What is OpenTelemetry?

OpenTelemetry is an open source observability framework for telemetry data, with the goal of increasing interoperability between various integrations and observability backends.

grafana opentelemetry

OpenTelemetry overview

A collection of tools, APIs, and SDKs, OpenTelemetry helps engineers instrument, generate, collect, and export telemetry data such as metrics, logs, and traces, in order to analyze software performance and behavior.

OpenTelemetry is the second most active project in the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), just behind Kubernetes.

Grafana Labs is proud to support the development of the OpenTelemetry project by employing OpenTelemetry contributors, building first-class support for OpenTelemetry into the Grafana LGTM Stack, and ensuring Grafana Labs customers receive OpenTelemetry support and features they need.

How OpenTelemetry works

OpenTelemetry provides instrumentation libraries and SDKs for instrumenting various programming languages and frameworks.

These libraries produce traces, metrics, and logs in a vendor-neutral standard format that can be forwarded to any OpenTelemetry-compliant monitoring backend.

how does grafana opentelemetry work

There are multiple options for setting up an OpenTelementry endpoint with Grafana

OpenTelemetry Collector
The OpenTelemetry Collector, an open source project maintained by the OpenTelemetry community, is an alternative to the Grafana Agent. The Collector’s OTLP receiver is production-ready, so this is our recommendation for setting up an OpenTelemetry endpoint today.
OpenTelemetry endpoint in Grafana Cloud
This is the easiest way to get started, enabling applications to send their metrics, traces, and logs directly to Grafana Cloud. Currently a beta feature, the OTLP endpoint in Grafana Cloud is not yet recommended for production use.
Grafana Agent’s otelcol.receiver.otlp receiver
Starting with version 0.29, the Grafana Agent provides an OTLP endpoint for receiving OpenTelemetry data. The receiver is implemented as a Grafana Agent Flow component. Agent Flow is currently experimental, not yet recommended for production use.

Why Grafana observability and OpenTelemetry?

OpenTelemetry offers vendor-neutral open source tools, SDKs, and standards for application observability. This is a perfect match for the Grafana observability platform’s “big tent” strategy of enabling interoperability and choice. The ability to bring together infrastructure and platform telemetry like Prometheus metrics from Kubernetes and application telemetry in a single, unified open source monitoring backend bridges the gap between operations and application developers – and provides new ways of collaboration and insights.
how does grafana opentelemetry work

Meet the OpenTelemetry contributors

Work with great people like these

Ready to get started?