OpenTelemetry provides a vendor-neutral open-source observability framework for generating and forwarding telemetry data. Commonly collected data includes traces, metrics, and logs. It also supports distributed tracing for tracing activity across multiple services. For more about OpenTelemetry distributed tracing, see the OpenTelemetry documentation.


The Observe OpenTelemetry app supports OpenTelemetry traces. Since OpenTelemetry logging is still under active development by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, ingest log data using another method, such as the Observe Kubernetes app.

The Observe OpenTelemetry app ingests your OpenTelemetry data for monitoring and troubleshooting application services, and makes it available in two places:

Use the Services Home dashboard to get a health overview of all of your microservices. To search for traces, use the Trace Explorer.

Viewing Service Performance in Observe#

The Services Home dashboard gives a high-level overview of your application services performance. You can quickly get insights into each service’s span rates, error rates, and latency.

Service Home dashboard showing span rate, error rate, and latency.

Figure 1 - The Service Home dashboard

Double-click on a span in the Service Summary table to see more detail in the Service Inspector.

  • Span Latency by Operation

  • A summary of span rate, error rate, and latency by Operation

  • Upstream Caller/Downstream Callee span rates

  • Slowest Spans

  • Spans with Errors

Service Inspector

Figure 2 - The Service Inspector

Double-click on an operation to inspect information such as span rate, error rate, latency, the slowest spans, and spans with errors.

Operations Inspector

Figure 3 - The Operations Inspector

Searching for and viewing traces in Observe#

See our overview of the Trace Explorer to learn more about this feature.

How the OpenTelemetry app makes your trace data available for use in Observe#

The OpenTelemetry app creates a Span dataset that can be used by the Trace Explorer. Here’s how the Span dataset is populated from OTel data:

This Trace Explorer feature…

Is powered by this Span dataset field from the OTel app…

Which is auto-populated from this OTel span data field:

Service facet filter & group by Service on charts


Operation facet filter & group by Operation on charts


Environment facet filter & group by Environment on charts



Version facet filter & group by Version on charts



Error chart, response status facet filter & group by response status on charts



Status code facet filter & group by status code on charts


attributes.http.status_code, attributes.rpc.status_code, attributes.grpc.status_code, or attributes.rpc.grpc.status_code

Status message facet filter



Duration chart


span.start_time_unix_nano and span.end_time_unix_nano

Explore OpenTelemetry Metrics#

Observe collects and ingests OpenTelemetry metrics sent by application services, as well as any receivers you may have configured in your collector, for example, hostmetricsreceiver.

Service metrics are also automatically linked to OpenTelemetry services, enabling users to quickly troubleshoot application environments.

Metrics Dataset

Figure 8 - Metrics Dataset (services)

You can visualize these metrics through the Metric Explorer, add them to dashboards and worksheets, and configure monitors.

Metrics Explorer

Figure 8 - Metrics Explorer