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OpenTelemetry Helps Navigate Cloud-Native Complexities With Observability Standards | Ted Young, Lightstep


Handling telemetry data can be problematic, particularly when it is in different languages and from different sources. OpenTelemetry, an open source observability framework, aims to standardize how systems describe themselves, pulling together the three core signals (tracing, metrics, and logs) into a broad graph. This cuts down the time spent with trying to process searching and collecting the data, so developers can get to the source of problems quicker.

“Humans are not good at that kind of data processing. So, that is a very slow painful part of the process right now. OpenTelemetry provides all of that data connected together into a single correlated graph, which means it’s possible for people to now write analysis tools that do a lot of that data gathering and correlation analysis for you,” says Ted Young, Director of Developer Education at Lightstep, at this year’s KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe conference.

Key highlights of the video interview are:

  • Young discusses the basics of OpenTelemetry and how it helps with observability. He explains the challenges of handling telemetry data and some of the scenarios developers encounter. He discusses how OpenTelemetry helps to pull together the three core signals into a single data protocol.
  • The OpenTelemetry project aims to help ease some of the sticking points with Kubernetes and cloud native. Young details how OpenTelemetry works to solve some of the potential difficulties with Kubernetes and cloud native by standardizing how systems describe themselves.
  • Once all the data from the different sources has been connected into a broad graph, people can feed it into an analysis tool like LightStep. Young explains how this helps developers assess errors and find out what correlates with the errors so that they can find the source of the problem.
  • Young discusses the benefits of using OpenTelemetry and having the same standards and formats explaining itself as the applications.
  • Young describes the state of the OpenTelemetry project, what they are focusing on and the timeline for expanding the new features.
  • The CNCF landscape has a variety of observability tools, such as Prometheus or Jaeger. Young explains where OpenTelemetry fits in the context of these other projects and how they complement the other projects.

Connect with Ted Young (LinkedIn, Twitter)

The summary of the show is written by Emily Nicholls.

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