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Tracing

Jaeger tracing integration

Tracing can be set up to monitor and track requests, optimize performance and latency, improve observability, and preform root cause and service dependency analysis. Grey Matter supports Envoy's tracing capabilities for the visualization of call flows.

Configuration Reference

To properly set up tracing in Grey Matter, there must be a tracing server running with known address and port at the time the Sidecar is deployed. The Sidecar takes a series of run-time environment variables to set up a static cluster as the tracing server and configure its HTTP tracer. Then, the listener object takes a tracing configuration to configure specifics about the information in the spans.

Tracing can then be configured using the tracing_config field of any listener object. Properly configured, the Sidecar will send spans to the trace collector server with information on the request and its path through the mesh.

Sidecar Runtime Config

Environment VariableTypeDefaultDescription
tracing_enabled

bool

false

Indicates whether or not to enable tracing.

tracing_address

string

"localhost"

The host for the trace collector server.

tracing_port

int

9411

The port for the trace collector server.

tracing_collector_endpoint

string

/api/v1/spans

The endpoint on the tracing server to send spans.

tracing_use_tls`

bool

false

Use TLS to connect to trace collector server. If true, tracing_ca_cert_path, tracing_cert_path, and tracing_key_path should be set.

tracing_ca_cert_path

string

./certs/egress_intermediate.crt

The path to the CA certificate.

tracing_cert_path

string

./certs/egress_localhost.crt

The path to the certificate file.

tracing_key_path

string

./certs/egress_localhost.key

The path to the key file.

Fabric tracing_config

Set in the listener object.

AttributeTypeDefaultDescription
ingress

boolean

true

Does the listener trace incoming or outgoing traffic?

request_headers_for_tags

[]string

null

Headers to convert into trace tags.

Detailed Configuration

Listener Tracing Config

ingress

The boolean value set for ingress determines the operation_name value in the Envoy HTTP connection manager tracing configuration. By default in both Grey Matter and Envoy, ingress is true and "operation_name": "INGRESS". If ingress is set to false, operation_name will be "operation_name": "EGRESS". This determines the traffic direction of the trace.

request_headers_for_tags

This field takes a list of header names to create tags for the active span. By default it is null, and no tags are configured. If values are configured, a tag is created if the value is present in the requests headers, with the header name used as the tag name, and the header value used as the tag value in a span.

Examples

Sidecar Deployment

The below example uses a k8s deployment only as reference. The key points from the example are the TRACING_* environment variables set.

apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
metadata:
  name: myService
spec:
  replicas: 3
  selector:
    matchLabels:
      app: myService
  template:
    metadata:
      labels:
        app: myService
    spec:
      containers:
        - name: sidecar
          image: docker.greymatter.io/internal/example-service:latest
          ports:
            - name: http
              containerPort: 8080
            - name: metrics
              containerPort: 8081
          env:
            - name: PROXY_DYNAMIC
              value: "true"
            - name: XDS_CLUSTER
              value: myService
            - name: XDS_HOST
              value: gm-control
            - name: XDS_PORT
              value: "50000"
            - name: TRACING_ENABLED
              value: "true"
            - name: TRACING_ADDRESS
              value: "jaeger"
            - name: TRACING_PORT
              value: "9411"

Listener

Once the Grey Matter Sidecar is configured to talk to a trace server, the tracing_config on the Grey Matter listener for the desired service configures the mesh to start sending traces to this server.

The listener object with tracing_config set will look something like the following:

{
  "listener_key": "example-listener",
  ...
  "tracing_config": {
    "ingress": true,
    "request_headers_for_tags": null
  },
  ...
}

The values configured in this field will be used to set the tracing options in Envoy and configure specifics about the trace's sent to the server.

Trace

The traces will be sent to the server and a trace object in JSON will look something like:

{
  "data": [
    {
      "traceID": "ccb5ba44bf450e9b",
      "spans": [
        {
          "traceID": "ccb5ba44bf450e9b",
          "spanID": "5b1cc9e0a6db97ab",
          "operationName": "localhost:8080",
          "references": [
            {
              "refType": "CHILD_OF",
              "traceID": "ccb5ba44bf450e9b",
              "spanID": "ccb5ba44bf450e9b"
            }
          ],
          "startTime": 1582125495267502,
          "duration": 1775,
          "tags": [
            {
              "key": "component",
              "type": "string",
              "value": "proxy"
            },
            {
              "key": "node_id",
              "type": "string",
              "value": "d885090f63ffa467"
            },
            {
              "key": "zone",
              "type": "string",
              "value": "default-zone"
            },
            {
              "key": "guid:x-request-id",
              "type": "string",
              "value": "8f313280-1fcc-93d9-8c34-678e528bc10c"
            },
            {
              "key": "http.url",
              "type": "string",
              "value": "http://localhost:8080/default/"
            },
            {
              "key": "http.method",
              "type": "string",
              "value": "GET"
            },
            {
              "key": "downstream_cluster",
              "type": "string",
              "value": "-"
            },
            {
              "key": "user_agent",
              "type": "string",
              "value": "Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_15_2) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/80.0.3987.106 Safari/537.36"
            },
            {
              "key": "http.protocol",
              "type": "string",
              "value": "HTTP/1.1"
            },
            {
              "key": "request_size",
              "type": "string",
              "value": "0"
            },
            {
              "key": "upstream_cluster",
              "type": "string",
              "value": "service"
            },
            {
              "key": "http.status_code",
              "type": "string",
              "value": "304"
            },
            {
              "key": "response_size",
              "type": "string",
              "value": "0"
            },
            {
              "key": "response_flags",
              "type": "string",
              "value": "-"
            },
            {
              "key": "span.kind",
              "type": "string",
              "value": "client"
            },
            {
              "key": "internal.span.format",
              "type": "string",
              "value": "zipkin"
            }
          ],
          "logs": [],
          "processID": "p1",
          "warnings": null
        }
      ],
      "processes": {
        "p1": {
          "serviceName": "sidecar",
          "tags": [
            {
              "key": "ip",
              "type": "string",
              "value": "172.23.0.6"
            }
          ]
        },
        "p2": {
          "serviceName": "myService",
          "tags": [
            {
              "key": "ip",
              "type": "string",
              "value": "172.23.0.7"
            }
          ]
        }
      },
      "warnings": null
    }
  ],
  "total": 0,
  "limit": 0,
  "offset": 0,
  "errors": null
}

Jaeger UI

For a walkthrough example using docker and Jaeger, see the tracing example. The Jaeger dashboard when set up for tracing using this walkthrough looks like the following screenshot:

Jaeger Dashboard

And the below is what the Jaeger trace timeline looks like for a Trace:

Trace Timeline