Application Lifecycle Management: Trackers Edit on GitHub Request doc changes

Contributors ebarcott ericknauer

Trackers provide a method to visualize the state of Kubernetes objects that were created by directly applying manifests. This is accomplished by tracking Kubernetes labels and presenting that information in the NKS UI.

To use this feature, you will need an NKS account. If you don’t have one already, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial with no credit card required at https://nks.netapp.io.

Note
Application Lifecycle Management is currently in Functional Preview mode. To enable this feature you will need to create a new cluster, and "Enable experimental features."
NKS app management

Understanding Trackers

By creating Trackers, you can get a customized view of related objects in a Kubernetes cluster. This view is based on Kubernetes labels, which are key-value pairs of metadata. These labels can be specified in YAML or JSON manifests to help cluster operators organize the workloads running in a cluster.

Trackers can be especially useful when you have an application that was deployed directly to the cluster from manifests. Perhaps using kubectl apply, or another tool outside of the NKS UI. This could also include Helm charts that were installed without using the Solutions - Packages feature of NKS.

Many applications are made up of multiple parts such as a frontend webserver, a backend database, and additional custom components. Applying labels and configuring a Tracker can provide a unified picture of the entire application stack.

Note
Trackers will only be able to see labels in the project’s namespace.

You can see available labels that can be used with a tracker by looking in the Kubernetes Dashboard for your cluster, and then choosing the namespace that matches your project.

You can also use kubectl to get information about labels. To see the labels on pods in the "exploration" namespace, run kubectl get pods --namespace exploration --show-labels. The output will contain a column of labels.

Using Trackers

This section will walk you through creating and using your first Tracker. Following along requires that you have already created a workspace with a cluster and a project.

Create a Tracker

Go to App Management and select a pinned workspace or View All Workspaces.

NKS app management

Select a workspace by clicking on its name.

Note
You may use also utilize the Search feature to find a specific workspace.)
NKS select workspace

You will be taken to the workspace overview page.

NKS workspace overview

Go to the Projects tab.

NKS workspace projects

Select a project by clicking its underlined name. This will take you to the overview page for that specific project.

NKS project overview

At the bottom of the page, press the blue + Add Solution button.

NKS add solution button

Press the + ADD A NEW TRACKER button.

NKS add solution button

This takes to you the Create Solution Tracker screen.

NKS create solution tracker screen

Give the Tracker a name in the Tracker Name field, and provide at least one key:value pair in place of Type labels to track.

NKS create solution tracker example

As instructed, you’ll need to press enter to add the key:value pair to the list of tracked labels. When you have finished adding labels to track, press the Create Tracker button.

Note
The new Tracker will NOT be active immediately.

It takes some time (~15 mintues) for the NKS system to register a new tracker.

NKS tracker not active

When the tracker is ready, the red icon will change to green.

NKS tracker not active

Access a Tracker

Once you have created one or more Trackers, you can access them from inside their associated Project on the Solutions tab. The installed solutions can be filtered to just display Trackers by using the Tracker tab.

NKS project solutions filter trackers

Clicking the name of a Tracker will take you to the detail page.

NKS tracker detail

If the Tracker has associated deployments, you will see them at the bottom of the detail page and can interact with them by modifying replica counts, or utilizing the Actions menu.

NKS tracker deployments

Update a Tracker

  1. Navigate to the Tracker. Project→Solutions→Trackers

  2. Make changes to the Tracker name or labels.

Note
You can remove an existing label from the tracker by clicking the X next to it. 1. Save the changes by pressing the Update button.
NKS edit tracker

Delete a Tracker

A Tracker can be deleted using the "Delete this solution" link on the update page.

NKS delete tracker

You will be prompted to confirm that you want to delete the Tracker.

NKS confirm delete tracker

Type in the full name of the Tracker and click the "Yes, delete this solution" button.

More Information

More information about Kubernetes labels can be found at this link.

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