SkyWalking is a distributed application performance monitoring (APM) tool and a distributed tracing system. This topic describes how to use SkyWalking to monitor an Alibaba Cloud Elasticsearch V7.4 cluster.

Background information

SkyWalking has the following features:
  • SkyWalking provides auto instrument agents so that you do not need to modify the application code.
    Note For the middleware and components supported by SkyWalking, see Apache SkyWalking documentation.
  • SkyWalking provides manual instrument agents that support OpenTracing SDKs. Manual instrument agents can monitor components supported by OpenTracing API for Java.
    Note For the components supported by OpenTracing API for Java, see OpenTracing Registry.
  • Auto instrument agents and manual instrument agents can be used at the same time. Manual instrument agents can monitor components that are not supported by auto instrument agents, and even private components.
  • SkyWalking is a Java-based backend program for analytics. It provides RESTful APIs and analytics capabilities for agents of other languages.
  • SkyWalking provides high-performance streaming analytics.
The following figure shows the SkyWalking architecture.SkyWalking architecture

SkyWalking is a platform for storing data analysis and measurement results. Data analysis and measurement results are submitted to SkyWalking Collector over HTTP or gRPC. SkyWalking Collecter analyzes and aggregates data and stores the data in Elasticsearch, H2, MySQL, or TiDB. You can view the analysis results on the SkyWalking UI. SkyWalking collects data in different formats from multiple sources, such as SkyWalking agents in multiple programming languages, Zipkin v1, Zipkin v2, Istio telemetry, and Envoy.

Note In this topic, SkyWalking is integrated into Alibaba Cloud Elasticsearch V7.4. You can also use a Skywalking client to report data to a Java application.


You have completed the following operations:
  • An Alibaba Cloud Elasticsearch cluster is created. Alibaba Cloud Elasticsearch V7.4 is used in this example,.

    For more information, see Create an Elasticsearch cluster.

  • A Linux server is prepared. The server is installed with JDK 1.8 or later.
    We recommend that you use an Alibaba Cloud Elastic Compute Service (ECS) instance. For more information, see Step 1: Create an ECS instance.
    Note For information about how to install JDK, see Install the JDK. If JDK is not correctly installed and you start SkyWalking to view logs, the error message "Java not found" or "java-xxx: No such file or directory" is reported.
  • Ports 8080, 10800, 11800, and 12800 on the Linux server are not occupied.
  • The firewall and Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) of the Linux server are disabled.


  1. Step 1: Download and install SkyWalking
  2. Step 2: Configure SkyWalking to connect to Alibaba Cloud Elasticsearch
  3. Step 3: Verify the results

Step 1: Download and install SkyWalking

  1. Download the SkyWalking package to the Linux server.
    We recommend that you select the latest version 7.0.0. Alibaba Cloud Elasticsearch V7.4 is used in this example. Therefore, Binary Distribution for ElasticSearch 7 is selected. Run the following command to download the package:
  2. Run the following command to decompress the package:
    tar -zxvf apache-skywalking-apm-es7-7.0.0.tar.gz
  3. Run the following command to view the decompressed files:
    ll apache-skywalking-apm-bin-es7/
    The following result is returned:
    total 92
    drwxrwxr-x 8 1001 1002 143 Mar 18 23:50 agent
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root   241 Apr 10 16:03 bin
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root   221 Apr 10 16:03 config
    -rwxrwxr-x 1 1001 1002 29791 Mar 18 23:37 LICENSE
    drwxrwxr-x 3 1001 1002  4096 Apr 10 16:03 licenses
    -rwxrwxr-x 1 1001 1002 32838 Mar 18 23:37 NOTICE
    drwxrwxr-x 2 1001 1002 12288 Mar 19 00:00 oap-libs
    -rw-rw-r-- 1 1001 1002  1978 Mar 18 23:37 README.txt
    drwxr-xr-x 3 root root    30 Apr 10 16:03 tools
    drwxr-xr-x 2 root root    53 Apr 10 16:03 webapp

Step 2: Configure SkyWalking to connect to Alibaba Cloud Elasticsearch

  1. Run the following commands to open the application.yml file in the config directory:
    cd apache-skywalking-apm-bin-es7/config/
    vi application.yml
  2. Locate storage, change H2 to elasticsearch7, and configure the file as follows:
      selector: ${SW_STORAGE:elasticsearch7}
        nameSpace: ${SW_NAMESPACE:"skywalking-index"}
        clusterNodes: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_CLUSTER_NODES:es-cn-4591kzdzk000i****}
        protocol: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_HTTP_PROTOCOL:"http"}
       # trustStorePath: ${SW_SW_STORAGE_ES_SSL_JKS_PATH:"../es_keystore.jks"}
       # trustStorePass: ${SW_SW_STORAGE_ES_SSL_JKS_PASS:""}
        enablePackedDownsampling: ${SW_STORAGE_ENABLE_PACKED_DOWNSAMPLING:true} # Hour and Day metrics will be merged into minute index.
        dayStep: ${SW_STORAGE_DAY_STEP:1} # Represent the number of days in the one minute/hour/day index.
        user: ${SW_ES_USER:"elastic"}
        password: ${SW_ES_PASSWORD:"es_password"}
    Note SkyWalking stores data in H2 by default. However, H2 does not support persistent data storage, and you must change H2 to Elasticsearch.
    Parameter Description
    selector The storage selector. For this example, set the value to elasticsearch7.
    nameSpace The namespace. The value of this parameter is used as the prefix for all indexes of the Elasticsearch cluster.
    clusterNodes The endpoint of the Elasticsearch cluster. Alibaba Cloud Elasticsearch is not in the same Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) as SkyWalking. You must use the public endpoint to access Elasticsearch. For more information, see View basic information of a cluster.
    user The username of your Elasticsearch cluster. The default username is elastic.
    password The password of your Elasticsearch cluster. The password is specified when you create the Elasticsearch cluster.
    Notice Specify only the username and password. Comment out trustStorePath and trustStorePass. Otherwise, the error message "NoSuchFileException: /es_keystore.jks" is reported.
  3. Optional:Modify the IP address or port for listening.
    By default, SkyWalking communicates with Elasticsearch over port 12800 for RESTful API operations and port 11800 for gRPC API operations. The IP address or port can be modified in the core part of theapplication.yml file. In this example, the default values are used.
      selector: ${SW_CORE:default}
        # Mixed: Receive agent data, Level 1 aggregate, Level 2 aggregate
        # Receiver: Receive agent data, Level 1 aggregate
        # Aggregator: Level 2 aggregate
        role: ${SW_CORE_ROLE:Mixed} # Mixed/Receiver/Aggregator
        restHost: ${SW_CORE_REST_HOST:}
        restHost: ${SW_CORE_REST_HOST:}
        restContextPath: ${SW_CORE_REST_CONTEXT_PATH:/}
        gRPCHost: ${SW_CORE_GRPC_HOST:}
        gRPCPort: ${SW_CORE_GRPC_PORT:11800}
  4. Optional:In the webapp directory, modify the configurations in the webapp.yml file.
    Default configurations are used in this example. You can modify the configurations as required.
      port: 8080
      path: /graphql
        ReadTimeout: 10000
        # Point to all backend's restHost:restPort, split by ,

Step 3: Verify the results

  1. Run the following commands to start SkyWalking on the Linux server:
    cd ../bin
    • Make sure that your Elasticsearch cluster is started before you start SkyWalking.
    • SkyWalking Collector and SkyWalking UI are both started by running the command.
    If SkyWalking is started, the following result is returned:
    SkyWalking OAP started successfully!
    SkyWalking Web Application started successfully!
  2. Enter http://<IP address of the Linux server>:8080/ in the address bar of your browser.
    Access SkyWalking
    Note When you use SkyWalking to connect to Alibaba Cloud Elasticsearch for the first time, the startup is slow. This is because SkyWalking needs to create a large number of indexes in Elasticsearch. Before the creation is complete, the accessed page is blank. You can view logs that are stored in <SkyWalking installation path>logs/skywalking-oap-server.log to check whether the creation is complete.
  3. Log on to the Kibana console of your Elasticsearch cluster. For more information, see Log on to the Kibana console. Run the GET _cat/indices? v command to view the index data.
    In the returned results, a large number of indexes starting with skywalking-index exist.Indexes starting with skywalking-index