Top 6 Distributed tracing tools


Implementing distributed tracing allows anyone to see and understand how their system works, visualize the request flow, and rapidly fix issues. - Article by Kunal Chowdhury on

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The massive shift from monolithic to microservices architecture has caused a considerable demand for distributed tracing. Traditional monitoring tools were designed for monolithic applications, so they primarily provide insights into application performance rather than how a request flows through the application.

 

However, if you are working with a microservices architecture, it is crucial to track every user request and the path of the request flow across multiple applications.

 

Top 6 Distributed tracing tools

 

That is where distributed tracing proves to help achieve end-to-end visibility for solutions built on top of microservices architectures. Here is an analysis of the top 6 distributed tracing tools available in the market:

  1. Serverless360
  2. App Insights
  3. SigNoz
  4. Site 24x7
  5. New Relic
  6. Lightstep

 

 

Serveress360

Serverless360 is an enterprise cloud management tool used for distributed tracing on Azure or hybrid applications. It traces the request flowing through multiple services of your application, captures the necessary properties at each stage, and distinguishes itself from other tracing tools by providing a unified view of how the user requests are performing at different systems.

 

Furthermore, Security is never an issue with Serverless360 BAM because the tracked data and the message details will be stored either in Azure SQL Database or Blob Storage and not in the platform (Serverless360).

 

 

Features:

  • Achieve end-to-end tracking and application dependency mapping for distributed services in your Azure/hybrid application.
  • Visualize the tracked data in the form of visually appealing charts with real-time dashboards.
  • Diagnose bottlenecks with complete visibility of how your application processes the message requests.
  • Monitor the transactions on certain exceptions and queries and get alerted whenever the set threshold limit is violated.
  • If any failed transaction is detected, you can reprocess it for a successful resubmission without relying on an Azure expert team.
  • View the entire list of failed transactions in a separate tab and perform quicker corrective actions.
  • The advanced filtering option retrieves any transaction data based on fundamental values (For instance, an employee id if you have an employee onboarding system).
  • Serverless360 supports integrating with various tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, PagerDuty, ServiceNow, etc.

 

You can either try out the 15-day free trial or book a demo!

 

 

Application Insights

The Application Map feature makes App Insights partially suitable for distributed tracing, helping to track dependencies across multiple app components and backend services in a microservices environment. But it isn't easy to track the entire message flow across the distributed services, which gave rise to a plethora of third-party distributed tracing tools for Azure applications.

 

Features:

  • App Insights' application map projects which services of an application were dependent on others during a particular period (No manual effort is required to get this view).
  • Dig deeper into a particular failed request and see what caused it, making troubleshooting handy.
  • Get a quick grasp of the number of calls between two different services in an application, along with their response time.

 

 

SigNoZ

SigNoZ is an open-source tool that offers a unified UI for investigating metrics (latency, error rate, request per second) and traces, unlike other open-source distributed tools that only come with tracing features. Its ability to aggregate traces based on custom tags is one of its most impressive features, which, in turn, assists in the quick analysis and identifying critical issues.

 

Features:

  • The tracked data will be presented in out-of-box charts (flame graphs and Gantt charts) to visualize relevant trends and insights over time.
  • Its interactive service maps let you understand the dependency between services, with each component being interlinked to one another, describing the flow of requests.
  • With the help of tags, you can filter the required traces in no time from the vast numbers of traces being listed.
  • You get to configure storage options in the backend (ClickHouse or Kafka+Druid) right away while setting up SigNoz.
  • Set up alerts and stay informed when the lag in a particular transaction is slowing down your entire application.

 

 

Site 24x7

Since applications are built with many related services, tracking requests across the complex system to identify the service slowing down an application is quite tedious. It is an exact pain point that Site 24x7 is trying to solve with its support for distributed tracing.

 

Features:

  • Get an overview of a transaction's entire workflow, making it easier to identify areas of an application that require immediate attention.
  • Identify the transaction that exceeds the threshold response time and locate failures faster than ever.
  • It helps you to examine traces thoroughly to detect slowdowns in the performance of your application/service.
  • Determine and centralize logs from different services that impact your key performance indicators (KPIs).

 

 

New Relic

New Relic provides many features needed to capture, visualize, and analyze the traces of transactions that flow through complex architectures, whether monolithic or microservices. Furthermore, the platform presents different types of tracing - Standard distributed tracing & infinite tracing.

 

It facilitates telemetry tracing from any source, including open-source tools and standards such as OpenTelemetry, OpenCensus, and Istio.

 

Features:

  • Get an overall topology of how various components connect in your microservices environment.
  • You can filter traces of any transaction based on specific search criteria to figure out the services that take longer than expected to respond.
  • New Relic allows you to query the traced data and create custom charts to get deeper insights into your applications' performance.
  • Spot anomalies instantly with real-time alerts through Slack or any other collaboration tool of your choice.

 

 

Lightstep

Lightstep is a distributed tracing tool that aims to simplify the distributed system and microservice monitoring. It provides end-to-end visibility of the transaction flow and a wide range of metrics that describe performance behaviors to aid in the root-cause analysis process.

 

Features:

  • Accomplish total visibility into the interdependency of all the services or components in your application.
  • By correlating logs, metrics, and traces across the stack, you can gain instant insight into why performance issues occur and rectify even the most complex incidents.
  • Automatic instrumentation for popular programming languages (Powered by Open Source).
  • Lightstep is a good choice if you want to achieve distributed tracing in a multi-cloud environment as it supports popular cloud vendors such as Azure, AWS, Google Cloud, and others.

 

 

Conclusion

Implementing distributed tracing allows anyone to see and understand how their system works, visualize the request flow, and rapidly find and fix critical issues.

 

If your application is built on top of Microservices architectures, then distributed tracing is inevitable. So, I hope this summary of the top distributed tracing tools assists you in determining the best fit for your business.

 







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