The Business Case for OpenTelemetry – APM for Modern Applications

By: Stackify
  |  March 28, 2024
Business Case for OpenTelemetry

DevOps professionals know that ensuring optimal application performance is paramount. More and more customers and prospects interact with companies online, and any hiccup can impact your bottom line. What’s more, companies continue to leverage cloud-native apps for improved flexibility and resource optimization. All of which means that Application Performance Monitoring (APM) tools need to evolve.

The introduction of OpenTelemetry extends traditional APM solutions with a suite of benefits that empower DevOps to efficiently troubleshoot and maximize app performance for all business-critical and cloud-native apps. This combination enriches code optimization strategies, simplifies DevOps practices and makes OpenTelemetry (OTel) a vital component in modern APM solutions.

Standardization for APM – OpenTelemetry

Industry standards drive vendors to create interoperable solutions, which fuel mass consumption and market success. Once interoperability replaces proprietary tech, manufacturing is simplified, alternative vendors enter the market, competition rises and prices fall. In addition, standardization generally makes ongoing product use and maintenance easier, which also contributes to overall market growth.

OpenTelemetry is an open-source observability framework of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and an emerging standard. While not officially approved by any global standards organization – ISO, IEEE, IEC, ITU – a CNCF initiative as popular as OTel will certainly become a formal standard. And for the APM market as a whole, the impact of OTel can not be overstated.

APM tools with OTel offer standardized data collection and transmission processes for advanced, modern applications. By capturing traces, metrics and logs from distributed, cloud-native apps, OTel ensures DevOps teams get a unified and comprehensive view of APM metrics, regardless of the environment or platform in use. End-to-end observability is key for optimizing business apps and ensuring a great user experience.

The Business Case for OpenTelemetry

From vendors and developers creating APM tools to the companies and individuals using APM tools, OTel is truly a game changer.

Whether or not your company sells online, the number of consumers who “shop” online before making purchases continues to grow. Vendors of all sizes need to ensure that anyone visiting their website has an excellent user experience. And that user experience isn’t exclusive to a company’s website. 

Every business interacts with prospects, customers, employees and other stakeholders via software applications. Therefore, all businesses need to ensure that every business app operates at peak performance, whether used by prospects and customers or the internal teams that support the customer experience. In short, no business can afford missing out on sales opportunities because of poor application performance. 

Top 4 Business Drivers for OpenTelemetry

As mentioned above, OTel impacts all levels within APM vendor and user communities. Here are 4 of the top drivers for adopting OTel.

The CNCF Community

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation is the name in cloud computing and has major buy-in from every leading cloud service provider. Industry support from Google, AWS, Microsoft Azure and others fuels the inevitable, formal standardization of OTel. And even before official adoption, the benefits of standardization are readily available.

The large, active and supportive CNCF community simplifies and streamlines how vendors, developers and thereby customers reap benefits from OTel. An open source initiative, OTel adds portability to APM. Business customers get greater flexibility in how they extract value from APM data and can easily shift vendors to maximize their APM investments.

Portability extends to developers, too. Access to the CNCF community helps developers grow and support their OTel skills, which is important when moving from one job to the next. Finally, the combination of open source technologies, a great developer community and eventual standardization grows the talent pool for developers, which is good for companies, as well as individual careers.

Vendor Agnostic

OpenTelemetry simplifies how users consume APM data by providing a standard, vendor agnostic approach for importing data and transport protocols for exporting data. Businesses are under pressure to use data-driven decision making to create competitive advantages or be left behind. OpenTelemetry removes vendor lock-in, expands the options for how users analyze and apply APM data, which ultimately improves data-driven decision making.

Accelerator for Data Use

Businesses generate mountains of data, and many businesses struggle with how to utilize data to its fullest extent. By standardizing the capture and export of APM data, open source technologies, and OTel specifically, accelerate the usability of data.

OpenTelemetry standardizes the way businesses instrument applications for generating telemetry data (traces, metrics and logs) and extends APM data collection into hard-to-reach, cloud-native apps. With APM data in a standardized format, OTel enables:

  • Full-stack observability into all application environments
  • Freedom to use any number of APM or analytics tools to analyze app data
  • Flexibility for visualizing user and app performance trends (with graphs and charts)
  • Simplified distributed tracing for advanced troubleshooting
  • Improved root cause analysis
  • A better way to fully leverage valuable APM data

Jumpstart How You Improve APM Data Usability

Implementing OTel in your business is actually pretty simple, because so much of the technical work is already done. OpenTelemetry provides a consistent instrumentation layer for your entire application stack, including open source frameworks and libraries. As an open-source initiative, APIs and SDKs are readily available for nearly all of the most popular programming languages. And the CNCF community is actively expanding and adding greater breadth and depth to available technical resources.

Businesses still need to add business-specific capabilities, so how they leverage OTel fits objectives and needs. One of those needs is exactly how you enable standardized data capture and export for your chosen APM or analytics tool.

The Netreo OTel Appliance

The Netreo OTel Appliance simplifies instrumentation of cloud-native apps deployed on modern infrastructures from hyperscalers, like AWS, Azure and GCP. With standardized data ingestion and export, the Netreo OTel Appliance is vendor agnostic and ideal for current users of the Retrace full lifecycle APM solution. 

Leveraging the OTel Appliance, businesses easily connect with any host to create a single pane of glass view of OTel metrics in Retrace or the business’ current APM tool. The Netreo OTel Appliance provides expanded user benefits that enable businesses to easily optimize cloud-based apps and services across today’s most popular cloud environments:

True Observability – Capturing, processing and analyzing telemetry data improves how you optimize application performance with current APM solutions and extends troubleshooting, root cause analysis, issue resolution and how you deliver a great user experience into cloud-native apps.

Data Flexibility – Greater control of APM data enables you to fine tune performance monitoring for business-specific needs, plus extends the usability of APM data for longer term use, including trend analysis, visualizations, reporting and more.

Extensibility – Quickly and easily extend instrumentation to every language OTel supports for end-to-end, code-level tracing and troubleshooting of cloud-native apps in microservices architectures, serverless and advanced container environments.

Trust – Improve the user experience when managing apps in today’s most complex business networks with Retrace’s extensive combination APM features and tools:

  • Detailed App Tracing
  • Centralized Logging
  • Application Error Tracking
  • Fully Integrated Alerts
  • Critical Metrics Monitoring
  • Real User Monitoring
  • Deployment Tracking
  • and more

See how easy Retrace with the Netreo OTel Appliance delivers all the benefits of OpenTelemetry by starting your FREE trial today.

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