OPEN TALK: Observability: How It Got Fragmented and How to Fix It


Ben Sigelman
Lightstep, Co-founder and GM

Ben Sigelman is a co-founder and the GM of Lightstep and a co-creator of Dapper (Google’s distributed tracing system), Monarch (Google’s metrics system), and the CNCF’s OpenTelemetry project. Ben's work and interests gravitate towards observability, especially where microservices, high transaction volumes, and large engineering organizations are involved.


Observability has never been more important: kubernetes and distributed architectures are necessary, but they make it harder and harder to answer basic questions about system behavior. The conventional wisdom claims that Metrics, Logging and Tracing are “the three pillars” of observability… yet software organizations check these three boxes and are still grasping at straws during emergencies.

In this session, we’ll examine how we got ourselves into this predicament, and how to get ourselves out of it. We will talk briefly about the theory and then illustrate more elegant and modern approaches to common observability problems using live demos.