An efficient Kubernetes and Docker monitoring solution can help you measure crucial metrics of your applications, including their health, performance, speed, cost, and resource utilization.

In fact, in the modern DevOps infrastructure, both Kubernetes and Docker hold significant positions. Docker lets you containerize your applications and run them, while Kubernetes allows you to manage those containers.

Although you can use a Docker CLI to manage the containers that can range thousands in numbers, it’s highly challenging.

That said, using Kubernetes and Docker for the above processes can be a huge relief and make things simpler. But it’s not a cakewalk. It needs you to observe the containers properly and analyze them to ensure the application performs well without hitches.

And to make that possible, you must monitor the applications and containers, log the activities, trace inefficiencies, and debug them to ensure the services run with optimal performance, uptime, and reliability.

In this article, I’ll discuss some of the reliable Kubernetes and Docker monitoring solutions so you can optimize your applications.

But first, let’s talk about,

What Are Kubernetes, Docker, and Containers?

Kubernetes

Kubernetes is an open-source system that enables you to orchestrate or manage containers for automating application deployment, management, and scaling. It was developed on June 7th, 2014, by Google, but now the Cloud Native Computing Foundation maintains it.

Kubernetes works with different container runtimes like Docker, CRI-O, and Containerd. A lot of cloud services provide a Kubernetes-based PaaS or IaaS where you can deploy Kubernetes.

Docker

Docker refers to a set of various PaaS or Platform-as-a-Service products that leverage OS-level virtualization to offer software or applications in packages known as containers. And the software hosting the containers is Docker Engine.

Docker was developed by Docker Inc. and released in 2013. It can package software applications along with their dependencies. It also stores them in a virtual container that can run on Windows, Linux, and macOS. This enables the software to run in various locations on a public cloud or on-premises.

Containers

Containers are executable units of software where application code gets packaged with its dependencies and libraries so that it can run anywhere on the cloud, traditional IT, or desktop.

Containers leverage OS virtualization to allow multiple applications to share the operating system by separating processes while controlling the resources like CPU, disk storage, and memory that those processes could access. They are isolated from each other and bundled with their respective libraries, code, software, and configuration files.

However, they can still interact via a defined channel. Furthermore, all the containers use a single OS kernel, and they consume fewer resources compared to a virtual machine (VM).

What Do You Mean by Kubernetes or Docker Monitoring?

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Kubernetes or Docker monitoring means observing and analyzing a Docker or Kubernetes-based software regularly to optimize its performance, health, cost, and efficiency. Software teams perform this by measuring the metrics that the application outputs. These metrics may include:

  • Latency
  • Kubernetes cluster metrics like running containers, state, resource consumption, and network input/output
  • Running and deploying Kubernetes pods
  • CPU, disk, and memory utilization
  • API server, data stores, scheduler status, and controller life cycle metrics
  • Cost per cluster, team, and product

Monitoring is a crucial part of gaining observability in application development. And analyzing metrics like these can help you obtain valuable information.

Why Monitor Kubernetes and Docker Containers?

If you don’t monitor your Kubernetes and Docker systems, it can be difficult to tell whether all the processes are running well due to limited observability or visibility into vital metrics. It can also be challenging to figure out issues that may impact your application or take immediate action within time before the situations become worse.

As a result, it can invite various risks in terms of security, data privacy, app performance and health, network, and cost.

Therefore, monitoring your application is necessary. But Docker and Kubernetes monitoring can be challenging as it requires an efficient strategy.

This is why you need an excellent monitoring solution to ease the process for you. The monitoring tool can offer wider observability into each aspect of your application. To ensure the application performs optimally, you can track critical metrics like health, cost, resource utilization, and more.

Let’s see what all benefits you can expect out of a good monitoring tool in detail.

Identifying and Resolving Issues Proactively

An efficient monitoring tool for your Kubernetes and Docker systems can monitor all the processes proactively. It will provide you with accurate insights on every little change and the running processes.

With 360-degree visibility, you can easily track the inefficiencies that can impact the systems. On catching any issues, bugs, or errors, the tool will also inform you quickly so you can fix the problems before any damage occurs. Plus, it can keep an eye on systems to help prevent system outages due to unnecessary resource utilization, which in turn, saves cost.

Optimizing App Performance

One of the main reasons for using the monitoring tools is to improve application performance. The tools work by gathering insights and dependencies of an application, creating a performance benchmarking.

These insights help the tool identify abnormalities and root causes of the issues and inform the same to the software teams. This allows the team to take quick actions and steps to improve the app performance.

Implementing Changes Safely

As the monitoring tools can observe the issues when they arise and notify the team in real-time, you can understand the app vulnerabilities quickly and resolve them.

Otherwise, if you don’t have such tools available, any change you may perform to the app can worsen its performance as you don’t know the underlying issues in the application. These vulnerabilities can impact the application’s security and make it prone to viruses and malware. And in this age of cyber threats, you certainly can’t afford that.

So, use a monitoring tool to keep your apps secure and robust so you can implement changes easily and make them live.

When it comes to choosing Kubernetes and Docker monitoring tools, cloud-based solutions can be a great alternative to a self-hosted monitoring solution. It’s because it will give you the power of the cloud so you can enable real-time monitoring no matter where you are, resolve issues immediately, make changes, and avail many more benefits.

I’ve mentioned some of the best cloud-based monitoring solutions below for your Kubernetes and Docker systems.

Logz.io

Monitor your Kubernetes and Docker systems with Logz.io – a unified machine data analysis platform built on the top of Prometheus and ELK Stack. Gain complete insight into the container environments for maximum availability and performance, giving your customer a better experience.

Enhance your productivity by focusing on monitoring your infrastructure instead of monitoring the monitoring systems. You can use a set of optimization and analytics tools to minimize the overall expenses. You can also ship metrics and logs easily by using the native integrations for Kubernetes and Docker. Plus, the pre-built Metrics and Kibana dashboards can simplify troubleshooting and monitoring.

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Logz.io offers better availability, security, and scalability above your expectation. You can use the platform for analyzing infrastructure as well as container data. Use crowdsourcing and advanced machine learning to avoid issues causing downtime.

Furthermore, you will receive alerts in real-time in PagerDuty, Slack, ServiceNow, email, or other management platforms you are using. Troubleshoot the exceptions and errors in the perfect time by using the experience and knowledge of other engineers.

Get one day of log retention for free to collect small log volumes along with advanced analytics. The price for 7 days of retention is $0.92/ingested GB.

Sysdig

Sysdig Monitor offers cloud and Kubernetes monitoring solutions with complete Prometheus compatibility. Get a full overview of your pods, namespaces, and clusters and dig deeper by exploring topologies and metrics.

Use pre-built dashboards to start your journey quickly and receive alerts on important events. Sysdig Monitor is the available cloud-based monitoring platform that is compatible with exporters and PromQL. It enables a developer to approach a standard monitoring solution without management headaches.

Use Sysdig’s granular data that is derived from low-level system calls to resolve issues. You can also speed up the captures of all actual system calls to enable faster RCA when things don’t go right. In addition, see the connections between the services that give power to your applications and the cloud infrastructure’s performance.

Sysdig offers features like out-of-the-box dashboards, adaptive alerts, troubleshooting, Curated Prometheus exporters, and more. It also provides simple as well as powerful instrumentation, SaaS delivery, curated workflows, and a lot more.

Sign-up for FREE and avail yourself of a 30-day free trial without giving your credit card details.

New Relic’s Pixie

Monitor Kubernetes and debug faster with the code-level insights using Pixie to drill deeper into the services without modifying the source code. You will get real-time network flow, DNS, and service graphs to show latency and intra-cluster communication.

Use flame graphs to view cluster resource consumption and slow-running code. The Pixie auto-telemetry can also monitor every service quickly, and you do not need any instrumentation expert as Pixie is language-agnostic. In addition, you will get performance data for Prometheus metrics, logs, distributed traces, stack traces, real-time profiles, and Kubernetes events. blank

 

Furthermore, gain knowledge on how pods, applications, containers, and nodes impact each other. You can also use curated and rich UI to simplify complex environments and drill down into infrastructure and application metrics.

There are no long way standardization processes, new deployments, or code updates; you can start instantly with ease. Additionally, Auto-Telemetry uses eBPF to collect events, traces, logs, and metrics automatically for your applications, OS, clusters, network layers, and Kubernetes.

Start monitoring your cloud infrastructure today by signing up with a FREE account.

ManageEngine’s Applications Manager

Gain deeper visibility into the user experience and performance of your business infrastructure and applications components with application performance monitoring software – Applications Manager. It helps you resolve issues on the entire application performance, from the line of code to the URL.

Use Applications Manager to automate and improve DevOps and IT processes to ensure better user experience and business outcomes. It comes with web application monitoring, synthetic transaction monitoring, real-user monitoring, multi-cloud monitoring, server monitoring, database monitoring, advanced analytics, AIOps assisted smart alerts, and a lot more.

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Moreover, you can utilize the Application Manager to optimize revenue and application usage, reduce MTTR, improve DevOps processes, respond to incidents faster, migrate to the cloud with confidence, ensure applications meet your business goals, and more.

It is available in two editions: Professional for 500 applications and Enterprise for 10000 monitors. Avail yourself with the FREE trial.

Sematext

Monitor Kubernetes performance events, logs, and metrics and install Sematext results in seconds as DaemonSet, Kubernetes Operator, or Helm chart. You will get powerful insights quicker with the Sematext Cloud and gain complete visibility into the performance and health of your entire infrastructure with native and scalable container monitoring tools.

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Sematext identifies containers automatically and monitors them to track dynamic environments continuously. With the true container data, you can have faster troubleshooting. From Docker Swarm to Docker desktop, Sematext can monitor container availability effortlessly.

Get awesome dashboards to check your nodes, storage, deployments, pods, and more. You can also start monitoring logs, events, and metrics by installing Sematext Agent Operator. Plus, it is easy to slice-and-dice Kubernetes logs and metrics with the extracted and structured data, quickly find problematic pods, and build log analytics reports.

The price of Sematext Cloud monitoring is $0.007/hour and logs are $50/month.

Opsview

Opsview provides container monitoring tools that represent microservices and modern deployments visually as a functional business solution. It makes the solution easy for businesses to understand and IT admins to inspect.

Containers are the core tech in the modern IT infrastructure as they provide resource isolation without any overview of virtual hardware in the server virtualization. Opsview provides essential information from the containers and ensure they are up and running.

Monitor the resource usage, including memory, size, and CPU. In addition, you can monitor Docker based on container size, the output of each container, etc., wherever possible. Opsview provides Kubernetes Opspack to monitor the Kubernetes setup hosted on the cloud or locally.

Get access to monitor live usage metrics, including Network status, disk, memory, and CPU from cluster down to the individual pods. Opspack also collects data like file descriptors, HTTP statistics, etc., and works with the DevOps platform to provide the best monitoring service. In simple words, it can solve your complex challenges with its capabilities and offer flexible notifications to help you stay updated.

Dynatrace

Harness AI and automation to monitor Kubernetes in a straightforward way with Dynatrace. It provides full-stack observability without changing container images, deployments, and codes.

Dynatrace makes monitoring simple and brings apps as well as infrastructure together. You can receive utilization and health metrics for every pod, cluster, node, and container and find automated visibility for the apps and microservices.

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Get enterprise-grade security for the essential data and track the resource utilization, health, and availability of Kubernetes workloads and infrastructure, including:

  • Group resource utilization in order to make business continuity while minimizing the costs
  • Workload and pod overviews to identify differences in microservice and app instances
  • Every native Kubernetes event solves platform problems such as failed image pulls, OOM containers, and crash loops
  • Visualize the Kubernetes environment along with the events and metrics that you care about

Dynatrace’s AI engine saves additional resources and time by prioritizing and identifying alerts automatically from the Kubernetes infrastructure and apps. It continuously maps the dependencies between the entities and includes the real-time topology, common data, causation-based AI, a model with context, and other capabilities.

Start your FREE trial today with Dynatrace and explore awesome functionalities to help your business.

Instana

Instana offers automatic Kubernetes application performance and observability monitoring. It monitors applications, orchestration, containers, and Kubernetes together and discovers, observes, and maps the Kubernetes application stack. You can also monitor the entire ecosystem of Kubernetes, from pods and nodes to applications and containers for the Kbs distributions.

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You will get a real-time correlation of infrastructure, Kubernetes, and application data. Ensure a healthy environment to execute and operate the applications with easy-to-use dashboards properly. Manage the distribution of Kubernetes, including Red Hat OpenShift, Amazon AKS, Pivotal PKS, Azure AKS, Google GKE, and more.

Its pricing is transparent and simple. The cost starts from $75/host/month when billed annually, including SaaS deployment, unlimited users, more than 20 technologies, open standards like OpenTracing, OpenCensus, Prometheus, Jaeger, and more.

Conclusion 👩‍💻

Monitoring your applications helps you optimize their health in terms of performance, speed, reliability and ensures there are no bugs or errors to cause inefficiencies.

So, use a Kubernetes and Docker monitoring solution from the above list to improve your applications’ overall health and offer superb security, performance, uptime, and user experience.