Kiali tutorial: show custom information per service (like ownership)

Joel Takvorian
Jan 13 · 2 min read

Kiali is useful for troubleshooting Istio service mesh, and one aspect where it can help is by showing information about services ownership and contact details, to facilitate communications between teams when an issue is spotted.

There is a generic feature that allows adding custom information on the Service or Workload detail page in order to achieve that goal. In this post we’ll see how to do it, in just two little steps.

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Custom information on a service

Configuring Kiali

Let’s configure the additional_display_details field. Edit the Kiali CR or ConfigMap to add a couple of annotations to be recognized by Kiali:

additional_display_details:
- annotation: kiali.io/api-spec
icon_annotation: kiali.io/api-type
title: API Documentation
- annotation: kiali.io/owner
title: Owner
- annotation: kiali.io/email
title: Contact email
- annotation: kiali.io/channels
title: Contact channels
- annotation: kiali.io/app-admin
title: Admin link

The “API Documentation” link is already there if you haven’t changed the defaults. We’re adding “Owner”, “Contact email”, “Contact channels” and “Admin link”.

Note: there isn’t any restriction about the annotations written there. In this example, the kiali.io prefix helps to clarify what the annotations are for in the service templates, but it’s not mandatory.

Configuring your services or workloads

Now let’s configure our services or workloads accordingly. Here I have a “UI” service deployed on my cluster for an application called “Arena”. I’m adding these annotations in the Service metadata:

    kiali.io/owner: Arena frontend team
kiali.io/email: arena-ui@example.com
kiali.io/channels: https://discord.com/channels/751380286071242794/751380286071242797
kiali.io/app-admin: https://myadminpanel.example.com/arena

See the result in Kiali

My “UI” service details page

We can similarly annotate the workloads (deployments…) to get the same under the Workload detail page.

Kiali

Service Mesh Observability

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