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Lightstep from ServiceNow Logo
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What Makes Lightstep Different

Complete Visibility — Regardless of Platform or Technology

Lightstep’s unique Satellite ArchitectureSatellite Architecture analyzes 100% of unsampled transaction data from virtually any source — mobile apps, web clients, serverless, and more — offering end-to-end visibility into any trace, operation, or service.

Lightstep’s unique Satellite Architecture

Uncompromised by head or tail sampling, you have complete access to a full-fidelity distributed tracingdistributed tracing dataset — available through a simple search bar, real-time diagrams of service dependencies, and context-rich visual summaries of patterns, outliers, and performance issues.

Since Lightstep adheres to OpenTracing standards (and helped to create the OpenTracing project, along with partners in the OSS ecosystem), the platform can support proxies, service meshes, and any language from C# to Go to Swift.

Unlimited Cardinality to Measure Any Subset of Data

There is no limitation to the number or nature of the tags or log payloads that can be associated with a trace. This means you can navigate and explorenavigate and explore any segment of your application, no matter how fine-grained the criteria, and review the performance of a host, user, geography, release version, experiment id, or even specific customer.

Automated Critical Path Detection

Lightstep automatically determines, and clearly highlights, the critical path of a given trace.

Lightstep Updated Trace View

This allows you to quickly identify what’s causing an issue — whether it’s an n+1 query, a slow service, or something running in sequence that should be in parallel. In effect, you’re able to understand what not to work on, and to spend cycles on performance optimizations that are likely to drive a positive change in end user or customer experience.

logs in traces

Visualize Service Dependencies in Real Time

Lightstep’s Service Diagrams offer an interactive, real-time, and dynamic overview of system performance and architecture.

rca latency tags 1

Service Diagrams are unique in that they build dynamic system maps to answer specific questions about performance: highlighting bottlenecks in real time and reducing the search space for identifying where performance improvements should be made.

Through these clear, visual maps of any location in your system or stack, you can quickly manage issues both up and downstream, and more easily identify when — and where — third-party dependencies are slow or non-performant.

Ultimately, Service Diagrams show how services relate to one other, reveal dependencies, and highlight services that contribute to the latency of a transaction or are experiencing errors.

Drastically Simplify Communication Between Teams

Lightstep enables near instantaneous sharing of any moment. This includes detailed views of performance for any process, operation, service, or system are automatically captured, recorded, and available in perpetuity via a unique url.

These Snapshots can be shared to quickly resolve issues during a live incident or better understand an event during a post mortem (rather than relying on the imperfect recollection of individual teammates).

Snapshot - Website

It’s also the most immediate way to see — and explain to the rest of the team — what happened before or after a release.

Snapshots include detailed latency histograms, historical layers that provide temporal context, and hundreds of relevant example traces to help explain the symptoms observed — all of which durably persist for historical review.

You can even share a specific (possibly non-performant) span with your team, as these unique urls can be appended to include hyper-specific data, which is much easier to understand than sharing, say, a complete 1,000-line trace.

Reduce MTTR — and “Mean Time To Innocence”

Lightstep automatically surfaces the strongest signals for the root cause of any event. Over any period of time, Lightstep can analyze statistical relationships between system attributes, and immediately reveal commonalities between high- and low-latency traces.

rca diagram

With these insights, instead of having to guess which teams might need to work on an incident — and sending dozens of employees to investigate an event over which they have no influence — you can now send just the right people.

This eliminates unnecessary disruption to teams who are ultimately not needed for incident resolution, but are involved due to a lack of situational clarity.

Speed and Reliability at Massive Scale

Lightstep is purpose-built for large, complex systems. Individual customersIndividual customers generate as much as half a trillion spans in a 24-hour period — with no performance degradation whatsoever.

And you have continuous access to every tracing data point in your system. If you’ve ever had a trace, it still exists today, and it can be viewed, aggregated, and visualized in context.

What Happens After You Deploy

With our Service Health for Deployments feature, you're able to see any regressions as soon as you deploy.

Service Health - Website

Our latency histograms show a clear indicition of when and where the regression happened. This will give you a full-context view of how successful your deployment was and where an issue may be.

Want to see these features in action?

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

March 26, 2019
4 min read

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About the author

David Klein

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