28 September 2017 Releases

Elastic APM enters alpha

By Ron Cohen

We’re very excited to announce that Elastic APM is now in alpha. It is open source and brings support for monitoring Node.js and Python applications.

Since Opbeat became part of Elastic, the team has been very hard at work reworking central components from opbeat.com to make them work on the Elastic Stack. This means Elastic APM is available for you to download and try out on your local machine today.

Architecture

Elastic APM consists of four components:

  • APM agents
  • APM Server
  • Elasticsearch
  • Kibana UI

apm-diagram.png

APM agents are open source libraries written in the same language as your application. You install them into your application as you would install any other library.

APM Server is an open source application written in Go which runs on your servers. It listens on port 8200 by default and receives data from agents periodically.

To visualize the data after it's sent to Elasticsearch, you can use the pre-built Kibana Dashboards that come with APM Server.

kibana-dashboard.png

Later this year the UI will get a massive upgrade when we release a dedicated APM UI, similar to the intuitive and easy-to-use interface that is known from Opbeat today. The UI will be delivered as a Kibana plugin and will be included in the Beta release.

Try it today!

The alpha release that we’re making available today has been running on different sites for some time. While this software is alpha level, we encourage you to try it out - we’re always looking for feedback from users!

Getting started with Elastic APM is straightforward:

  1. Download and run Elasticsearch.
  2. Download APM Server, start it: ./apm-server -e. It will connect to Elasticsearch on localhost:9200
  3. You can override the Elasticsearch address like so: ./apm-server -e -E output.elasticsearch.hosts=address:9200

  4. Install an agent for Node.js or Python in your application.  They will connect to the APM Server on localhost:8200.
  5. Launch Kibana on http://localhost:5601/ and install the Kibana dashboard (see APM Getting Started docs for details or if you're running Elastic Stack 5.6 or earlier)
    curl -X POST http://localhost:5601/api/kibana/dashboards/import \
    -H 'Content-type: application/json' \
    -H 'kbn-xsrf: true' \
    -d @./_meta/kibana/default/dashboard/apm-dashboards.json
    	
  6. Open Kibana and navigate to APM-* dashboards.

For more detailed getting started guide, follow the Getting started with Elastic APM guide.

Feedback wanted

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you run into any issues or if you have ideas for improvements. You can ask question on the discussion board or open issues directly on the APM Server Github repository.

Finally, we’re also keen to know more about your stack to help inform our continued development. Please help us by answering this short survey.