OpenTelemetry offers several benefits — here are the top three.
Consistency: The practice of collecting telemetry data from applications existed before OpenTelemetry, but it was a lot more difficult. Finding the right collection of instrumentation was challenging, and once you landed on a particular solution or vendor you were contract-bound to them. That solution was unlikely to be consistent from one application to another, making it nearly impossible to get a holistic understanding of an application’s performance.
OpenTelemetry, on the other hand, provides a consistent path for capturing telemetry data and transmitting it to a backend without changing instrumentation, offering a de facto standard for adding observability to cloud-native apps. Developers and IT can now devote more time to creating new app features rather than wrestling with their instrumentation.
Simpler choice: Before OpenTelemetry, organizations had to choose between OpenTracing or OpenCensus, each of which offered a different approach to achieving observability. Because OpenTelemetry merges the code of those two frameworks, you get the best of both in a single solution. And there’s no risk from switching to OpenTelemetry if you were previously using one or the other. OpenTelemetry is backward compatible with both.
Streamlined observability: OpenTelemetry lets developers view application usage and performance data from any device or web browser. This convenient interface makes it easy to track and analyze observability data in real time.
Of course, the greatest benefit is gaining the observability necessary to achieve business goals. OpenTelemetry consolidates the telemetry data needed to determine if systems are functioning properly, understand where issues may be compromising performance and fix root causes, potentially before service is interrupted — resulting in greater stability and reliability for supporting business processes.