Lightstep Makes It Possible to Understand Complex Applications with One Line of Code

  • Lightstep founders are pioneers of the cutting-edge practice of ‘Distributed Tracing’ for observing complex, distributed systems dating back to Dapper Google’s internal tracing and observability tooling
  • The best standards and practices of the Dapper project were then codified in the open source project OpenTelemetry, which aims to provide engineers with a single set of APIs, libraries, and collector services to capture trace data and metrics from your applications

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Lightstep, the cutting-edge distributed tracing tool founded by former Google engineers, today announces OpenTelemetry Launchers which make it possible for engineers to understand complex systems in minutes, with a single line of code. OpenTelemetry is the vendor-neutral open source project that is setting the standard for how engineering teams go about capturing complex system data. The new OpenTelemetry Launchers connect that data with Lightstep for unprecedented observability and actionable insights.

“We understand that not every organization is Google, and that distributed tracing used to be a cumbersome integration for many engineering teams – that’s why it’s been a top priority for us to simplify things as much as possible,” said Ben Sigelman, CEO and Co-Founder of Lightstep. “We’ve been working hard alongside Google, Microsoft, Splunk, and other great companies to set the standard for how to collect data from distributed systems with the OpenTelemetry project. And with our new OpenTelemetry Launchers, anyone can gather and gain insight from that data with only one line of code.”

Lightstep aims to address the challenges around performance and root cause analysis introduced by emerging technologies such as microservices and serverless. Research from Lightstep highlights that while over 90% of software engineers currently use or plan to adopt microservices, almost all of them find it challenging. In Gartner’s report Innovation Insight for Microservices, they write “microservices enable unprecedented agility and scalability” but note that “the architecture causes significant cultural disruption.” Gartner goes on to state that “microservices adoption efforts are destined to fail if you don’t make corresponding changes to traditional application development and data management.”

This shift to distributed architectures is changing how performance data is collected, away from the proprietary agents used by more traditional APM and monitoring vendors, toward open source tooling. In their report Critical Capabilities for Application Performance Monitoring, Gartner also writes that “by 2025, 50% of new, cloud-native application monitoring will use open-source instrumentation, instead of vendor-specific agents for improved interoperability, which is an increase from 5% in 2019.”

OpenTelemetry’s top contributors are leading companies such as Google, Microsoft, Lightstep, Splunk, Uber, New Relic, Honeycomb and others. It comes with built-in, high-quality instrumentation for dozens of popular libraries in each language, out of the box. This makes it possible to get up and running with distributed tracing in minutes when connecting with Lightstep’s OpenTelemetry Launchers, enabling engineers to gain immediate, accessible end-to-end visibility into distributed services and their dependencies.

Supporting Quotes

Lightstep is being able to see where you were blind before. It’s the difference between never finding the problem or never really being able to understand what’s going on, and instantaneously seeing all the relevant information. -- Albert Strasheim, Director of Engineering at Segment

Not only does Lightstep help us with understanding the edges of our system, it allows us to monitor and understand new usage patterns that we want to keep a closer eye on to ensure we have an optimal customer experience. It shows us exactly where things are slow, what changes we need to make to realize a quick ROI, and specifically how our customers are experiencing our platform. -- Philip Zeyliger, Software Engineer at Airtable

About OpenTelemetry

A CNCF Sandbox project, OpenTelemetry is an open source project that aims to make observability more accessible for all. The project is a collaboration across industry leaders, and includes contributors from Lightstep, Google, Microsoft, Splunk, Postmates, and Uber. For more information, please visit

About Lightstep

Lightstep’s mission is to deliver confidence at scale for those who develop, operate and rely on today’s powerful software applications. Its products leverage distributed tracing technology – initially developed by a Lightstep co-founder at Google – to offer best-of-breed observability to organizations adopting microservices or serverless at scale. Lightstep is backed by Redpoint, Sequoia, Altimeter Capital, Cowboy Ventures, and Harrison Metal and is headquartered in San Francisco, CA. For more information, visit or follow @LightstepHQ.


Adam LaGreca
Founder of 10KMedia

Release Summary

Lightstep announces 'OpenTelemetry Launchers' which make it possible to get instant Observability into complex systems.


Adam LaGreca
Founder of 10KMedia