Service Mesh is still hard, but Kiali could do something?


Last week in a Kiali meeting, we briefly started to discuss how Kiali could help users, especially those who don’t have a good understanding of what tracing is or how it works, to take full advantage of it. Istio offers just the first step to have traces in microservices, but then it leaves you alone, having to figure out what’s the next steps to do. There’s just this page that provides some sparse explanations. That’s not an issue for people already familiar with tracing, but we’re thinking about the others.

It’s not only about traces. Lin Sun’s last article reminded us that Service Meshes aren’t exactly a no-code addition if people want to take full advantage of it, and perhaps Kiali, in its position of being the UX forefront of Istio, could do more about it.

So we’d like to collect here some thoughts & ideas about what we could do, what we could improve. All contributions are welcome! :slight_smile:

About tracing, a suggestion would be to detect automatically if the user has done something already to propagate headers, or not. When the user opens the Tracing page in Kiali, it would briefly check if propagation is set up (based on traces length and/or spans origin). If not, an informative message would be displayed to help the user figuring out what to do, perhaps with a link to some documentation or blog post.
Not sure if we could do much more on this specific point…