Mar 11, 2024 • 2 min read

Highlight Pod #6: OpenTelemetry with Ben Sigelman

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Chris Esplin
Software Engineer

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Ben Sigelman's observability journey

Ben Sigelman got his start at Google in 2003, building out an observability tool within Google named Dapper in 2005.

In 2015, Ben's work at his observability startup named Lightstep, generated a new standards project named OpenTracing which eventually became OpenTelemetry.

From OpenTracing to OpenTelemetry

The journey to OpenTelemetry began with the need for a standardized way to collect monitoring data from cloud-native applications. Two open-source projects emerged to address this challenge: OpenTracing and OpenCensus. OpenTracing focused on distributed tracing, tracking requests across complex systems. OpenCensus, on the other hand, offered a wider scope, including tracing alongside metrics collection.

In 2019, recognizing the strengths of both projects and the benefits of a unified approach, OpenTracing and OpenCensus merged to form OpenTelemetry. This collaboration brought together their respective communities and fostered a single, well-supported solution for application observability. Today, OpenTelemetry is a thriving project under the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, offering a future-proof path for monitoring the complexities of modern software.


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