Tempo has the ability to compress traces that it pushes into the backend. This requires a bit extra memory and cpu but seriously reduces the amount of stored data. Anecdotal tests suggest that zstd will cut your storage costs to ~15% of the uncompressed amount. It is highly recommended to use the default zstd.

Compression is configured under storage like so:

      encoding: zstd

The following options are supported:

  • none
  • gzip
  • lz4-64k
  • lz4-256k
  • lz4-1M
  • lz4
  • snappy
  • zstd

It is important to note that although all of these compression formats are supported in Tempo, at Grafana we use zstd and it’s possible/probable that the other compression algorithms may have issue at scale. Please file an issue if you stumble upon any problems!

WAL (Experimental)

The WAL also supports compression. By default this is turned off because it comes with a small performance penalty. However, it does reduce disk i/o and adds checksums to the WAL which are valuable in higher volume installations.

      encoding: none

If WAL compression is turned on it is recommend to use snappy. All of the above options are supported.