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Stepping it up! Lightstep feature updates - June and July 2020

The past few months we’ve been busy getting some great new RCA features out to you, as well as Satellite updates and more Learning Paths. Read on to hear all about what’s new in Lightstep.

Operation Diagrams Now Show Upstream Operations

The Operations Diagram used when comparing performance from the Service Health view can now show upstream as well as downstream operations from the operation you’re investigating. For example, when investigating a latencylatency or error rateerror rate regression, you can now observe operations higher in the stack that may be affected by the operation causing the regression.

Operation Diagram - Upstream

Satellite Releases Include Fix for Incorrect Operation Names and Improved Error Support

We released two new versions of our Satellites, one in June and one in July.

June Satellite Release

One of the fixes includes a new Satellite configuration parameter that allows you to control how operation names are translated when using one of our auto-installers. Issues used to happen because the auto-installerauto-installer retrieved the operation name from a parameter in Datadog (the original owner of the installers) that might not be appropriate for your language. You can set that parameterset that parameter to different values to see if that results in better operation names.

Read about everything in the update herehere.

July Satellite Release

We improved error support for OpenTelemetry and Zipkin, and upgraded Satellites to use OTLP 0.4.0.

Read about everything in the update herehere.

New and Updated Features for Root Cause Analysis

We made some big changes to our root cause analysis functionality, allowing you to quickly assess the impact of a regression and then quickly isolate the root cause.

Time Shifted Deployment Comparison

Before you start digging into latency or error regressions caused by a deploy, it can be helpful to compare the current deploy to another deploy to see if the changes are an anomaly or if this type of regression is common after a deploy (often the case with canary deployments). With Lightstep, you can now overlay the shape of a previous deploy over the current performance to see if performance issues are an actual regression.

In this example, you can see that the previous version (the grey lines) has the same shape as the current version and can conclude that the current version is behaving as expected.

Time Shifted Deployment Comparison - Selected

In the image below, you can see that the previous version did not have the same issue. The gray lines are at the bottom of the chart.

Time Shifted Deployment Comparison - Issue

Learn more herehere.

Metrics Now Displayed on the Service Health View

Back in April, Lightstep added the ability to view machine metrics when you compare performancecompare performance of a service over two different time periods (metrics are available when your instrumentation uses GoGo, JavaJava, Node.jsNode.js, or PythonPython).

Now you can view the machine metrics directly from the Service HealthService Health view.

Service Health View - gif

More herehere.

Filter Root Cause Analysis Data to Narrow Your Investigation

When you use Lightstep’s RCA view to compare performance over two different time periodscompare performance over two different time periods (for example, before and after a deploy), you can now filter the data to narrow in on the cause of regression. When you apply filters, the Operation diagram, Log analysis, and Trace Analysis tables all repopulate with data that match the filters.

You can filter by service, operation, or tags for both latency and error rate increases.

Analyze Regression - Filter

Trace Analysis Table on RCA Views Now Shows all Span Data

The Trace Analysis table on both the latency and error rate RCA views shows span data, allowing you to see the service, operation, duration, and start time from spans from both the baseline and regression time periods. Previously by default, only the span data from the service and operation currently under your investigation were shown. Now the table shows data from an aggregation of all spans that participated in the same trace as the service and operation under investigation.

Trace Analysis Table on RCA Views Now Shows all Span Data

View Usage Metrics

Lightstep’s pricing planpricing plan is based on seats (the number of active users) and services reporting to Lightstep. You can now monitor your organization’s usagemonitor your organization’s usage of these and then contact your Customer Success representativeCustomer Success representative to change your plan if needed.

Lightstep Account Usage

Integrate Lightstep with Okta

Lightstep provides an integration with Oktaintegration with Okta that allows Okta to handle user authentication, authorization, and management.

Lightstep & Okta Integration - Set up

Once you integrate with Okta and configure for single sign-on (SSO), users can create Lightstep accounts and sign in to Lightstep either from Okta (IDP-initiated) or Lightstep (SP-Initiated).

Lightstep & Okta Integration - Dashboard

New Learning Paths for Root Cause Analysis

We’ve added two new Learning Paths for root cause analysis - one for investigating latency and another for investigating an error rate increase. Both walk you through using the tools from the Service Health page.

Investigate a Latency Increase

In this Learning PathLearning Path, you learn how to:

  • View your services and immediately notice a latency regression.

  • Compare service and operation performance before and during the regression.

  • Use Lightstep’s Correlations and Operation Diagram to pinpoint the origin of the latency.

  • Use the Trace view to confirm the regression source.

Investigate an Error Rate Increase

In this Learning PathLearning Path, you learn how to:

  • View your services and immediately notice an increase in the error rate.

  • Compare service and operation performance before and during the regression.

  • Use Lightstep’s Operation Diagram, Tag Correlation, and Logs Analysis to pinpoint the origin of the errors.

Lightstep Learning Paths for Root Cause Analysis

New Learning Path for Incident Response

We’ve published a new Learning Path for improving your incident response efficiencyincident response efficiency in Lightstep!

Learn how by improving your instrumentation and configuring Lightstep, you can significantly increase the efficiency of your response process.

Lightstep Learning Path for Incident Response

That's it for this month! See you next month!

Interested in joining our team? See our open positions herehere.

August 17, 2020
5 min read

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About the author

Robin Whitmore

Robin Whitmore

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