Facilitating the Spread of Knowledge and Innovation in Professional Software Development

Write for InfoQ


Choose your language

InfoQ Homepage News Introducing Azure Monitor OpenTelemetry Distro

Introducing Azure Monitor OpenTelemetry Distro

At the end of May, Microsoft introduced the Azure Monitor OpenTelemetry Distro. Azure Monitor and all Azure SDKs support OpenTelemetry, integrating with APM systems such as Prometheus and Grafana. Microsoft Azure provides the Azure Monitor OpenTelemetry Distro, facilitating the deployment of this technology and increasing the observability of applications.

Microsoft Azure uses OpenTelemetry technology as the industry standard for monitoring and transmitting telemetry. They retrofit Azure Monitor and SDKs to support OpenTelemetry, ensuring compatibility with any language. This vendor-independent approach integrates data with various application performance monitoring (APM) systems, including popular open-source projects such as Prometheus, Grafana, Jaeger & Zipkin, and the Azure platform's native monitoring solution, Azure Monitor.

In order to simplify the deployment of OpenTelemetry technology, the Azure platform is introducing the 'Azure Monitor OpenTelemetry Distro'. Initially focused on Application Insights, the distribution will extend its reach to other scenarios within Azure Monitor. It provides a comprehensive solution packaged as a NuGet package Azure.Monitor.OpenTelemetry.AspNetCore and supported by a corresponding GitHub project. By offering this distribution, the Azure platform aims to enhance observability and make it easier for developers and organisations to use OpenTelemetry in Azure Monitor.

Making the implementation of OpenTelemetry easier for customers poses a challenge for observability platforms like Azure Monitor. Currently, developers face a learning curve as they learn the basics of OpenTelemetry, select the appropriate instrumentation libraries, configure their setup and ensure compatibility with existing APM systems. This process involves managing multiple components and tracking various moving parts. In addition, OpenTelemetry offers an extensive API surface with numerous instrumentation libraries to meet a variety of observability requirements. To address these issues, the Azure platform aims to provide developers with a more accessible entry point and recommended monitoring practices for Azure-based ASP.NET Core web applications.

For ease of enabling OpenTelemetry, Distro provides methods to quickly connect Azure Monitor, including Application Insights, with a single line of code: 

var builder = WebApplication.CreateBuilder(args); 
var application = builder.Build(); 

One line of code gives full capabilities of the Azure platform such as including popular libraries for collecting traces, metrics and logs, correlated traces from Application Insights, AAD authentication, standard Application Insights metrics and automatic discovery of Azure resources. New features such as Live Metrics will be added soon. The ultimate goal is to provide customers with the best experience and full functionality of OpenTelemetry through this distribution.

Getting started with Distro requires several steps, which are described in detail on Azure Monitor Application Insights OpenTelemetry Enablement Docs.

About the Author

Rate this Article