Use the OpenTelemetry Collector

The OpenTelemetry Collector provides a vendor-agnostic agent for receiving, processing, and exporting telemetry data. It eliminates the necessity to operate and maintain multiple agents, resulting in enhanced scalability. It also supports open-source observability data formats (such as Jaeger, Prometheus, Fluent Bit, etc.), which can be sent to one or more open-source or commercial back-ends.

otel-collector-example

The Collector can be run as a local agent or as a centralized data collection Gateway as a standalone service.

If you’re using Kubernetes we recommend using the OpenTelemetry Operator to automate the management of your fleet of Collectors. The Operator automatically gathers cluster metrics, handles auto-scaling, and more. We recommend following our Quickstart for Kubernetes to get started.

The Collector configuration file has 5 main sections:

  • Receivers: push or pull based components that get data into the Collector
  • Procesors: optional components that can transform data from the receivers or exporters
  • Exporters: push or pull based components that send data from the Collector to your configured destinations
  • Extensions: optional components that do not primarily involve processing telemetry data like Collector health monitoring, service discovery, and more.
  • Service: enables the components that were configured in the other sections. If a component isn’t in the Service section then it isn’t used.

Related Cloud Observability Documentation:

Related Community Resources:

See also

General guidelines for configuring Collectors

OpenTelemetry Quickstart

Updated Jan 17, 2024