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Send data using OpenTelemetry Protocol (OTLP)

In this guide, you’ll learn how to send data through OTLP to Grafana Cloud. You can send telemetry data in two ways:

  • Using the OpenTelemetry Collector
  • Using OpenTelemetry SDKs to instrument your application

After you send data to your Grafana Cloud stack, you can query it using your hosted Prometheus, Loki, or Tempo data sources.

Before you begin

  • Instrument an application with OpenTelemetry SDKs or install the OpenTelemetry Collector.
  • Create an Access Policy token with the metrics:write, logs:write and/or traces:write scopes, depending on the data you will be sending.
  • Open the Cloud Portal, and click Configure on the OpenTelemetry card. Make a note of the following values associated with your instance:
    • Instance ID (e.g. 130834)
    • OTLP Endpoint URL (e.g. https://otlp-gateway-prod-us-central-0.grafana.net/otlp)

Examples in this topic

The examples in this topic are based on the following Grafana Cloud instance.

OpenTelemetry connection details example

Push using the OpenTelemetry Collector

To export to Grafana Cloud, add the otlphttp exporter with a basicauth extension to the collector.

Note

To use the basicauth extension, choose a suitable collector distribution that contains the extension, such as otelcol-contrib.

The following sample shows how to add the otlphttp exporter to the collector. Using the example image above, the instanceID is 130834 and the endpoint is https://otlp-gateway-prod-us-central-0.grafana.net/otlp.

yaml
extensions:
  basicauth/otlp:
    client_auth:
      username: <instanceID>
      password: <Cloud Access Policy token>

exporters:
  otlphttp:
    auth:
      authenticator: basicauth/otlp
    endpoint: <OTLP Endpoint URL>

service:
  extensions: [basicauth/otlp]
  pipelines:
    metrics:
      receivers: [...]
      processors: [...]
      exporters: [..., otlphttp]
    traces:
      receivers: [...]
      processors: [...]
      exporters: [..., otlphttp]
    logs:
      receivers: [...]
      processors: [...]
      exporters: [..., otlphttp]

Note

The endpoints should contain the following: /v1/traces or /v1/metrics , or /v1/logs appended to the endpoint, similar to the following example. https://otlp-gateway-prod-eu-west-3.grafana.net/otlp/v1/traces Token scopes required for each endpoint.

Push directly from applications using the OpenTelemetry SDKs

In typical OTel architectures, the applications write to the collector, and the collector writes to Grafana Cloud. We recommend using the collector in the pipeline where possible because it enables you to batch, aggregate, clean up, and route the data.

However, if you want to bypass the collector, you can configure the OpenTelemetry SDKs to use environment variables to push directly to Grafana Cloud.

  • OTEL_EXPORTER_OTLP_PROTOCOL needs to be set to http/protobuf
  • OTEL_EXPORTER_OTLP_ENDPOINT should be set to <OTLP Endpoint URL>
  • OTEL_EXPORTER_OTLP_HEADERS should be set to Basic <base64 instanceID:token>

To automatically obtain those values, click on Generate Now in the Password / API Token section. As a result, the Environment Variable section will be populated with environment variables necessary to send data directly to Grafana Cloud.

OpenTelemetry OTLP Environment Variables

Note

Language specific guides can be found here.

See OTLP format considerations for information about metrics and logs conversion.

Visualize OpenTelemetry data in Application Observability

Visualize OpenTelemetry telemetry data in Application Observability to detect anomalies, identify root causes, and fix problems in services and applications.