A lot of what you read around the topic of Observability mentions the benefits and potential of analyzing data, but little about how you collect it. This process is called “instrumentation” and broadly involves collecting events in infrastructure and code that include metrics, logs, and traces. There are of course dozens of methods, frameworks, and tools to help you collect the events that are important to you, and this post begins a series looking at some of those. This post focuses on introductory concepts, setting up the dependencies needed, and generating some basic metrics. Later posts will take these concepts further.
An Introduction to Metrics Data
Different vendors and open source projects created their own ways to represent the event data they collect. While this remains true, there are increased efforts to create portable standards that everyone can use and add their features on top of but retain interoperability. The key project is OpenTelemetry from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). This blog series will use the OpenTelemetry specification and SDKs, but collect and export a variety of the formats it handles.