Monitor containers in the SolarWinds Platform
This SolarWinds Platform topic applies only to the following products:
Hybrid Cloud Observability Essentials — Hybrid Cloud Observability Advanced
SAM — VMAN
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 SolarWinds Platform supports monitoring for the following types of Linux-based container environments:
- Docker Swarm 17.12 and later
- Kubernetes (K8s)
- Apache Mesos
The ability to monitor containers enables you to:
- Track details about your container infrastructure, including hosts, host clusters, environment dependencies, and deployments.
- Review metrics for containers, hosts, and other infrastructure elements to plan capacity.
- Analyze container activity in the AppStack Environment.
- Organize containers on SolarWinds Platform Maps.
- Display in-depth data about individual containers on the Container Details page, as shown here.
Container entities also appear in related Performance Analysis (PerfStack) dashboards. For example, if you monitor TCP Port Monitor and Average Response Time metrics for an application on a server that hosts a containerized environment and you also track CPU utilization for different containers running throughout the history of the application's deployment, you can examine historical data to see what happened for containers running at different points in time.
To start monitoring containers quickly:
- Adjust your environment to satisfy container monitoring requirements.
- Add Linux host servers as managed Orion nodes.
- Follow the steps in Add a container service.
- Wait 5 — 10 minutes for container data to appear in the SolarWinds Platform Web Console (for example, in AppStack).
To explore existing containers in your environment, see Display container data in the SolarWinds Platform Web Console.
Before you begin
Prior to adding a container service, review Container monitoring requirements.
Note the following details about container monitoring:
- The default polling interval is five minutes. To change intervals, see Adjust default settings.
- Predefined alerts and reports for containers are not currently available. Use related conditions and events to create your own alerts, instead. For example, add an alert to trigger email if a container restarts more than five times.
- This feature is not supported in:
SolarWinds documentation describes how to display container data in the SolarWinds Platform Web Console. To manipulate containers directly, refer to third-party vendor documentation. For example, to learn about swarm mode, see Docker docs (© 2021 Docker, Inc., available at docs.docker.com, obtained on June 14, 2021.)
Want to learn more about monitoring containers? Check out these links:
- Docker Monitoring Tools (use case)
- SolarWinds Lab Bits: Curious About Containers? (video)
- SolarWinds Lab Bits: Monitoring Containers in SAM and VMAN (video)
SolarWinds AppOptics works well with short-lived, ephemeral containers and hosts, and includes integrations with Docker, Kubernetes, and Mesos. AppOptics APM agents install easily into containers, providing performance metrics for their containerized applications.