Questions about Kiali architecture, access, perf, etc…

Why is the Workload or Application Detail page so slow or not responding?

We have identified a performance issue that happens while visiting the Workload or Application detail page, related to discovering metrics in order to show custom dashboards. Both Kiali and Prometheus may run out of memory.

The immediate workaround is to disable dashboards discovery:

      discovery_enabled: "false"

It’s also recommended to consider a more robust setup for Prometheus, like the one described in this Istio guide (see also this Kiali blog post), in order to decrease the metrics cardinality.

What do I need to run Kiali in a private cluster?

Private clusters have higher network restrictions. Kiali needs your cluster to allow TCP traffic between the Kubernetes API service and the Istio Control Plane namespace, for both the 8080 and 15000 ports. This is required for features such as Health and Envoy Dump to work as expected.

Make sure that the firewalls in your cluster allow the connections mentioned above.

Check section Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) Private Cluster requirements in the Installation Guide.

Does Kiali support Internet Explorer?

No version of Internet Explorer is supported with Kiali. Users may experience some issues when using Kiali through this browser.

Kiali does not work - What do i do?

If you are hitting a problem, whether it is listed here or not, do not hesitate to open a GitHub Discussion to ask about your situation. If you are hitting a bug, or need a feature, you can vote (using emojis) for any existing bug or feature request found in the GitHub Issues. This will help us prioritize the most needed fixes or enhancements. You can also create a new issue.

See also the Community page which lists more contact channels.

How do I obtain the logs for Kiali?

Kiali operator logs can be obtained from within the Kiali operator pod. For example, if the operator is installed in the kiali-operator namespace:

kubectl logs -n ${KIALI_OPERATOR_NAMESPACE} $(kubectl get pod -l app=kiali-operator -n ${KIALI_OPERATOR_NAMESPACE} -o name)

Kiali server logs can be obtained from within the Kiali server pod. For example, if the Kiali server is installed in the istio-system namespace:

kubectl logs -n ${KIALI_SERVER_NAMESPACE} $(kubectl get pod -l app=kiali -n ${KIALI_SERVER_NAMESPACE} -o name)

Note that you can configure the logger in the Kiali Server.

Which Istio metrics and attributes are required by Kiali?

To reduce Prometheus storage some users want to customize the metrics generated by Istio. This can break Kiali if the pruned metrics and/or attributes are used by Kiali in its graph or metric features.

Kiali currently requires the following Istio metrics and attributes:

Metric Notes
istio_requests_total used throughout Kiali and the primary metric for http/grpc request traffic
istio_request_bytes_sum used in metric displays
istio_request_duration_milliseconds_bucket used throughout Kiali for response-time calculation
istio_request_duration_milliseconds_sum used throughout Kiali for response-time calculation
istio_request_messages_total used throughout Kiali for grpc sent message traffic
istio_response_bytes_sum used in metric displays
istio_response_messages_total used throughout Kiali for grpc received message traffic
istio_tcp_connections_closed_total used in metric displays
istio_tcp_connections_opened_total used in metric displays
istio_tcp_received_bytes_total used throughout Kiali for tcp received traffic
istio_tcp_sent_bytes_total used throughout Kiali for tcp sent traffic

Attribute Metric Notes
connection_security_policy istio_requests_total used only when graph Security display option is enabled
destination_canonical_revision all
destination_canonical_service all
destination_cluster all
destination_principal istio_requests_total used only when graph Security display option is enabled
destination_service all
destination_service_name all
destination_service_namespace all
destination_workload all
destination_workload_namespace all
grpc_response_status istio_requests_total used only when request_protocol=“grpc”
reporter all both “source” and “destination” metrics are used by Kiali
request_operation istio_requests_total used only when request classification is configured. “request_operation” is the default attribute, it is configurable.
request_protocol istio_requests_total
response_code istio_requests_total
response_flags istio_requests_total
source_canonical_revision all
source_canonical_service all
source_cluster all
source_principal istio_requests_total
source_workload all
source_workload_namespace all

Kiali currently requires the following Envoy metrics:

Metric Notes
envoy_cluster_upstream_cx_active used in workload details
envoy_cluster_upstream_rq_total used in workload details
envoy_listener_downstream_cx_active used in workload details
envoy_listener_http_downstream_rq used in workload details
envoy_server_memory_allocated used in workload details
envoy_server_memory_heap_size used in workload details
envoy_server_uptime used in workload details

What is the License?

See here for the Kiali license.

Why isn’t my namespace in the Namespace Selection dropdown?

When deploying Kiali with the Kiali operator, by default some namespaces are excluded from the list of namespaces provided by the API and UI. Kiali filters out these namespaces and you will not see them in the Namespace Selection dropdown. You can adjust which namespaces are excluded by setting the spec.api.namespaces.exclude field on the Kiali CR.

In addition, you must ensure that Kiali has access to the namespaces you are interested in by setting the spec.deployment.accessible_namespaces field on the Kiali CR accordingly. Setting spec.api.namespaces.exclude alone does not give Kiali access to the namespaces. See the Namespace Management guide for more information.

Kiali also caches namespaces by default for 10 seconds. If the cache is enabled, it might take up to the spec.kubernetes_config.cache_token_namespace_duration in order for a newly added namespace to be seen by Kiali.

Workload “is not found as” messages

Kiali queries Deployment ,ReplicaSet, ReplicationController, DeploymentConfig, StatefulSet, Job and CronJob controllers. Deployment, ReplicaSet and StatefulSet are always queried, but ReplicationController, DeploymentConfig, Job and CronJobs are excluded by default for performance reasons.

To include them, update the list of excluded_workloads from the Kiali config.

#    ---
#    excluded_workloads:
#    - "CronJob"
#    - "DeploymentConfig"
#    - "Job"
#    - "ReplicationController"

An empty list will tell Kiali to query all type of known controllers.

Why Health is not available for services using TCP protocol?

Health for Services is calculated based on success rate of traffic. The traffic of HTTP and GRPC protocols is request based and it is possible to inspect each request to check and extract response codes to determine how many requests succeeded and how many erred.

However, HTTP is a widely known protocol. Applications may use other less known protocols to communicate. For these cases, Istio logs the traffic as raw TCP (an opaque sequence of bytes) and is not analyzed. Thus, for Kiali it is not possible to know if any traffic have failed or succeeded and reports Health as unavailable.