A practical tracing journey with OpenTelemetry on Node.js

This page summarizes the projects mentioned and recommended in the original post on dev.to

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  • Scientist

    :microscope: A Ruby library for carefully refactoring critical paths.

    But there's an even better option: run both libraries in production for real-world requests, and see if there's a meaningful gain from undici. I learnt this approach from GitHub's Scientist. Sadly, this article is about tracing, not experimentation, so I won't continue down that path now, but I hope to write another article about it soon. My implementation would probably be to have a switch that randomly picks one of the two libraries for each request. Then I'll compare the metrics and see which performs better over time.

  • opentelemetry-collector-contrib

    Contrib repository for the OpenTelemetry Collector

    Essentially, we've moved our 0.4 ratio config into the collector's probabilistic_sampler config (0.4 = 40%). The groupbytrace processor makes sure all child spans of a trace are included.

  • InfluxDB

    Power Real-Time Data Analytics at Scale. Get real-time insights from all types of time series data with InfluxDB. Ingest, query, and analyze billions of data points in real-time with unbounded cardinality.

  • zipkin

    Zipkin is a distributed tracing system

    Let's talk about the exporter. Because OTel is an open standard, you can theoretically export to any tool that supports the OTel API. For example, there's a ConsoleExporter included that prints traces to the console, but that's not very useful. There's an exporter to Elasticsearch, and you can write your own library to export to a file or database or whatever. However, two of the most popular options are Jaeger and Zipkin, and you can easily run them locally with Docker.

  • jaeger

    CNCF Jaeger, a Distributed Tracing Platform

    Let's talk about the exporter. Because OTel is an open standard, you can theoretically export to any tool that supports the OTel API. For example, there's a ConsoleExporter included that prints traces to the console, but that's not very useful. There's an exporter to Elasticsearch, and you can write your own library to export to a file or database or whatever. However, two of the most popular options are Jaeger and Zipkin, and you can easily run them locally with Docker.

  • opentelemetry-specification

    Specifications for OpenTelemetry

    If you aren't familiar with tracing, think of it as being able to look inside your service to see what's going on. If I could instrument my app, I'd be able to view traces of my requests, which would show details about what my app did and how much time it spent. I've used Elastic APM and Sentry for tracing before, and there are other vendors as well, but I decided to try OpenTelemetry.

  • WorkOS

    The modern identity platform for B2B SaaS. The APIs are flexible and easy-to-use, supporting authentication, user identity, and complex enterprise features like SSO and SCIM provisioning.

NOTE: The number of mentions on this list indicates mentions on common posts plus user suggested alternatives. Hence, a higher number means a more popular project.

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