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Installing Instana on an IBM Cloud RHEL8 Virtual Machine.


In this lab you wil learn how to install Instana in a RHEL8 Virtual Machine on IBM Cloud.

Preliminary Steps

Obtain a RHEL8 Virtual Machine on IBM Cloud

  1. Go the the Base Images in TechZone
  2. Click the IBM Virtual Server Instance (Classic) (dated Sep 1, 2021)
  3. Click Reserve Now
  4. From the Create a Reservation page, Specify the following :

    • Name: IBM Virtual Server Instance (Classic)
    • Purpose: Practice/Self-Education
    • Purpose Description: Onboarding Event
    • Preferred Geography: Choose a geography closest to you that has relatively low disk usage
    • End Date & Time: Choose a date 2 weeks from the current date
    • Open ports : No
    • CPU Cores : 16
    • RAM: 64 Gb
    • Operating System: RHEL 8
    • Secondary disk size : 500Gb
  5. Click Schedule

    You will receive an email when the cluster is available (usually in under 15 minutes). You can also check the reservations page as well (Status will show ready when the cluster is available to use)

    You will need the following information from the email:

    • Public IP
    • Hostname
    • Password for the root user
  6. In order to login to Instana, you will need to add the FQDN of the server to your own machine. Edit the file /etc/hosts and add the following line. NOTE, there is a space between <publicIP> and <hostname>:

    <publicIP> <hostname>
  7. At this point you can login to the virtual machine server

    1. Open up a terminal window and SSH to your VSI Instance. Replace <publicIP> with the public IP of your Instana VSI Instance

      ssh root@<publicIP>
    2. When prompted with the following error enter yes

      The authenticity of host ' (' can't be established.
      ED25519 key fingerprint is SHA256:uHEPjzzbLXMr2lXwsgi0RpRj7O8E4S9o1rXu52vQQWQ.
      This key is not known by any other names
      Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no/[fingerprint])?
    3. Enter your root password

Installation Video

To assist you with the installation steps below, view the following recording to see the installation in action:

Note that some details such a license keys are redacted in the video. For the lab you will be provided with the relevant information.


Server setup

  1. The first step will be to install the docker environment with the following commands:

    sudo dnf config-manager --add-repo=
    sudo dnf install --nobest docker-ce -y
    sudo systemctl enable --now docker
    systemctl is-active docker
    sudo usermod -aG docker $USER
  2. The next step is to prepare the server for Instana Installation

    1. Add the Instana yum repository

      cat >/etc/yum.repos.d/Instana-Product.repo <<EOF
    2. Prepare mount points for Instana

      mkdir /mnt/data
      mkdir /mnt/traces
      mkdir /mnt/metrics
    3. Update the yum cache

      yum makecache -y 

Instana Installation

  1. Download the installation component with the command

    yum install -y instana-console
  2. Run the installation itself with the command

instana init
  1. Use the following values to fill the form:

    • Please choose Instana installation type:
      • single
    • What is your tenant name?
      • <Enter whichever value you like. This is only relevant in an environment with multiple Instana instances>
    • What is your unit name?
      • <Enter whichever value you like. This is only relevant in an environment with multiple Instana instances>
    • Insert your agent key (optional). If none is specified, one is generated which does not allow downloads.
      • <Enter your agent key>
    • Insert your download key or official agent key (optional)
      • <Enter your download or agent key>
    • Insert your sales key
      • <Enter your sales key>
    • Insert the FQDN of the host. Your VM's hostname followed by
      • <your VM FQDN>
    • Where should your data be stored?
      • /mnt/data
    • Where should your trace data be stored?
      • /mnt/traces
    • Where should your metric data be stored?
      • /mnt/metrics
    • Where should your logs be stored?
      • /var/log/instana
    • Path to your signed certificate file?
      • <Leave empty for this tutorial>
    • Path to your private key file?
      • <Leave empty for this tutorial>

    If you see the following error it means you made a mistake entering your agent key or download key. Delete the settings.hcl with command rm settings.hcl and re-run the instana init command.

    Instana unauthorized error

    Due to the number of docker images which are pulled this installation takes a long time. This is normal.

    [root@itzvsi-pe9jhdqr ~]# instana init
    Setup host environment ✓
    ? [Please choose Instana installation type] single
    ? [What is your tenant name?] tenant01
    ? [What is your unit name?] unit01
    ? [Insert your agent key (optional). If none is specified, one is generated which does not allow downloads.] XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    ? [Insert your download key or official agent key (optional).] XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    ? [Insert your sales key] XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    ? [Insert the FQDN of the host]
    ? [Where should your data be stored?] /mnt/data
    ? [Where should your trace data be stored?] /mnt/traces
    ? [Where should your metric data be stored?] /mnt/metrics
    ? [Where should your logs be stored?] /var/log/instana
    ? [Path to your signed certificate file?] 
    ? [Path to your private key file?] 
    Handle certificates ✓
    Ensure images ✓
    Clean docker containers ✓
    Check data directories ✓
    Create configurations ✓
    Run data stores ✓
    Migrate data stores ✓
    Run components ✓
    Check components ✓
    Setup environment urls ✓
    Run nginx ✓
    Initialize tenant unit ✓
    Welcome to the World of Automatic Infrastructure and Application Monitoring
    E-Mail: admin@instana.local
    Password: XXXXXXXXXXX


    Make note of your Instana E-Mail and password, you will need this to log in to the Instana server

  2. Activate the Instana License:

    [root@itzvsi-pe9jhdqr ~]# instana license download
    Download license ✓
    License is stored at /root/license
    [root@itzvsi-pe9jhdqr ~]# instana license import
    Import license ✓
    License is successfully imported
    [root@itzvsi-pe9jhdqr ~]# instana license verify
    Verifying local license status ✓
    Nr: 1
    Valid from: 2021-02-22 00:00:00 +0000 UTC
    Valid till: 2121-12-01 23:59:59.999 +0000 UTC
    [root@itzvsi-pe9jhdqr ~]# 
  3. Install and start the Instana agent. replace <yourAgentKey> and <yourFQDM> with your values used above.

    [root@itzvsi-pe9jhdqr ~]# curl -o && chmod 700 ./ && sudo ./ -a <yourAgentKey> -t dynamic -e <yourFQDN>:1444 -m infra
    % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                     Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
    100 20470  100 20470    0     0   3971      0  0:00:05  0:00:05 --:--:--  4181
    Setting up the dynamic Instana agent for GNU/Linux
    Are you sure? [y/N] y
    Setting up Instana RPM repository
    Updating YUM metadata
    Installing Instana agent
    Importing GPG key 0x9BAD82DE:
     Userid     : " <>"
     Fingerprint: B878 152E 2F08 4D46 F878 FA20 BED2 D096 9BAD 82DE
     From       :
    [root@itzvsi-pe9jhdqr ~]# systemctl start instana-agent.service
    [root@itzvsi-pe9jhdqr ~]# 
  4. Run the following commands to configure the agent.

    echo "com.instana.plugin.generic.hardware:" >> /opt/instana/agent/etc/instana/configuration.yaml
    echo "  enabled: true" >> /opt/instana/agent/etc/instana/configuration.yaml
    echo "  availability-zone: 'InstanaTechnologyZone'" >> /opt/instana/agent/etc/instana/configuration.yaml

Open the firewall.

For security reasons the virtual machine was provisioned without incoming internet access. We will now open the HTTPS port so that you can access the Instana backend.

  1. Start the firewall daemon:

    systemctl start firewalld
    systemctl status firewalld
  2. Open access to the HTTPS service

    firewall-cmd --zone=public --permanent --add-service=https
    firewall-cmd --reload
    firewall-cmd --list-all

Access your Instana instance

At this point you will be able to access your Instana instance using your browser at https://<yourfqdn>. Sign in with the admin@instana.local email and the password you recieved when you finished installing Instana.

Note: it might take a few minutes for the Instana agent to connect to the backend. If you do not see the VM in the Infrastructure dashboard, check the agent log in /opt/instana/agent/data/log/agent.log to see what the agent is doing.


You have completed this lab