Monitor container services in the Orion Platform

This Orion Platform topic applies only to the following products:

SAMVMAN

Containers are lightweight, executable packages of software that include everything needed to run an application: code, system tools, system libraries, and settings. Instead of shipping a full OS and software, application containers include an application's code, configurations, and dependencies into a single package, resulting in enhanced environmental consistency, operational efficiency, and version control.

Similar to VMs, containers isolate applications and their dependencies into self-contained units that can run anywhere without interfering with each other. Unlike VMs that each have their own virtual OS and hardware, containers share the host system kernel with other containers to save space, increase efficiency, and improve developer productivity.

The Orion Platform supports monitoring for containers deployed to Linux nodes in the Docker, Docker Swarm, Kubernetes, and Apache Mesos environments. After adding container services in the Orion Web Console, you can display details about your container infrastructure, including container hosts and deployments. Various widgets provide container status and performance metrics such as CPU usage and memory.

You can display container service metrics in different places in the Orion Web Console, including:

  • The AppStack Environment
  • Performance Analysis dashboards (PerfStack)
  • Node Detail pages
  • Orion Maps

For example, the following screenshot shows how you can hover over a container service in the AppStack Environment to display details about it:

Here is an example of a container widget created in PerfStack:

Container lifespans and the Orion Platform

Some containers are created for long-term use but many are created for a specific, temporary purpose and deleted afterward. When you add a container service, the Orion Platform deploys an Orion Monitor container to each node in a cluster and deploys an Orion Aggregator container to the master node in the cluster. While other containers are created and deleted, the Orion Aggregator container remains on the master node to report status and metrics for Orion Monitor containers. After seven days with no activity, containers stop appearing in container widgets displayed in the Orion Web Console.

The Orion Platform deploys Orion agents to nodes for container monitoring. To learn more about Orion agents, see the Orion Platform Administrator Guide.

Container service monitoring requirements

Before adding container services to the Orion Platform, review Supported container environments. Each environment has unique requirements and steps to remove container data if you decide to delete container services later.

When you add a container service, the Orion Platform credentials are stored in a plain text file that stays in memory for two hours. SolarWinds recommends creating an Orion user account specifically to add container services so no actual user credentials are exposed.

Container service monitoring and licensing

Only container services being monitored on host servers added as Orion nodes count against licenses. To monitor all containers in a single cluster, add each server from the cluster as an Orion node.