Grafana Cloud

Set up production instrumentation for PHP

Follow these steps set up production Application Observability with a telemetry collector:

  1. Install the instrumentation library
  2. Configure an application
  3. Set up a telemetry data collector
  4. Run the application
  5. Observe the service in Application Observability


For a quick and easy local development setup, consult the quickstart documentation.

Application Observability - Architecture

Install the instrumentation library

The OpenTelemetry PHP extension requires the following to be installed:

Install the latest release of the OpenTelemetry PHP extension:

pecl install opentelemetry

Install the protobuf extension for improved OTLP exporter performance:

pecl install protobuf

Add the extensions to php.ini:


Install required packages via composer, including auto-instrumentation for the Slim framework:

composer require \
  open-telemetry/sdk \
  open-telemetry/exporter-otlp \
  open-telemetry/opentelemetry-auto-slim \

If Composer autoloading is not already enabled, modify the application entrypoint to include this line:

require __DIR__ . '/vendor/autoload.php';


A number of popular PHP libraries have auto-instrumention packages available, including Laravel and WordPress. You can find the full list here.

Configure an application

Next, customize the following shell script to configure an application:


export OTEL_SERVICE_NAME=<Service Name> export OTEL_RESOURCE_ATTRIBUTES=deployment.environment=<Environment>,service.namespace=<Namespace>,service.version=<Version>,<Instance>

export OTEL_PHP_AUTOLOAD_ENABLED=true export OTEL_TRACES_EXPORTER=otlp export OTEL_METRICS_EXPORTER=otlp export OTEL_LOGS_EXPORTER=otlp export OTEL_PROPAGATORS=baggage,tracecontext php -S localhost:8080

  1. Choose a Service Name to identify the service, for example cart
  2. Add attributes to filter data:
    • deployment.environment: Name of the deployment environment (staging or production)
    • service.namespace: A namespace to group similar services (e.g. shop would create shop/cart in Application Observability)
    • service.version: The application version, to see if a new version has introduced a bug
    • The unique instance, for example the Pod name (a UUID is generated by default)
  1. Replace php -S localhost:8080 with the start command that runs the application to instrument

Set up a telemetry data collector

In production environments, a robust and flexible observability setup needs to process telemetry data before ingestion into databases. Follow the collector setup documentation to set up a collector to process and send telemetry data to Application Observability.

Finally, set the following environment variables from the exporter configuration:

export OTEL_EXPORTER_OTLP_ENDPOINT=<host>http://localhost:4318, remote host addressThe default local host address, or a remote host address.
export OTEL_EXPORTER_OTLP_PROTOCOL=<protocol>grpc, http/protobufThe default http/protobuf protocol or grpc

For example, for a local Grafana Alloy:

export OTEL_EXPORTER_OTLP_ENDPOINT=http://localhost:4317

Run the application

Finally, run the application with the shell script and make some requests to the service to send data to Grafana Cloud.

Observe the service in Application Observability

Open Application observability:

  1. Navigate to a stack https://<your-stack-name.>
  2. Expand the top left menu below the Grafana logo
  3. Click on Application

Activate metrics generation

Application Observability relies on metrics generated from traces already sent to Grafana Cloud Traces.

Metrics generation is self-serve, and can be enabled during onboarding and disabled from Application Observability configuration.

To complete the setup, click Activate Application Observability to enable metrics generation.

Enable metrics generation


After activating Application Observability and enabling metrics generation, it might take up to five minutes to generate metrics and show graphs.

Visualize and discover

Discover more about Application Observability in the documentation:

  • Service Inventory: filter, and search services and view RED metrics.
  • Service Overview: traces, logs, RED metrics, operations, and runtime information.
  • Service Map: graph of connected services, service dependencies, and data flow.