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An introduction to observability in API management

Paul Jenkins
Senior Principal Product Manager

APIs are at the heart of a digital strategy. Keeping them operational and performing needs understanding and insight into the infrastructure supporting them.

API operation is part of the API lifecycle that governs design, creation, operation, and monetization of APIs. This lifecycle also involves different personas at different stages, and each has the following set of needs and information:

  • API designers need to understand, define, and document APIs.

  • Developers require a clear definition of requirements to implement the APIs.

  • Gateway managers are responsible for the operational aspects of the API lifecycle and need to have visibility into operational aspects, such as latency, number of calls, and backend error codes.

  • Product managers need to understand the adoption and consumption of APIs.

  • API consumers require visibility of available APIs, associated usage plans, performance, and availability data.

  • Lines of business need to see the business value that APIs bring in areas such as monetization, customer adoption, and new channel opportunities.

A graphic depicting the API Management Lifecycle, whom it involves, and steps of how it works.

In this blog, we look at the observability options available for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) API Gateway as part of the Operate phase of the API Management Lifecycle.

API Gateway observability

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Gateway is a fully managed native service that can use the OCI Observability Platform. API Gateway Managers can use supporting OCI observability services to gain insight into the operational aspects of API management, along with third-party services that customers might already use.

Monitoring

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Monitoring service enables you to actively and passively monitor your cloud resources using the metrics and alarms features. API Gateway service metrics help you measure the connections to API gateways and the quantity of data received and sent by API gateways. You can use metrics data to help diagnose and troubleshoot API gateway and API deployment issues.

To view a default set of metrics charts in the Console, navigate to the API gateway you want, and then click Metrics. You can find the available API Gateway metrics in the documentation.

 A graphic depicting a monitor showing the Metrics page in the Console.

You also can use the Monitoring service to create custom queries.

Logging

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Logging service is a highly scalable and fully managed single pane of glass for all the logs in your tenancy. Logging provides access to logs from OCI resources. Based on Fluentd, the Logging service provides automatic indexing of logs and provides the capability to correlate log data across multiple services in an API call. These logs include critical diagnostic information that describes how resources are performing and being accessed. For details on getting started, see the Logging documentation.

API Gateway logging includes access and execution logs that are available for API Gateway deployments. For details, see the API Gateway logging documentation.

To view API Gateway logs in the Console, select a gateway, the deployment, and then click Logs.

A graphic depicting a monitor showing the logs for weatherAccess in the OCI Console.

Log analytics

Oracle Cloud Logging Analytics provides multiple ways of gaining operational insights from your logs. You can use the Log Explorer UI to search and explore log information and aggregate into dashboards. For the prerequisite configuration tasks to use Log Analytics, see the documentation.

Log Analytics has Oracle prebuilt parsers and source for API Gateway. Currently, API Gateway logs can be automatically ingested using Object Storage buckets. You can stream API Gateway logs to Object Storage using the Service Connector Hub.

A graphic depicting a monitor showing the Web API Gateway Dashboard in the Console.

Grafana

Grafana is a popular technology for dashboarding operations and visualizing metrics and logs. Customers using Grafana can now use these plugins for visualizing metrics and logs from Monitoring and Logging services in a single pane of glass. The OCI Grafana plugins are free and available for download from the Grafana plugin store. API Gateway metrics and logs are displayed in a Grafana Dashboard. This blog post gives an overview.

A graphic depicting a monitor showing the Monitoring and Logging services running in the Grafana dashboard.

Learn more

To learn more about API Management, visit our Cloud Native API Management site.

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