Stepping it Up! Lightstep Feature Updates - April 2020
by Robin Whitmore
A lot has happened in the world since our last update in February. We hope you are healthy and doing well during these times. We’ve been focused on making sure the software that we all use and depend on daily continues to run smoothly.
Here are the new features we’ve released in the last few months.
Gain visibility into hosted databases, cloud services APIs, and message systems with Inferred Services
You can configure Lightstep to recognize and display inferred services in the Service Diagram. Inferred services are external services, libraries, or dependencies that haven’t been instrumented, like a database or a third-party API. Lightstep recognizes these leaf spans (the request can’t continue to another service) and reports on their error counts, span counts, and average latencies.
Resolve Incidents Faster with Our New Trace View
We’ve updated the Trace view! The improved design makes finding the root cause of issues even easier.
Observe Infrastructure Metrics — for Free
Lightstep can now ingest and report on infrastructure metrics for a service to further assist in your investigations. These metrics are displayed when you compare the performance of a service over two different time periods. Metrics are available using these installers:
When you see that there are error correlations for your query, you can easily find out where the errors are coming from by filtering and/or grouping the spans in the Trace Analysis table to further refine your query.
Support for Partial Rollouts
When you have multiple versions in a time window, you can view the performance of each deployed version. For example, in this image, multiple versions have been deployed. By selecting to view the
abc123… version, you can see how the performance of that version compares to others, as represented by the dotted line in the chart.
New Query Builder
Using the Lightstep Query Builder, you can query across any service or operation, including or excluding multiple values using a combination of NOT and IN operators. You can also search across tags, without any cardinality limitations. Every time you run a query, the results are saved as a Snapshot so you can go back to data at that point in time any time in the future.
You can also build queries manually. If you need help building your query, check out the Query Language Cheat Sheet.
When you notice an increase in the error rate for an operation, you can use the Comparison view to compare a point of time when the error rate was stable (called the baseline) to the time when the rate was high (regression). You then use analysis tools to identify what caused the increase in errors. The Comparison view opens to show data from both time periods. The color blue represents the baseline time window and red represents the regression time window.
New Satellite Release
We’ve released a new version of our Satellites to support partial releases, fixes to satellite metrics, and an update to the Go version. Read all about it here!
Use a Helm Chart to Deploy Your Satellites
Codefresh and Lightstep Integration
Codefresh is a great tool for your CI/CD build and deployment pipeline. It’s flexible, fast, and easy to use. But while you may have the act of deploying covered, what happens after a deploy is just as important. Did your app’s performance remain the same? Were any bugs introduced? Instead of gluing yourself to multiple dashboards to “wait and see” and then spend hours trying to find any issues that arise, you can use Lightstep to monitor the deploy for you. And if performance does change, or errors are introduced, Lightstep can help you find those problems quickly. We’ve created a Learning Path to help you understand how to use Codefresh with Lightstep.
New OpenTelemetry Java Installation Guide
We’ve improved the process for getting started instrumenting your Java app with OpenTelemetry. Easier to follow, with troubleshooting content, this guide will get you up and running quickly!
Our Learning Portal is a great place to learn all about OpenTelemetry, the unified initiative that takes the best of both OpenTracing and OpenCensus forward. Including instructions in multiple languages for instrumenting your app, Lightstep’s Learning Portal is the one-stop-shop for getting up to speed with OpenTelemetry.
New Lightstep Learning Portal
Lightstep launched a new Learning Portal! All the content that you need to learn how to implement observability in your deep systems can be found here. With sections for Lightstep product docs, OpenTelemetry, and our new Learning Paths, we’ve got you covered.
That's it for this month! See you in May!