Apache SkyWalking is an open-source Application Performance Monitoring (APM) system designed to provide comprehensive observability in complex distributed systems and microservices architectures. By offering distributed tracing, metrics collection, service mesh integration, and a rich plugin ecosystem, SkyWalking enables organizations to monitor, analyze, and optimize the performance of their applications. With features like alarm and alerting, visualizations, and support for both back-end and front-end monitoring, SkyWalking empowers developers and operators to identify bottlenecks proactively, troubleshoot issues, and ensure the reliability of their applications. As an Apache Software Foundation project, SkyWalking offers a versatile and adaptable solution for enhancing application performance and maintaining robustness in the ever-evolving landscape of modern software development.
Apache Skywalking Architecture
Apache Skywalking in detail
Apache SkyWalking is an open-source observability and application performance monitoring (APM) system designed to help organizations monitor and trace their distributed systems and applications. It’s primarily used in complex microservices architectures to gain insights into application performance, detect bottlenecks, troubleshoot issues, and optimize resource utilization.
Key features of Apache SkyWalking include:
- Distributed Tracing: SkyWalking provides detailed tracing of requests as they move through various distributed system components. This tracing helps visualize the flow of requests across different services and identifies where latency or errors might occur.
- Metrics Collection: The system collects various performance metrics such as response times, error rates, and throughput. These metrics can be used to gain insights into the overall health and performance of the application.
- Service Mesh Support: SkyWalking can be integrated with popular service mesh solutions like Istio, Envoy, and Linkerd to enhance observability and tracing capabilities within microservices environments.
- Plugin Ecosystem: It supports various plugins that enable integration with different programming languages, frameworks, and technologies, making it versatile and adaptable to various applications.
- Alarm and Alerting: SkyWalking allows you to set up alerts and notifications based on predefined thresholds for performance metrics. This helps proactively identify and address potential issues.
- Visualizations: The system offers visualizations of application performance data through dashboards and graphs, making it easier for developers and operators to understand and analyze the data.
- Back-End and Front-End Monitoring: SkyWalking supports back-end monitoring (tracking requests between services) and front-end monitoring (capturing user interactions with the application) to provide a comprehensive view of application behaviour.
SkyWalking was initially developed by Wuhan University in China and later became an Apache Software Foundation project. It’s released under the Apache License 2.0. It has gained popularity in the DevOps and microservices communities due to its capabilities to help organizations ensure the reliability and performance of their applications in complex, distributed environments.