Container Monitoring


Containers have become an integral part of modern architectures, and as a result have changed the way software is deployed and operated.

As with any technology shift, adoption of containers necessitates the ability to monitor their health and understand impact on performance. Common container issues arising from misconfiguration and capacity management can have critical impact on services.

To provide visibility and insight into containerized environments, Instana automatically discovers and monitors Docker containers. We provide several ways of Installing the Agent in a Containerized Environment.

Container monitoring will:

  • provide realtime insights into metadata, configuration, metrics
  • watch the health of each container and alert on issues
  • enable service discovery leveraging container information (see Service Configuration)
  • place this insight within the context of the rest of your infrastructure/services


Container Dashboard

Containers are automatically discovered and monitored, enabling the tracking of configuration, metadata (eg. labels), changes and metrics. Leveraging this information and the context in which the container operates, we then derive health.

Any supported technologies running within discovered containers will in turn be automatically discovered and monitored as well. If you look at the infrastructure map for example you will see a Spring Boot application. The moment you click on it you will see immediately that it runs in a docker container and that you can access more detailed information about it:

Navigating to a container dashboard will provide the relevant information and context.

infrastructure container dashboard

Instana also collects additional configuration information for

  • Container labels

infrastructure container labels

  • Ports
  • Marathon information
  • Nomad information
  • Kubernetes information

Please read more about deep Kubernetes monitoring.

Container Map

While the infrastructure map provides a perspective on system hosts, the container map displays a similar structure but with containers in focus.

From this view, containers can be grouped and sorted by label and zone, as well as by Amazon ECS, Docker Compose, Kubernetes, Marathon, and Nomad specific information.

To access the container map from the host map, simply change the perspective in the grouping fly-out to container, as seen below. You can then specify the parameters by which all the containers get sorted:

To group containers by label, just click on “Configure Perspective and Grouping” in the map and provide the desired label grouping

infrastructure 20

Comparison Table

If you’ve ever wanted to get a quick overview of all your containers and compare them, we’ve got you covered.

Just navigate to Infrastructure → Comparison Table and select “Docker Containers” from the dropdown:

infrastructure container comparison

Container Metric Overview

In case you want a visual overview of cpu and memory usage of your containers, simply activate the metric overview:

Dynamic Focus

Dedicated docker keywords are available when using dynamic focus to identify and isolate parts of your infrastructure/application within the context of your containers.

infrastructure container dynamicfocus