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Announcing Stackdriver Kubernetes Monitoring: Comprehensive Kubernetes observability from the start

May 2, 2018
JD Velásquez

Product Manager

If you use Kubernetes, you know how much easier it makes it to build and deploy container-based applications. But that’s only one part of the challenge: you need to be able to inspect your application and underlying infrastructure to understand complex system interactions and debug failures, bottlenecks and other abnormal behavior—to ensure your application is always available, running fast, and doing what it's supposed to do. Up until now, observing a complex Kubernetes environment has required manually stitching together multiple tools and data coming from many sources, resulting in siloed views of system behavior.

Today, we are excited to announce the beta release of Stackdriver Kubernetes Monitoring, which lets you observe Kubernetes in a comprehensive fashion, simplifying operations for both developers and operators.

Monitor multiple clusters at scale, right out of the box

Stackdriver Kubernetes Monitoring integrates metrics, logs, events, and metadata from your Kubernetes environment and from your Prometheus instrumentation, to help you understand, in real time, your application’s behavior in production, no matter your role and where your Kubernetes deployments run.

As a developer, for instance, this increased observability lets you inspect Kubernetes objects (e.g., clusters, services, workloads, pods, containers) within your application, helping you understand the normal behavior of your application, as well as analyze failures and optimize performance. This helps you focus more on building your app and less on instrumenting and managing your Kubernetes infrastructure.

As a Site Reliability Engineer (SRE), you can easily manage multiple Kubernetes clusters in a single place, regardless of whether they’re running on public or private clouds. Right from the start, you get an overall view of the health of each cluster and can drill down and up the various Kubernetes objects to obtain further details on their state, including viewing key metrics and logs. This helps you proactively monitor your Kubernetes environment to prevent problems and outages, and more effectively troubleshoot issues.

If you are a security engineer, audit data from your clusters is sent to Stackdriver Logging where you can see all of the current and historical data associated with the Kubernetes deployment to help you analyze and prevent security exposures.


Works with open source

Stackdriver Kubernetes Monitoring integrates seamlessly with the leading Kubernetes open-source monitoring solution, Prometheus. Whether you want to ingest third-party application metrics, or your own custom metrics, your Prometheus instrumentation and configuration works within Stackdriver Kubernetes Monitoring with no modification.

At Google, we believe that having an enthusiastic community helps a platform stay open and portable. We are committed to continuing our contributions to the Prometheus community to help users run and observe their Kubernetes workloads in the same way, anywhere they want.

To this end, we will expand our current integration with Prometheus to make sure all the hooks we need for our sidecar exporter are available upstream by the time Stackdriver Kubernetes Monitoring becomes generally available.

We also want to extend a warm welcome to Fabian Reinartz, one of the Prometheus maintainers, who has just joined Google as a Software Engineer. We're excited about his future contributions in this space.

Works great alone, plays better together

Stackdriver Kubernetes Monitoring allows you to get rich Kubernetes observability all in one place. When used together with all the other Stackdriver products, you have a powerful toolset that helps you proactively monitor your Kubernetes workloads to prevent failure, speed up root cause analysis and reduce your mean-time-to-repair (MTTR) when issues occur.

For instance, you can configure alerting policies using Stackdriver's multi-condition alerting system to learn when there are issues that require your attention. Or you can explore various other metrics via our interactive metrics explorer, and pursue root cause hypotheses that may lead you to search for specific logs in Stackdriver Logging or inspect latency data in Stackdriver Trace.


Easy to get started on any cloud or on-prem

Stackdriver Kubernetes Monitoring is pre-integrated with Google Kubernetes Engine, so you can immediately use it on your Kubernetes Engine workloads. It can also be integrated with Kubernetes deployments on other clouds or on-prem infrastructure, so you can access a unified collection of logs, events, and metrics for your application, regardless of where your containers are deployed.


Stackdriver Kubernetes Monitoring gives you:
  • Reliability: Faster time-to-resolution for issues thanks to comprehensive visibility into your Kubernetes environment, including infrastructure, application and service data. 
  • Choice: Ability to work with any cloud, accessing a unified collection of metrics, logs, and events for your application, regardless of where your containers are deployed.
  • A single source of truth: Customized views appropriate for developers, operators, and security engineers, drawing from a single, unified source of truth for all logs, metrics and monitoring data.
Early access customers have used Stackdriver Kubernetes Monitoring to increase visibility into their Kubernetes environments and simplify operations.

Given the scale of our business we often have to use multiple tools to help manage the complex environment of our infrastructure. Every second is critical for eBay as we aim to easily connect our millions active buyers with the items they’re looking for. With the early access to Stackdriver Kubernetes Monitoring, we saw the benefits of a unified solution, which helps provide us with faster diagnostics for the eBay applications running on Kubernetes Engine, ultimately providing our customers with better availability and less latency.

Christophe Boudet, Staff Devops, eBay

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Getting started with Stackdriver Kubernetes Monitoring 

Stackdriver Kubernetes Monitoring Beta is available for testing in Kubernetes Engine alpha clusters today, and will be available in production clusters as soon as Kubernetes 1.10 rolls out to Kubernetes Engine.

Please help us help you improve your Kubernetes operations! Try Stackdriver Kubernetes Monitoring today and let us know how we can make it better and easier for you to manage your Kubernetes applications. Join our user group and send us your feedback at stackdriver-kubernetes-monitoring-users@googlegroups.com

 To learn more, visit https://cloud.google.com/kubernetes-monitoring/

 And if you’re at KubeCon in Copenhagen join us at our booth for a deep dive demo and discussion

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