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InfoQ Homepage News Announcing Refinery by Honeycomb: a Trace-Aware Sampling Proxy

Announcing Refinery by Honeycomb: a Trace-Aware Sampling Proxy

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Honeycomb, the company providing observability tools, recently announced Refinery. Supporting multiple sampling methods by default, Refinery runs on the customer's infrastructure to provide critical debugging data.

Refinery is a "trace-aware" sampling proxy. A trace consists of multiple spans carrying performance data related to an application. Refinery examines these traces and makes a sampling decision (whether to keep or discard) depending on the trace. Capturing every single event in complex applications at scale (~hundreds of billions of events per month) entails a high cost compared to the observability benefits from those events.

With observability, collecting data adds overhead, causing larger loads on the systems, leading to metrics collection overhead. It becomes imperative to select which requests to sample. Refinery provides entire telemetry data from applications and offers multiple ways to observe only the events that best represent important system changes. The high accuracy of this data is maintained to debug effectively.

James Governor, analyst and co-founder at RedMonk, said, "Modern applications and microservices require more data than ever for effective troubleshooting based on system observability, which can become prohibitively expensive. With Refinery, Honeycomb is addressing these cost concerns to encourage wider enterprise adoption of its web scale technologies."

The sampling methods supported by Refinery include support for both dynamic and tail sampling. Customers can use the out-of-the-box configuration option to capture the critical events representing system changes. As Honeycomb supports Refinery installation, configuration, usage, troubleshooting, and maintenance, the control is with the customers. Providing vendor-neutral instrumentation options, Refinery ensures that all components of the enterprise stack work together.

Christine Yen, CEO of Honeycomb, said, "Honeycomb is always looking for ways to democratize the tools and expertise that used to be reserved for only the world's most elite companies. Previously, solutions like Refinery have been proprietary and closed-source. Now, Honeycomb makes it easy for anyone to only keep the most important data they need to debug their production services and stop paying for the rest."

Refinery is now generally available (GA) and included in Honeycomb Enterprise plans. Readers can get started with a limited-time 30-day trial with Honeycomb Enterprise.

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