Generate Istio Metrics Without Mixer [Experimental]
Istio 1.3 adds experimental support to generate service-level HTTP metrics directly in the Envoy proxies. This feature lets you continue to monitor your service meshes using the tools Istio provides without needing Mixer.
The in-proxy generation of service-level metrics replaces the following HTTP metrics that Mixer currently generates:
Enable service-level metrics generation in Envoy
To generate service-level metrics directly in the Envoy proxies, follow these steps:
To prevent duplicate telemetry generation, disable calls to
istio-telemetryin the mesh:
$ helm template install/kubernetes/helm/istio --name istio --namespace istio-system --set mixer.telemetry.enabled=false --set mixer.policy.enabled=false
To generate service-level metrics, the proxies must exchange workload metadata. A custom filter handles this exchange. Enable the metadata exchange filter with the following command:
$ kubectl -n istio-system apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/istio/proxy/master/extensions/stats/testdata/istio/metadata-exchange_filter.yaml
To actually generate the service-level metrics, you must apply the custom stats filter.
$ kubectl -n istio-system apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/istio/proxy/master/extensions/stats/testdata/istio/stats_filter.yaml
Go to the Istio Mesh Grafana dashboard. Verify that the dashboard displays the same telemetry as before but without any requests flowing through Istio’s Mixer.
Differences with Mixer-based generation
Small differences between the in-proxy generation and Mixer-based generation of service-level metrics persist in Istio 1.3. We won’t consider the functionality stable until in-proxy generation has full feature-parity with Mixer-based generation.
Until then, please consider these differences:
istio_request_duration_secondslatency metric has the new name:
istio_request_duration_milliseconds. The new metric uses milliseconds instead of seconds. We updated the Grafana dashboards to account for these changes.
istio_request_duration_millisecondsmetric uses more granular buckets inside the proxy, providing increased accuracy in latency reporting.
Here’s what we’ve measured so far:
- All new filters together use 10% less CPU resources for the
istio-proxycontainers than the Mixer filter.
- The new filters add ~5ms P90 latency at 1000 rps compared to Envoy proxies configured with no telemetry filters.
- If you only use the
istio-telemetryservice to generate service-level metrics, you can switch off the
istio-telemetryservice. This could save up to ~0.5 vCPU per 1000 rps of mesh traffic, and could halve the CPU consumed by Istio while collecting standard metrics.
- We only provide support for exporting these metrics via Prometheus.
- We provide no support to generate TCP metrics.
- We provide no proxy-side customization or configuration of the generated metrics.