Zipkin Tracing

In this tutorial, we'll configure Ambassador Edge Stack to initiate a trace on some sample requests, and use Zipkin to visualize them.

Before You Get Started

This tutorial assumes you have already followed the Ambassador Edge Stack Getting Started guide. If you haven't done that already, you should do that now.

After completing the Getting Started guide you will have a Kubernetes cluster running Ambassador Edge Stack and the Quote of the Moment service. Let's walk through adding tracing to this setup.

1. Deploy Zipkin

In this tutorial, you will use a simple deployment of the open-source Zipkin distributed tracing system to store and visualize the Ambassador Edge Stack-generated traces. The trace data will be stored in memory within the Zipkin container, and you will be able to explore the traces via the Zipkin web UI.

First, add the following YAML to a file named zipkin.yaml. This configuration will create a Zipkin Deployment that uses the openzipkin/zipkin container image and also an associated Service. We will also include a TracingService that configures Ambassador Edge Stack to use the Zipkin service (running on the default port of 9411) to provide tracing support.

---
apiVersion: getambassador.io/v2
kind: TracingService
metadata:
name: tracing
spec:
service: "zipkin:9411"
driver: zipkin
config: {}
---
apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
metadata:
name: zipkin
spec:
replicas: 1
selector:
matchLabels:
app: zipkin
template:
metadata:
labels:
app: zipkin
spec:
containers:
- name: zipkin
image: openzipkin/zipkin
env:
# note: in-memory storage holds all data in memory, purging older data upon a span limit.
# you should use a proper storage in production environments
- name: STORAGE_TYPE
value: mem
---
apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
metadata:
labels:
name: zipkin
name: zipkin
spec:
ports:
- port: 9411
targetPort: 9411
selector:
app: zipkin

You can deploy this configuration into your Kubernetes cluster like so:

$ kubectl apply -f zipkin.yaml

Important: the Ambassador Edge Stack will need to be restarted to configure itself to add the tracing header. Delete all Ambassador Edge Stack pods and let Kubernetes restart them.

2. Generate Some Requests

Use curl to generate a few requests to an existing Ambassador Edge Stack mapping. You may need to perform many requests since only a subset of random requests are sampled and instrumented with traces.

$ curl -L $AMBASSADOR_IP/httpbin/ip

3. Test Traces

To test things out, we'll need to access the Zipkin UI. If you're on Kubernetes, get the name of the Zipkin pod:

$ kubectl get pods
NAME READY STATUS RESTARTS AGE
ambassador-5ffcfc798-c25dc 2/2 Running 0 1d
prometheus-prometheus-0 2/2 Running 0 113d
zipkin-868b97667c-58v4r 1/1 Running 0 2h

And then use kubectl port-forward to access the pod:

$ kubectl port-forward zipkin-868b97667c-58v4r 9411

Open your web browser to http://localhost:9411 for the Zipkin UI.

If you're on minikube you can access the NodePort directly, and this ports number can be obtained via the minikube services list command. If you are using Docker for Mac/Windows, you can use the kubectl get svc command to get the same information.

$ minikube service list
|-------------|----------------------|-----------------------------|
| NAMESPACE | NAME | URL |
|-------------|----------------------|-----------------------------|
| default | ambassador-admin | http://192.168.99.107:30319 |
| default | ambassador | http://192.168.99.107:31893 |
| default | zipkin | http://192.168.99.107:31043 |
|-------------|----------------------|-----------------------------|

Open your web browser to the Zipkin dashboard http://192.168.99.107:31043/zipkin/.

In the Zipkin UI, click on the "Find Traces" button to get a listing instrumented traces. Each of the traces that are displayed can be clicked on, which provides further information about each span and associated metadata.

Learn More

For more details about configuring the external tracing service, read the documentation on external tracing.

Questions?

We’re here to help. If you have questions, join our Slack, contact us, or request a demo.