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Technology preview that show-cases Instana's tracing for NGINX
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Instana NGINX Tracing Demo

This repository contains a technology preview for Instana's NGINX tracing functionality.


Instana NGINX tracing is currently a technology preview. Any use of this technical preview, especially in production, is not supported!

We reserve ourselves the right to make it better and easier before releasing the functionality for General Availability.


A docker-compose installation running on your machine. This demo has been created and tested on Mac OS X with docker-compose and docker-machine.


Create a .env file in the root of the checked-out version of this repository and enter the following text, with the values adjusted as necessary:

agent_key=<TODO FILL UP>
agent_endpoint=<local ip or remote host; e.g.,>
agent_endpoint_port=<443 already set as default; or 4443 for local>
agent_zone=<name of the zone for the agent; default: envoy-tracing-demo>


pushd client-app
./mvnw clean package

pushd server-app
./mvnw clean package

docker-compose build


docker-compose up

This will build and launch

  • client-app service, a simple Spring Boot application that issues a request every second to the ...
  • nginx service, which routes all incoming requests to the ...
  • server-app service, a simple Spring Boot application that returns 200 to any HTTP request.

After the agent is bootstrapped and starts accepting spans from NGINX, the resulting traces in the Analyze view will look like the following:

Service dashboard

Demo traces in the Analyze view

Naturally, all the other NGINX capabilities of Instana will work out of the box as well ;-)

Setup an Application Perspective for the Demo

The simplest way is just to assign to the agent a unique zone (the docker-compose.yml file comes with the pre-defined nginx-tracing-demo zone), and simply create the application to contain all calls with the tag to have the value nginx-tracing-demo.

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