How Cloud Observability works

Cloud Observability collects and analyzes telemetry data across infrastructure, application, runtime, cloud, and other third-party services. By unifying logs, metrics, and traces into one workflow, you can make connections across telemetry types and systems, detect and mitigate changes faster, and gain visibility into distributed systems.


Send logs to Cloud Observability with tools such as Logstash, OpenTelemetry Collector, and Vector. Cloud Observability stores logs by timestamp in a time series database. In Cloud Observability, the logs tab lets you search logs, filter logs, live tail logs, and more. You can also make connections across telemetry types by connecting logs to traces and viewing logs related to your span and metric charts.

Cloud Observability offers log rehydration, a process that can help you lower storage costs and explore older logs by moving them from cold to hot storage.

Access to Cloud Observability Logging is available on request. Reach out to your Account Manager to get started.


Cloud Observability ingests metrics from several sources as time series and saves them to our next-gen time series database (TSDB). Our TSDB was designed and built by the same people who created Google’s planet-scale Monarch system and offers high throughput for reliable monitoring. Once your metrics are stored, Cloud Observability’s correlation feature can map that data to your trace data, correlating deviations in metric charts to performance issues from traces throughout your deep system.


You instrument your services to create and collect telemetry data used to describe distributed traces and metrics in your system. This instrumentation lives in your microservices, functions, web, mobile clients, anywhere your system accesses functionality.

If your services use Java, Node.js, Python, or Go, you can quickly instrument using our OpenTelemetry Launchers. OpenTelemetry provides APIs, libraries, and instrumentation resources to capture telemetry data from your applications. Any supported frameworks, protocols, libraries, and data stores are automatically instrumented with just one line of code. You can then add more targeted instrumentation in areas of your system where additional data would prove helpful.


Microsatellites are Cloud Observability components that communicate with your instrumentation to collect 100% of the telemetry data. They forward the data to the Cloud Observability SaaS, where the performance of each segment is analyzed against historical performance, error rates, and throughput.

Cloud Observability offers three types of Microsatellites: a locally run satellite that developers use during individual coding and testing to speed up instrumentation time, public remote Microsatellites for lower throughput production environments or development environments, and on-premise Microsatellites that you configure and maintain to meet your specific production environment requirements.

Cloud Observability platform

Microsatellites and the OpenTelemetry Collector send telemetry data from your instrumentation to the Cloud Observability platform. The platform analyses any data that serves as examples of application errors, high latency, or other interesting events, and then builds complete traces and dynamic service diagrams, deduces correlations among the data, and monitors for changes in performance.

The platform durably stores the data, and for some data, you can configure that retention. Historical comparisons let you quickly see when things are not normal.

Cloud Observability web UI

Use Cloud Observability to monitor distributed systems, detect changes, and mitigate issues.

Cloud Observability’s alerts and dashboards help you monitor and visualize logs, metrics, and traces in one place. Alerts and dashboards rely on the same Unified Query Builder and Unified Query Language, so you don’t have to learn new workflows or query languages for different features and telemetry types.

When you detect changes, Cloud Observability offers several ways to help you investigate and mitigate issues faster. Explore specific telemetry in Cloud Observability’s Trace View and logs tab. You can also make connections across logs, metrics, and traces by:

See also

Learn about Microsatellites

Updated Sep 26, 2023