Red Hat offers cluster administrators the Network Observability Operator to observe the network traffic for OKD clusters. The Network Observability Operator uses the eBPF technology to create network flows. The network flows are then enriched with OKD information and stored in Loki. You can view and analyze the stored network flows information in the OKD console for further insight and troubleshooting.

Optional dependencies of the Network Observability Operator

  • Loki Operator: Loki is the backend that is used to store all collected flows. It is recommended to install Loki to use with the Network Observability Operator. You can choose to use Network Observability without Loki, but there are some considerations for doing this, as described in the linked section. If you choose to install Loki, it is recommended to use the Loki Operator, as it is supported by Red Hat.

  • Grafana Operator: You can install Grafana for creating custom dashboards and querying capabilities, by using an open source product, such as the Grafana Operator. Red Hat does not support the Grafana Operator.

  • AMQ Streams Operator: Kafka provides scalability, resiliency and high availability in the OKD cluster for large scale deployments. If you choose to use Kafka, it is recommended to use the AMQ Streams Operator, because it is supported by Red Hat.

Network Observability Operator

The Network Observability Operator provides the Flow Collector API custom resource definition. A Flow Collector instance is created during installation and enables configuration of network flow collection. The Flow Collector instance deploys pods and services that form a monitoring pipeline where network flows are then collected and enriched with the Kubernetes metadata before storing in Loki. The eBPF agent, which is deployed as a daemonset object, creates the network flows.

OKD console integration

OKD console integration offers overview, topology view and traffic flow tables.

Network Observability metrics dashboards

On the Overview tab in the OKD console, you can view the overall aggregated metrics of the network traffic flow on the cluster. You can choose to display the information by node, namespace, owner, pod, zone, and service. Filters and display options can further refine the metrics. For more information, see Observing the network traffic from the Overview view.

In ObserveDashboards, the Netobserv dashboard provides a quick overview of the network flows in your OKD cluster. The Netobserv/Health dashboard provides metrics about the health of the Operator. For more information, see Network Observability Metrics and Viewing health information.

Network Observability topology views

The OKD console offers the Topology tab which displays a graphical representation of the network flows and the amount of traffic. The topology view represents traffic between the OKD components as a network graph. You can refine the graph by using the filters and display options. You can access the information for node, namespace, owner, pod, and service.

Traffic flow tables

The traffic flow table view provides a view for raw flows, non aggregated filtering options, and configurable columns. The OKD console offers the Traffic flows tab which displays the data of the network flows and the amount of traffic.