The OpenTelemetry project is an ambitious endeavor with of goal of bringing together various technologies to form a vendor neutral observability platform. Within the past year, many of the biggest names in tech provide native support within their commercial projects.
Formed through a merger of the OpenTracing and OpenCensus projects under the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), OpenTelemetry (powered by observIQ’s log agent, Stanza) aims to make rich data collections across applications easier and more consumable.
OpenTelemetry is an ecosystem of instrumentation libraries and tools that are used to generate, collect, process, and export telemetry data for analysis. OpenTelemetry helps you better understand your software behavior and performance.
OpenTelemetry provides a standard using open-source software to produce metrics from cloud-native infrastructure and applications. Using language-specific instrumentation libraries, signals can be exported directly from applications. Alternately, the OpenTelemetry Collector can capture signals from web frameworks, RPC systems, storage clients, and other applications in use.
OpenTelemetry can be used to capture logs, metrics, and traces. This allows you to observe the state of microservices within applications. You can trace requests as they flow between microservices, capture related events, and track resource usage of shared systems.
Another way OpenTelemetry is being used is to identify potential constraints, to create tiered requests within applications so shared resources can be prioritized.
The OpenTelemetry ecosystem makes real-life tasks easier. Here some examples:
Modern cloud-native applications and data are distributed. This can make it difficult to compile the data you need into a single source. OpenTelemetry solves this problem by tracing and extracting data cross-platform. By standardizing the way telemetry data is collected and transmitted, it creates a common instrumentation format across various services.
Managing the performance of these complex and diverse environments has become a significant concern for development teams. It takes instrumentation for all of your frameworks and libraries, across multiple programming languages, to understand the collective behavior of all your services and applications.
Without such a standard, teams may be left with data silos or blind spots that negatively impact troubleshooting. OpenTelemetry make the detection and resolution of problems easier. With complete interoperability, it provides a standard form of instrumentation across all of your services.
By providing a standard for observability for native cloud applications, OpenTelemetry can significantly reduce the amount of time developing and implementing mechanisms to collect application telemetry. This frees up developers to spend time working on enhancing features.
OpenTelemetry is used by developers to examine features and finds bugs. It provides several important benefits, including:
OpenTelemetry is made up of a series of components, including:
OpenTracing was a project undertaken by CNCF in 2016. It aimed to provide vendor-neutral ways of managing distributed tracing to help developers trace requests from start to finish.
The OpenCensus project, which Google made open source in 2018 after using it internally for their Census library, had much the same application.
observIQ’s Stanza Log Agent is a key part of the OpenTelemetry project. The log management platform is the first to take full advantage of the log agent technology that has been incorporated into OpenTelemetry.
observIQ accelerated the OpenTelemetry Project by contributing the Stanza open-source agent to the project as part of its effort to enable high-quality telemetry for all. Stanza is a small footprint, high capability, log shipping agent. It uses roughly 10% of the CPU and memory of other popular log agents.
You can sign up for a free trial of observIQ to see Stanza in action as a native component.
If you’re interested in taking part in the OpenTelemetry Project, join the GitHub community to get started.