Open source

TraceQL metrics


TraceQL metrics is an experimental feature. Engineering and on-call support is not available. Documentation is either limited or not provided outside of code comments. No SLA is provided. Enable the feature toggle in Grafana to use this feature. Contact Grafana Support to enable this feature in Grafana Cloud.

Tempo 2.4 introduces the addition of metrics queries to the TraceQL language as an experimental feature. Metric queries extend trace queries by applying a function to trace query results. This powerful feature creates metrics from traces, much in the same way that LogQL metric queries create metrics from logs. Initially, only count_over_time and rate are supported.

For example:

{ = "foo" && status = error } | rate()

In this case, we are calculating the rate of the erroring spans coming from the service foo. Rate is a spans/sec quantity. Combined with the by() operator, this can be even more powerful!

{ = "foo" && status = error } | rate() by (span.http.route)

Now, we are still rating the erroring spans in the service foo but the metrics have been broken down by HTTP endpoint. This might let you determine that /api/sad had a higher rate of erroring spans than /api/happy, for example.

Enable and use TraceQL metrics

You can use the TraceQL metrics in Grafana with any existing or new Tempo data source. This capability is available in Grafana Cloud and Grafana (10.4 and newer).

Metrics visualization in Grafana

Before you begin

To use the metrics generated from traces, you need to:

  • Set the local-blocks processor to active in your metrics-generator configuration
  • Configure a Tempo data source configured in Grafana or Grafana Cloud
  • Access Grafana Cloud or Grafana 10.4

Configure the local-blocks processor

Once the local-blocks processor is enabled in your metrics-generator configuration, you can configure it using the following block to make sure it records all spans for TraceQL metrics.

Here is an example configuration:

      filter_server_spans: false
    path: /tmp/tempo/generator/wal
    path: /tmp/tempo/generator/traces

Refer to the metrics-generator configuration documentation for more information.

Evaluate query timeouts

Because of their expensive nature, these queries can take a long time to run in different systems. As such, consider increasing the timeouts in various places of the system to allow enough time for the data to be returned.

Consider these areas when raising timeouts:

  • Any proxy in front of Grafana
  • Grafana data source for Prometheus pointing at Tempo
  • Tempo configuration
    • server.http_server_read_timeout
    • server.http_server_write_timeout

Additionally, a new query_frontend.metrics config has been added. The config here will depend on the environment.

For example, in a cloud environment, smaller jobs with more concurrency may be desired due to the nature of scale on the backend.

        concurrent_jobs: 1000
        target_bytes_per_job: 2.25e+08 # ~225MB
        interval: 30m0s

For an on-prem backend, you can improve query times by lowering the concurrency, while increasing the job size.

        concurrent_jobs: 8
        target_bytes_per_job: 1.25e+09 # ~1.25GB