Instana's Always-On Continuous Production Profiling for PHP and Python Apps

Application performance monitoring (APM) solutions provider Instana has added PHP and Python to the list of languages supported by its continuous production profiler. With the addition of this production profiling support, Instana becomes the first APM solution to provide automatic continuous production profiling of Java, GoLang, Python, and PHP with a common interface and correlated with production application monitoring and tracing for better analysis.

Instana unveiled its continuous production profiler in February with support for Java apps. The AutoProfile tool is now a built-in feature of the company's SaaS APM solution.

The new capability is based on technology from German performance profiler StackImpact, which Instana acquired last year. That company's performance profiling and monitoring service now provides code-level insights into CPU usage, memory allocations, thread contention, and latency bottlenecks of Golang, Node.js, Python, PHP, and Java applications.

Instana APM customers get unlimited use of production profiling, with no additional charges, the company says. Enabling the capabilities simply requires a change to the Instana configuration file. No application re-starts are required to turn profiling on or off.

"The complexity of cloud-native microservice applications is related to the polyglot of application languages being used," said Chris Farrell, APM and observability strategist at Instana, in a statement. "Instana automatically captures profiles of Python and PHP processes so that dev teams have the data they need to optimize application performance and solve code issues quickly."

Instana's production profiling solution differs from other profiling tools in that it is always on, Farrell said. It was designed and built with such low overhead that it's able to capture profiles on every production process. Those profiles are correlated with other Instana metrics, including application service levels, traces of all individual requests, and full-stack infrastructure metrics. The company's Unbounded Analytics engine allows users to dive into any layer to quickly identify, isolate ,and fix problems when they occur.

Instana's Enterprise Observability Platform is was designed to use the company's automated Application Performance Monitoring capability to discover and map all services, infrastructure, and their inter-dependencies automatically. Instana ingests all observability metrics, traces each request, profiles every process and updates application dependency maps in real time to deliver the context and actionable feedback needed by Dev+Ops to optimize application performance, enable innovation and mitigate risk to help them add value and efficiency to the pipeline.

"Observability" comes from the field of engineering. It's defined as the ability to infer the internal states of a system based on its outputs. In IT, it's the practice of instrumenting systems and applications to collect log data, metrics, and traces to provide actionable insights into what's going on in a system.

Instana's continuous profiling for PHP and Python, Java and Go, is available today in all Instana solutions, and it's included in both the SaaS and on-prem versions.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].