Distributed Tracing: The good, The Bad, and the Ugly

A presentation at Open Source North 2022 in in St Paul, MN, USA by Ricardo Ferreira

Let’s face it: most people talking about observability all end up talking about distributed tracing somehow. It is a technology that radically changes how we identify and solve technical problems. In a world where virtually all applications are born distributed — it seems to be something that you ought to know in more detail.

This talk will provide a pragmatic overview of distributed tracing by clearly articulating its motivation, problems it solves, the challenges, and what technologies you should use to ensure a vendor-agnostic implementation.

It will discuss things like white-box and black-box instrumentation, the pros and cons of each approach, and why most developers prefer one versus the other.

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