About Grafana Tempo

Grafana Tempo lets you scale tracing as far as possible with minimal operational cost and less complexity than ever before.

The easiest way to get started is with Grafana Cloud, our fully composable observability stack.

Introduction to Grafana Tempo

Grafana Tempo is an open source, easy-to-use, and high-scale distributed tracing backend. Tempo is cost-efficient, requiring only object storage to operate, and is deeply integrated with Grafana, Prometheus, and Loki. Tempo can ingest common open source tracing protocols, including Jaeger, Zipkin, and OpenTelemetry.

The Tempo project was started at Grafana Labs and announced at Grafana ObservabilityCON in October 2020. It became generally available with the 1.0 release in June 2021. Tempo is released under the AGPLv3 license.

Grafana Labs is proud to lead the development of the Tempo project, building first-class support for Tempo into Grafana, and ensuring Grafana Labs customers receive Tempo support and features they need.

The Goal
Sample 100% of our read path
The Problem
Scaling existing solutions
The Solution

Traditional distributed tracing tools

  • Challenging to scale Requires a database like Elasticsearch or Cassandra that can be tough to manage and costly to operate at scale
  • Expensive Paying to index and store traces
  • Requires manual instrumentation Existing tools need to be manually configured

Tempo’s approach

  • Built for massing scale The only dependency is object storage which provides affordable long term storage of traces
  • Cost-effective Not indexing the traces makes it possible to store orders of magnitude more trace data for the same cost
  • Strong integration with open source tools Compatible with open source tracing protocols

How does Grafana Tempo work?

Built on open source, driven by the community

active users


Active users



GitHub stars




Meet the Grafana Tempo contributors

Grafana Labs is proud to lead the development of the Tempo project. And we’re hiring!

Choose the version that works best for you

To use Grafana Traces, you have three options:

Grafana Tempo

High-volume, minimal-dependency tracing backend.

Install, administer, and maintain your own instance.

Easiest way to get started

Cloud Traces

Offered as a fully managed service, Grafana Cloud Traces is an easy-to-use, massively scalable distributed tracing backend.

Managed and administered by Grafana Labs with free and paid options for individuals, teams, and large enterprises.

Get up to 50GB of traces at no cost in the free tier of Grafana Cloud.

Enterprise Traces

A scalable, secure, self-managed tracing service.

A self-managed option for organizations that have special requirements around data localization and privacy.

TempWhat? Temp OHHHH!