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Generate and View Traffic from Istio

The Kiali Traffic Graph

The Istio overview page provides a link to the Kiali dashboard. From the Kiali dashboard, you can view graphs for each namespace. The Kiali graph provides a powerful way to visualize the topology of your Istio service mesh. It shows you which services communicate with each other.


To enable traffic to show up in the graph, ensure that you have Prometheus installed in the cluster. Rancher-istio installs Kiali, and configures it by default to work with the rancher-monitoring chart. You can use rancher-monitoring or install your own monitoring solution.

Additionally, for Istio installations version 103.1.0+up1.19.6 and later, Kiali uses a token value for its authentication strategy. If you are trying to generate or retrieve the token (e.g. for login), note that the name of the Kiali service account in Rancher is kiali. For more information, refer to the Kiali token authentication FAQ.

Optional: You can configure which namespaces data scraping occurs in by setting the Helm chart options described in Selectors & Scrape Configs.

Traffic Visualization

To see the traffic graph follow the steps below:

  1. In the cluster where Istio is installed, click Istio in the left navigation bar.
  2. Click the Kiali link.
  3. Click on Graph in the side nav.
  4. Change the namespace in the Namespace dropdown to view the traffic for each namespace.

If you refresh the URL to the BookInfo app several times, you should be able to see green arrows on the Kiali graph showing traffic to v1 and v3 of the reviews service. The control panel on the right side of the graph lets you configure details including how many minutes of the most recent traffic should be shown on the graph.

For additional tools and visualizations, you can go to Grafana, and Prometheus dashboards from the Monitoring Overview page