Application Metrics with the OpenTelemetry SDKs | Honeycomb

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Application Metrics with the OpenTelemetry SDKs

This feature is available as part of the Honeycomb Enterprise and Pro plans.

The OpenTelemetry Metrics API is in “feature-freeze” status, targeting completion in the first half of 2022. As a result, all OpenTelemetry Metrics SDKs may still be subject to breaking changes. If you prefer stability, we recommend instrumenting your application with a Prometheus client library and using OpenTelemetry Collector to scrape those metrics and send them to Honeycomb. Learn more about receiving metrics from Prometheus.

How It Works 

OpenTelemetry SDKs have been implemented for various languages. They can collect a standard set of runtime metrics (for instance, information about memory usage, garbage collection, or parallelization). In some cases, they also instrument commonly used frameworks and libraries. They also provide an API allowing your application to custom metrics. OpenTelemetry SDKs can then be configured to send metrics to Honeycomb over OpenTelemetry Line Protocol (OTLP).

An architecture diagram depicting an application instrumented with OpenTelemetry SDK, which is sending data to Honeycomb over OTLP.

Instrumenting Your Application 

Refer to the OpenTelemetry SDK Documentation for your environment for details on how to instrument your application. You will need to enable an OTLP (OpenTelemetry Line Protocol) exporter and it should have:

  • a destination of
  • an x-honeycomb-team header with an API key that has write permissions
  • an x-honeycomb-dataset header with the name of the dataset you would like to send metrics to

Troubleshooting Metrics 

Metrics Sent to unknown_metrics 

If using Honeycomb and a metrics dataset is not specified, all metrics data will be sent to a dataset called unknown_metrics. Once you specify a metrics dataset, all metrics data will be sent to that dataset.

This troubleshooting scenario is not applicable to Honeycomb Classic users.

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