-v1 9080

Open your browser to http://localhost:9080/productpage. Refresh the page a few times - this will cause the product page to send requests to the reviews and ratings services.

Now let’s check back in Prometheus and try the query istio_requests_total{destination_app="reviews"} (note that it might take up to 30 seconds before new metrics are scraped by Prometheus):

Prometheus Updated Query

We can see that the number of requests sent to the reviews service (triggered by us refreshing the page) correlates to the rise in the graph.

Great! We’ve just seen how SuperGloo makes it easier to connect an existing Prometheus installation to a managed Mesh with a minimal amount of work.