Microsoft adopts OpenTelemetry for Azure Monitor Application Insights –


Microsoft adopts OpenTelemetry for Azure Monitor Application Insights

Microsoft on Monday described efforts to bring OpenTelemetry metrics to Azure Monitor Application Insights, and possibly other Azure services.

The idea behind Microsoft’s support for OpenTelemetry is to provide “consistent API / SDKs in all languages” for users of Azure Monitor Application Insights when monitoring the performance of hosted applications. OpenTelemetry specifically focuses on a vendor independent way of surfacing traces, metrics and logs for cloud native applications.

Such an approach is necessary to standardize the collection of telemetry data, according to an OpenTelemetry document:

Traditionally, telemetry data has been provided by open source projects or commercial vendors. With a lack of standardization, the net result is the lack of data portability and the burden on the user to maintain the instrumentation.

Early stage support
Microsoft is still in its early stages of implementing OpenTelemetry standards in Azure Monitor Application Insights. Both ways of using OpenTelemetry – manual and automatic – are still under development.

On the manual instrumentation side, Microsoft has exporters in “VS#, JavaScript (Node.js), and Python“on its roadmap support plans for Azure Monitor Application Insights.

On the automatic instrumentation side, Microsoft currently only supports Java 3.X, which reached the commercial release stage of “general availability” in November 2020. C # and Python automatic instrumentations are currently being tested by the OpenTelemetry community.

Automatic instrumentation is a more convenient way to collect telemetry information. However, it is considered “less configurable” than the manual approach.

Microsoft is also working on Azure Monitor Application Insights to use the OpenTelemetry Protocol (OTLP), which would remove the current dependency on support for specific languages. Here’s how Microsoft explained the OTLP advantage:

Our goal is to provide a path for any language supported by OpenTelemetry to send to Azure Monitor via OTLP. This will allow customers to observe applications written in languages ​​other than our supported languages.

For now, and until support for OpenTelemetry is more advanced, Microsoft still recommends using its current Azure Monitor Application Insights SDKs if they require a “feature rich experience”:

If you are developing a new application and want to integrate Azure Monitor Application Insights with the most feature-rich experience, we recommend using the existing Application Insights SDKs for C # (ASP.NET or ASP.NET Core) and JavaScript (Node .js) or Python-OpenCensus.

Azure general support
Microsoft’s OpenTelemetry support is expected to expand to other Azure services, beyond Azure Monitor Application Insights, at some point.

“We are committed to making OpenTelemetry the future of telemetry instrumentation, and over time we expect Azure services and platform to adopt it more broadly,” says the announcement. .

OpenTelemetry is an “incubation project” of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), an organization of the Linux Foundation that supports the portability of cloud native applications.

Microsoft, a Platinum member of the CNCF, claims to be one of the “biggest contributors to OpenTelemetry”. A CNCF list of OpenTelemetry contributors confirms this statement, Microsoft being listed as the second developer contributor, just behind Splunk. Other contributors topping the long list of OpenTelemetry developers include names like Google, Amazon, and Red Hat.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is Senior News Producer for 1105 Media’s Converge360 Group.

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