SkyWalking showcase

This showcase repository includes an example music application and other manifests to demonstrate the main features of SkyWalking. The music application is composed of several microservices that are written in different programming languages. Here is the architecture:

%% please read this doc in our official website, otherwise the graph is not correctly rendered. 
graph LR;
  loadgen[load generator] --> ui("UI (React)") --> app("app server (NodeJS)") --> gateway("gateway (Spring)");
  gateway --> songs("songs (Spring)") & rcmd("recommendations (Python)");
  rcmd --> songs;
  songs --> db("database (H2)");


The showcase uses GNU Make and Docker containers to run commands, so please make sure you have make installed and Docker daemon running.


To deploy the full features of this showcase application, you may need up to 4 CPU cores and 4 GB memory, please increase the Docker daemon resources or Kubernetes cluster resources if you find containers / Pods failed to start up. Alternatively, you can also only deploy part of the features that interest you if you don’t want to increase the resources, via the guide in Customization.

Quick Start

Make sure you have a running Kubernetes cluster and kubectl can access to that cluster.

git clone
cd skywalking-showcase
make deploy.kubernetes

This will install SkyWalking components, including OAP in cluster mode with 2 nodes, SkyWalking RocketBot UI, microservices with SkyWalking agent, microservices without SkyWalking agent but managed by Istio, 2 Pods to mimic virtual machines and export metrics to SkyWalking, and enable kubernetes cluster monitoring as well as SkyWalking self observability.

For more advanced deployments, check Customization documentation below.

Notice, when run this showcase locally such as KinD, the images are downloaded inside the KinD, which could take over 10 mins(depend on local network). Rerun make deploy.kubernetes if some timeout errors break the process.


The variables defined in can be overridden to customize the showcase, by specifying an environment variable with the same name, e.g.:

export ES_VERSION=7.14.0
make <target>

or directly specifying in the make command, e.g.: make <target> ES_VERSION=7.14.0.

Run make help to get more information.


The showcase is composed of a set of scenarios with feature flags, you can deploy some of them that interest you by overriding the FEATURE_FLAGS variable defined in, as documented in Customization, e.g.:

make deploy.kubernetes FEATURE_FLAGS=single-node,agent

Feature flags for different platforms (Kubernetes and Docker Compose) are not necessarily the same so make sure to specify the right feature flags.

Currently, the features supported are:

Name Description Note
agent Deploy microservices with SkyWalking agent enabled. The microservices include agents for Java, NodeJS server, browser, Python.
cluster Deploy SkyWalking OAP in cluster mode, with 2 nodes, and SkyWalking RocketBot UI, ElasticSearch as storage. Only one of cluster or single-node can be enabled.
single-node Deploy only one single node of SkyWalking OAP, and SkyWalking RocketBot UI, ElasticSearch as storage. Only one of cluster or single-node can be enabled.
so11y Enable SkyWalking self observability. This is enabled by default for platform Docker Compose.
vm Start 2 virtual machines and export their metrics to SkyWalking. The “virtual machines” are mimicked by Docker containers or Pods.
als Start microservices WITHOUT SkyWalking agent enabled, and configure SkyWalking to analyze the topology and metrics from their access logs. Command istioctl is required to run this feature. The agentless microservices will be running at namespace ${NAMESPACE}-agentless
kubernetes-monitor Deploy OpenTelemetry and export Kubernetes monitoring metrics to SkyWalking for analysis and display on UI.
istiod-monitor Deploy OpenTelemetry and export Istio control plane metrics to SkyWalking for analysis and display on UI.
event Deploy tools to trigger events, and SkyWalking Kubernetes event exporter to export events into SkyWalking.


To deploy the example application in Kubernetes, please make sure that you have kubectl command available, and it can connect to the Kubernetes cluster successfully.

If you don’t have a running cluster, you can also leverage KinD (Kubernetes in Docker) or minikube to create a cluster.

Run kubectl get nodes to check the connectivity before going to next step. The typical error message that indicates your kubectl cannot connect to a cluster is:

The connection to the server localhost:8080 was refused - did you specify the right host or port?


# Deploy
make deploy.kubernetes
# Undeploy
make undeploy.kubernetes
# Redeploy
make redeploy.kubernetes # equivalent to make undeploy.kubernetes deploy.kubernetes

Docker Compose


# Deploy
make deploy.docker
# Undeploy
make undeploy.docker
# Redeploy
make redeploy.docker # equivalent to make undeploy.docker deploy.docker