Getting Started With OpenTelemetry

As cloud-native apps have proliferated, so has the challenge of monitoring their performance and availability. OpenTelemetry is the software industry's attempt to solve the observability problem.

Learn best practices and understand what observability can do for your organization by reading the Getting Started with OpenTelemetry tech paper.


Standardized tools for observability

FluxAPIs and SDKs

OpenTelemetry has programming language-specific APIs and SDKs that instrument your application’s code and generate telemetry data. SDKs act as a bridge between the API and exporting your telemetry data.


The OpenTelemetry Collector comprises vendor- and language-agnostic receivers, processors, and exporters that work without the need to modify your application code.

OpenTelemetry Protocol

This is a specification that describes how to encode, transport, and deliver telemetry data between sources, intermediate nodes like collectors, and backends. It uses gRPC or HTTP.

OpenTelemetry key concepts

  • Instrumentation: Add an SDK to your application so it emits observability signals (typically logs, metrics, and trace spans).
  • Traces: A way to track a single transaction (for example, an API request or a periodic report job) as it moves through an application, or through a network of applications, for the purposes of debugging and optimizing.
  • Metrics: Point-in-time measurements that are collected at fixed time intervals and indicate performance.
  • Logs: Time-stamped records containing metadata about an application event.


OpenTelemetry Input Plugin

This Telegraf plugin receives traces, metrics and logs from OpenTelemetry clients and agents via gRPC.

InfluxDB and OpenTelemetry

InfluxData engineer Jacob Marble explains how developers are using OpenTelemetry in the InfluxDB time series platform.

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