[Guide] Observability: what is it good for?

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Get control of your
monitoring costs

$0 per host, $0 per container, $0 per user


Free for everyone
  • Get started in minutes

  • Instrument with one line of code

  • Limited data ingest and retention

  • Community-based support

Create your free account


Get started with observability
  • World-class distributed tracing

  • Infra, app, and custom metrics

  • Complete system visibility

  • Rapid incident resolution

Starting at $100/month


Observability at any scale
  • Unlimited data and cardinality

  • Customized onboarding and training

  • Access to OpenTelemetry experts

  • Dedicated 24/7 support team

Volume discounts

How does Lightstep pricing work?

Lightstep pricing is built for scale. While other vendors charge for hosts, containers, or even users, Lightstep does not. Instead, we price based on your number of active services. Even if you run 1,000s of instances of a service, you will only be charged for one.

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Monitoring and observability


Alerting with context

Infrastructure, application, runtime, cloud, third-party metrics ingestion


Unlimited tracing (complete visibility from mobile / web to database)


SLI tracking



Real-time querying

Grouping/filtering on any tag combinations

Service and operation maps

Inferred service maps

Deviation and baseline comparisons

Change Intelligence insights


Historical querying


Data extensibility and storage

Unlimited cardinality

Data retention

28 days

90 days


API access


Custom webhooks


Easy ingest

AWS / Cloudwatch

Prometheus / Grafana

Datadog / statsd

Jaeger / Zipkin

OpenTelemetry (OTLP) support

Enterprise ready

SOC 2 certified

GDPR compliant

Admin and user controls


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Not supported


Not supported

Not supported


In-app chat

Designated shared Slack support channel

Not supported

Team training support

Not supported


Full support

Access to OpenTelemetry experts

Lightstep Quickstart

Designated technical account manager

Teams Pricing

Monthly active services

Avg monthly price per service

Annual price











Why does Lightstep price by active services?

Pricing by active service allows for predictable pricing that supports monitoring and observability at scale. Teams can adopt CI/CD and other DevOps best practices without increasing spend.

What is an active service?

In the Lightstep platform, an active service is a single component of a software application (often a microservice) that provides specific functionality, such as an authentication or checkout service. You can have an unlimited number of deployed service instances. For billing purposes, only the actual service (by name) is counted.

What is included with each active service?

1,000 GB of span data per month, 10,000 Active Time Series per month, 20 key operations, and 10 streams.

Who can help me if I have questions about pricing?

Really nice people. You can schedule time to chat with them here, or send an email any time.

Does Lightstep have metrics?

Yes! And we are quite proud of them.

Does Lightstep have an agent?

No. Lightstep is agentless. We ingest 100% of your unsampled data. (People seem to like this.) You can get started in minutes with our OpenTelemetry Launchers, instantly migrate from Jaeger, Zipkin, or Prometheus, or transfer your metrics from AWS Cloudwatch or Datadog.

Can you ingest 100% of my traces?


What languages does Lightstep support?

Lightstep supports Python, Go, Java, Node, C++, Ruby, .Net, and most common programming languages.

Can you share an excellent meme about observability?


Do I have to sign up for an account to try Lightstep?

Nope! You can resolve a performance regression, investigate a metric spike, debug an error, or monitor a deployment with our interactive sandbox.

Lightstep sounds like a lovely idea