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New Relic Istio Adapter

An Istio Mixer adapter to send telemetry data to New Relic.

For more information on how Istio Mixer telemetry is created and collected, please see this Mixer Overview.

For more information about out-of-process Istio Mixer adapters, please see the Mixer Out of Process Adapter Walkthrough


Metrics and Spans exported from this adapter to New Relic will be rate limited!

Currently (2019-08-30) the following quotas apply to APM Professional accounts:

  • 500,000 Metrics / minute
    • 250,000 unique Metric timeseries
    • 50 attributes per Metric
  • 5,000 Spans / minute

You may request a quota increase for Metrics and/or Span by contacting your New Relic account representative.


The newrelic-istio-adapter should be run alongside an installed/configured Istio Mixer server.

For Kubernetes installations, Helm deployment charts have been provided in the helm-charts directory. These charts are intended to provide a simple installation and customization method for users.

See the Helm installation docs for installation/configuration of Helm.


  • A Kubernetes cluster
  • A working kubectl installation
  • A working helm installation
  • A Healthy Istio deployment
  • A New Relic Insights Insert API Key.

Deploy Helm Template

The newrelic-istio-adapter should be deployed to an independent namespace. This provides isolation and customizable access control.

The examples in this guide install the adapter to the newrelic-istio-adapter namespace. This namespace is not managed by this installation process and will need to be created manually. I.e.

kubectl create namespace newrelic-istio-adapter

Additionally, several components of the newrelic-istio-adapter are required to be deployed into the Istio namespace (i.e. istio-system). Make sure you have privileges to deploy to this namespace.

Once you have ensured all of these things, generate Kubernetes manifests with Helm (be sure to replace <your_new_relic_api_key> with your New Relic Insights API key) and deploy the components using kubectl.

cd helm-charts
helm template newrelic-istio-adapter . \
    -f values.yaml \
    --namespace newrelic-istio-adapter \
    --set authentication.apiKey=<your_new_relic_api_key> \
    > newrelic-istio-adapter.yaml
kubectl apply -f newrelic-istio-adapter.yaml

Tip: If you use an EU region New Relic account, make sure you configure the appropriate Metric/Trace API endpoints (metricsHost/spansHost). Please refer to the helm-charts configuration.


Verify that the newrelic-istio-adapter deployment and pod are healthy within the newrelic-istio-adapter namespace

$ kubectl -n newrelic-istio-adapter get deploy newrelic-istio-adapter

NAME                     READY   UP-TO-DATE   AVAILABLE   AGE
newrelic-istio-adapter   1/1     1            1           10s

$ kubectl -n newrelic-istio-adapter get po -l

NAME                                      READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
newrelic-istio-adapter-6d9c4f9b88-r5gn7   1/1     Running   1          8s

Verify that the newrelic-istio-adapter handler, rules, adapter, and instances are present within the istio-system namespace

$ kubectl -n istio-system get handler -l

NAME                     AGE
newrelic-istio-adapter   10s

$ kubectl -n istio-system get rules -l

NAME                             AGE
newrelic-http-connection         10s
newrelic-tcp-connection          10s
newrelic-tcp-connection-closed   10s
newrelic-tcp-connection-open     10s

$ kubectl -n istio-system get adapter -l

NAME       AGE
newrelic   10s

$ kubectl -n istio-system get instances -l

NAME                          AGE
newrelic-bytes-received       10s
newrelic-bytes-sent           10s
newrelic-connections-closed   10s
newrelic-connections-opened   10s
newrelic-request-count        10s
newrelic-request-duration     10s
newrelic-request-size         10s
newrelic-response-size        10s
newrelic-span                 10s

You should start to see metrics sent to Insights a few minutes after the deployment. As an example, this Insights query will display a timeseries graph of total Istio requests:


By default, Mixer is configured to output info level logs. This should include logs about telemetry events being sent to the newrelic-istio-adapter. Be sure to verify this is happening.

kubectl -n istio-system logs -l app=istio-mixer

Additionally, the newrelic-istio-adapter logs should be empty. By default the newrelic-istio-adapter only logs errors. Be sure to also verify this.

kubectl -n newrelic-istio-adapter logs -l

To get started visualizing your data try the sample dashboard template.

Clean Up

If you want to remove the newrelic-istio-adapter you can do so by deleting the resources defined in the manifest you deployed.

kubectl delete -f newrelic-istio-adapter.yaml

Distributed Tracing

The newrelic-istio-adapter is able to send trace spans from services within the Istio service mesh to New Relic. This functionality is disabled by default, but it can be enabled by adding the following telemetry.rules value when deploying the newrelic-istio-adapter Helm chart.

  match: (context.protocol == "http" || context.protocol == "grpc") && != "istio-telemetry" && != "istio-pilot" && ((request.headers["x-b3-sampled"] | "0") == "1")
    - newrelic-span

Adding this rule means that Mixer will send the adapter all HTTP/gRPC spans for services that propagate appropriate Zipkin (B3) headers in their requests.

Note that the match condition for this rule configures Mixer to only send spans that have been sampled (i.e. x-b3-sampled: 1). It is up the services themselves to appropriately sample traces.

This sampling is important to keep in mind when enabling this functionality. Without sampling you can quickly exceed the quota associated with your account for the number of spans-per-minute you are allowed. Additionally, the cost of sending spans to New Relic needs to be understood before you enable this.

Find and use your data

Once the adapter is sending data you can start to explore your data in New Relic:

For general querying information, see:

New Relic Dashboard Template

A dashboard template is provided to chart some Istio metrics the default configuration produces. The template is designed to be imported with the Insights Dashboard API and can be created straight from the API Explorer.

The sample dashboard can be filtered by,, and


This project follows semver.

See the CHANGELOG for a detailed description of changes between versions.