The Future of OpenTelemetry for Observability

The surveillance landscape is changing. Today’s digital transformation journey has highlighted the need for monitoring capability as organizations look to capture, analyze, and connect all data across every level of the application suite including logs, metrics, traces, and events. With the exponential rise in data, collecting these signals is essential for both business insights and system optimization.

Over the past several years, open source data collection has given software and engineering teams the freedom to decide which technologies they want to standardize for data collection and which vendors they want to send the data to. While open source data collection brought a lot of freedom and advantages, it also created some new problems. The lack of a single comprehensive framework for all the critical signals tracked has created a lot of friction for developers. As we head into the new year, companies are taking the opportunity to think about how they can better use their data and apply intelligence to help customers make decisions and check all the noise. Enter OpenTelemetry.

What is OpenTelemetry?

OpenTelemetry is a set of tools, APIs, and SDKs that create, collect, and export all device data; It was born out of the need to develop an industry-wide standard for software hardware. By leveraging a single native cloud framework to complement the monitoring capability, OpenTelemetry has become the gold standard for device data collection.

OpenTelemetry consists of three basic components: specification, assembly, and instrumentation. The specification uses the API, SDK, semantic conventions, and the OpenTelemetry protocol to define cross-language requirements for all implementations. Collector removes the need for multiple data collection agents. It is the seller’s neutral way of receiving, processing, transforming, and exporting data. Device libraries allow users to integrate their applications with OpenTelemetry using automated tools and support from multiple frameworks and languages. Together, they provide a powerful framework for companies to disrupt and amplify current observational practices further.

It’s all about customers

Most modern organizations have complex distributed microservices made up of tens, hundreds, or thousands of components that all work together to deliver the customer experience. If organizations cannot easily connect these different components or signals, they will slow down a The company’s ability to effectively monitor, diagnose, and troubleshoot problems.

For years, organizations have turned to observability by relying on multiple infrastructure vendors to collect, enrich, and ship data to the vendors. However, many still do not increase the power of the most obvious observation: the linking of complex systems and signals.

Since end users want to gain insight into their data, they also expect vendors to provide the best experience to identify and solve problems within their systems with the help of observability. With true observability, organizations can take customers back in time to focus on what matters, which is managing their customers’ digital experiences and empowering them to meet their customers’ needs.

Similar to adoption

Just as Kubernetes has been essential to the growing adoption of software containers, the industry is already seeing the same adoption approach around OpenTelemetry for observability. Kubernetes won the war to become the standard for container organization. Now, OpenTelemetry will offer the same parameters required for observation with a comprehensive view of the health and performance of each layer of the stack.

OpenTelemetry has been widely adopted by the software development community, but it is still at the very beginning of its journey. The developer community has made Kubernetes a success, and we’ll see the same with OpenTelemetry as customers demand better integration and less locking. For application and software vendors—from traditional approaches like application performance management to software development pipelines and management tools to cloud-native services—OpenTelemetry support will be critical in the future.

With broad portability, greater control for developers, and strong support for vendors and cloud service providers, OpenTelemetry has opened up a new world for customers by helping to improve achievable outcomes across application infrastructure, from the software development process to areas such as security.

How can companies continue to move the needle in observability while balancing increasing customer demands? Quite simply: If organizations are not considering OpenTelemetry now, they are losing the competitive advantage by not having the proper vision to deliver the service level goals that customers expect in this day and age.

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