Support for OpenTracing in Erlang
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README.md

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OTTER

OpenTracing Toolkit for ERlang

otter logo

Build

OTTER uses rebar3 as build tool.

    rebar3 compile

However most likely you'll want to add it to your project in your build environment.

Dependencies

  • otter_lib Common library functions shared for otter and otter_srv
  • otter_srv is a common test dependency (i.e. not part of production build)

In order to avoid external dependencies by default OTTER uses the OTP inets HTTP client (httpc) to send spans to the trace collector. However httc has a fairly bad reputation in high throughput scenarios. While IMO most of these issues have been fixed in the past years, OTTER supports the following HTTP clients as well :

To use these clients they should be available (e.g. as application or release dependency) and configured in OTTER (see configuration below).

OpenTracing

OpenTracing is an open initiative to provide a set of terms and methods to produce, collect and correlate trace information in a distributed environment across different programming languages, platforms and protocols.

The concept defined for trace production is based on a span which is essentially a record of a handling in one environment. A span has a timestamp of when it started, a duration, a list of timestamped events marking the timing of important actions during the span and a list of key-value tags storing the parameters of the handled request (e.g. customer ids, transaction ids, results of subsequent actions). The span also contains id's to aid their correlation. The trace_id is used for correlating spans related to the handling of one request received from different systems. The trace_id is generated in the first system which starts handling a request (e.g. a frontend) and supposed to be passed on to other systems involved in the processing the same request. This is fairly simple when the protocols are fully under control and extensible (e.g. HTTP). Other id's recorded are the span_id and a parent_id referring to the parent span to help showing a hierarchical relationship of the spans in the trace collector.

After collecting this information, the span can be sent to a trace collector, which based on the id's of the received spans can correlate them and provide and end-to-end view of the request. Sending all produced spans could generate significant additional load on the system that produces them and also on the trace collector. It is recommended to filter the the spans before sending them to the collector.

The most mature trace collector at the time of the initial development is OpenZipkin. OTTER provides an interface to send spans to Zipkin using the HTTP/Thrift binary protocol. Since the Jaeger trace collector also supports the Zipkin thrift protocol, it can also be used (thanks to Yury Gargay for this finding).

The OpenTracing terminology defines information to be passed on across systems. The feasibility of this in most cases depends on the protocols used, and sometimes rather difficult to achieve. OTTER is not attempting to implement any of this functionality. It is possible though to initialize a span in OTTER with a trace_id and parent_id, but how these id's are passed across the systems is left to the particular implementation.

OTTER OpenTracing compliance

While OTTER uses the basic concepts of OpenTracing, initially it is not intended to be fully compliant. Some of the abstractions and separation of functions/components to packages defined in OpenTracing didn't seem practical to implement at this stage in Erlang. Other functions (e.g. key-value logs, baggages, different type of span references, carrier span inject/extract API) are not supported. Either because the trace collector protocol OTTER initially supports (Zipkin thrift) does not support them, or we have not seen a strong use case for these (yet).

OTTER functionality

OTTER helps producing span information, filtering spans both when the span is started (prefiltering) and when the span is completed, sending to trace collector (Zipkin) and also counting/keeping a snapshot of the last occurrence of a span.

otter flow

Producing span information

The main motivation behind the span collection of OTTER is to make the instrumentation of existing code as simple as possible. OTTER includes 4 different APIs for this.

  • Basic functional API

  • Simple process dictionary API (for managing 1 span on the process dictionary)

  • Multi span process dictionary API (for managing multiple spans with different names)

  • Span ID API that manages a span in a separate process

Types used in the API

The following type specifications are in otter.hrl, which is part of the otter_lib application.

-type time_us() :: non_neg_integer().               % timestamp in microseconds
-type info()    :: binary() | iolist() | atom() | integer() | fun().
-type ip4()     :: {non_neg_integer(), non_neg_integer(), non_neg_integer(), non_neg_integer()}.
-type service() :: binary() | list() | default | {binary() | list(), ip4(), non_neg_integer()}.
-type trace_id():: non_neg_integer().
-type span_id() :: non_neg_integer().
-type action()  :: atom() | tuple().
-type tag()     :: {info(), info()} | {info(), info(), service()}.
-type log()     :: {time_us(), info()} | {time_us(), info(), service()}.

-record(span, {
          timestamp       :: time_us()  | undefined,% timestamp of starting the span
          trace_id        :: trace_id() | undefined,% 64 bit integer trace id
          name            :: info()     | undefined,% name of the span
          id              :: span_id()  | undefined,% 64 bit integer span id
          parent_id       :: span_id()  | undefined,% 64 bit integer parent span id
          tags = []       :: [tag()],               % span tags
          logs = []       :: [log()],               % span logs
          duration        :: time_us()  | undefined % microseconds between span start/end
         }).

-type span()    :: #span{}.

Functional API

The functional API is exposed in the otter module.

This API is provided as a basic method for manipulating span information. Since it requires to pass the span data in function calls if the function has something to add to the span. This requires more code changes, however when functions pass non-strict composite structures (e.g. maps or proplists) then inserting the span information is more or less trivial. Very likely this is the least practical API for direct use, however it is purely functional and could/should be used as a base for other APIs.

Start span with name only. Name should refer e.g. to the interface.

-spec start(Name :: info()) -> span().

Start span with name and a parent span, the trace id and the parent span. Trace id and parent id are taken from the parent span.

-spec start(Name :: info(), ParentSpan :: span()) -> span().

Start span with name and trace id where trace id e.g. received from protocol.

-spec start(Name :: info(), TraceId :: trace_id()) -> span().

Start span with name, trace id and parent span id e.g. received from protocol.

-spec start(Name :: info(), TraceId :: trace_id(), ParentId :: integer()) -> span().

Start a span with name and initial tags. This function triggers pre-filtering where the name and initial tags can be used to decide whether the span shall be active or inactive (see later at filtering).

-spec start_with_tags(Name :: info(), Tags :: [tag()]) -> span().

Start a span with name, initial tags and a parent span. This function triggers pre-filtering.

-spec start_with_tags(Name :: info(), Tags :: [tag()], ParentSpan :: span()) -> span().

Start a span with name, initial tags and a trace id. This function triggers pre-filtering.

-spec start_with_tags(Name :: info(), Tags :: [tag()], TraceId :: trace_id()) -> span().

Start a span with name, initial tags and a trace id and a parent span id. This function triggers pre-filtering.

-spec start_with_tags(Name :: info(), Tags :: [tag()], TraceId :: trace_id(), ParentId :: span_id()) -> span().

Add a tag to the previously started span.

-spec tag(Span :: span(), Key :: info(), Value :: info()) -> span().

Add a tag to the previously started span with additional service information.

-spec tag(Span :: span(), Key :: info(), Value :: info(), Service :: service()) -> span().

Add a log/event to the previously started span

-spec log(Span :: span(), Text :: info()) -> span().

Add a log/event to the previously started span with additional service information0

-spec log(Span :: span(), Text :: info(), Service :: service()) -> span().

End span and invoke the span filter (see below)

-spec finish(Span :: span()) -> ok.

Get span id's. Return the trace_id and the span_id from the currently started span. This can be used e.g. when process "boundary" is to be passed and eventually new span needs this information. Also when these id's should be passed to a protocol interface for another system

-spec ids(Span :: span()) -> {trace_id(), span_id()}.

example :

    ...
    Span = otter:start("radius request"),
    ...
    ...
    Span1 = otter:tag(Span, "request_id", RequestId),
    ...
    ...
    Span2 = otter:log(Span1, "invoke user db"),
    ...
    ...
    Span3 = otter:log(Span2, "user db result"),
    Span4 = otter:tag(Span3, "user db result", "ok"),
    ...
    ...
    Span5 = otter:tag(Span4, "final result", "error"),
    Span6 = otter:tag(Span5, "final result reason", "unknown user"),
    otter:finish(Span6),
    ...

Simple process dictionary API

The simple process dictionary API is exposed in the otter_span_pdict_api module.

This API uses the process dictionary to store span information. Since it manages the span in the process dictionary of the current process, it does not require to pass around any data, therefore this API is likely the easiest to implement in existing request handler process code. The limitations are that it is bound to a single process and that it can only manage 1 span.

Start span with name only. Name should refer e.g. to the interface.

-spec start(Name :: info()) -> span().

Start span with name and trace id where trace id e.g. received from protocol.

-spec start(Name :: info(), TraceId :: trace_id()) -> span();

Start span with name and parent span. The trace id and parent id is taken from the parent span.

-spec start(Name :: info(), ParentSpan :: span()) -> span();

Start span with name and trace id.

-spec start(Name :: info(), TraceId :: trace_id()) -> span();

Start span with name, trace_id and parent span id e.g. received from protocol.

-spec start(Name :: info(), TraceId :: trace_id(), ParentId :: span_id()) -> span().

Start a span with name and initial tags. This function triggers pre-filtering where the name and initial tags can be used to decide whether the span shall be active or inactive (see later at filtering).

-spec start_with_tags(Name :: info(), Tags :: [tag()]) -> span().

Start a span with name, initial tags and a parent span. This function triggers pre-filtering.

-spec start_with_tags(Name :: info(), Tags :: [tag()], ParentSpan :: span()) -> span().

Start a span with name, initial tags and a trace id. This function triggers pre-filtering.

-spec start_with_tags(Name :: info(), Tags :: [tag()], TraceId :: trace_id()) -> span().

Start a span with name, initial tags and a trace id and a parent span id. This function triggers pre-filtering.

-spec start_with_tags(Name :: info(), Tags :: [tag()], TraceId :: trace_id(), ParentId :: span_id()) -> span().

Add a tag to the previously started span.

-spec tag(Key :: info(), Value :: info()) -> span().

Add a tag to the previously started span with additional service information

-spec tag(Key :: info(), Value :: info(), Service :: service()) -> span().

Add a log/event to the previously started span

-spec log(Text :: info()) -> span().

Add a log/event to the previously started span with additional service information

-spec log(Text :: info(), Service :: service()) -> span().

End span and invoke the span filter (see below)

-spec finish() -> ok.

Get span id's. Return the trace_id and the span_id from the currently started span. This can be used e.g. when process "boundary" is to be passed and eventually new span needs this information. Also when these id's should be passed to a protocol interface for another system

-spec ids() -> {trace_id(), span_id()}.

Return the current span. e.g. it can be handed to another process to continue collecting span information using the functional API.

-spec get_span() -> span().

example :

    ...
    otter_span_pdict_api:start("radius request"),
    ...
    ...
    otter_span_pdict_api:tag("request_id", RequestId),
    ...
    ...
    otter_span_pdict_api:log("invoke user db"),
    ...
    ...
    otter_span_pdict_api:log("user db result"),
    otter_span_pdict_api:tag("user_db_result", "ok"),
    ...
    ...
    otter_span_pdict_api:tag("final_result", "error"),
    otter_span_pdict_api:tag("final_result_reason", "unknown user"),
    otter_span_pdict_api:finish(),
    ...

Multiple span process dictionary API

The process dictionary API with support of multiple spans in a process is exposed in the otter_span_mpdict_api module.

This API works similarly to the simple process dictionary API, only it stores the span information for each span name. i.e. it supports multiple spans with different names in a process. Since the names are (normally) static information, in ideal case this API also does not require extra data/variable to be passed around.

Start span with name only. Name should refer e.g. to the interface.

-spec start(Name :: info()) -> span().

Start span with name and trace id where trace id e.g. received from protocol.

-spec start(Name :: info(), TraceId :: trace_id()) -> span();

Start span with name and parent span. The trace id and parent id is taken from the parent span.

-spec start(Name :: info(), ParentSpan :: span()) -> span();

Start span with name and trace id.

-spec start(Name :: info(), TraceId :: trace_id()) -> span();

Start span with name, trace_id and parent span id e.g. received from protocol.

-spec start(Name :: info(), TraceId :: trace_id(), ParentId :: span_id()) -> span().

Start a span with name and initial tags. This function triggers pre-filtering where the name and initial tags can be used to decide whether the span shall be active or inactive (see later at filtering).

-spec start_with_tags(Name :: info(), Tags :: [tag()]) -> span().

Start a span with name, initial tags and a parent span. This function triggers pre-filtering.

-spec start_with_tags(Name :: info(), Tags :: [tag()], ParentSpan :: span()) -> span().

Start a span with name, initial tags and a trace id. This function triggers pre-filtering.

-spec start_with_tags(Name :: info(), Tags :: [tag()], TraceId :: trace_id()) -> span().

Start a span with name, initial tags and a trace id. This function triggers pre-filtering.

-spec start_with_tags(Name :: info(), Tags :: [tag()], TraceId :: trace_id()) -> span().

Add a tag to the previously started span.

-spec tag(Name :: info(), Key :: info(), Value :: info()) -> span().

Add a tag to the previously started span with additional service information

-spec tag(Name :: info(), Key :: info(), Value :: info(), Service :: service()) -> span().

Add a log/event to the previously started span

-spec log(Name :: info(), Text :: info()) -> span().

Add a log/event to the previously started span with additional service information

-spec log(Name :: info(), Text :: info(), Service :: service()) -> span().

End span and invoke the span filter (see below)

-spec finish(Name :: info()) -> ok.

Get span id's. Return the trace_id and the span_id from the currently started span. This can be used e.g. when process "boundary" is to be passed and eventually a new span needs this information. Also when these id's should be passed to a protocol interface for another system

-spec ids(Name :: info()) -> {trace_id(), span_id()}.

Return the current span. e.g. it can be handed to another process to continue collecting span information using the functional API.

-spec get_span(Name :: info()) -> span().

example :

    ...
    otter_span_mpdict_api:start("radius request"),
    ...
    ...
    otter_span_mpdict_api:tag("radius request", "request_id", RequestId),
    ...
    ...
    otter_span_mpdict_api:log("radius request", "invoke user db"),
    ...
    ...
    otter_span_mpdict_api:log("radius request", "user db result"),
    otter_span_mpdict_api:tag("radius request", "user_db_result", "ok"),
    ...
    ...
    otter_span_mpdict_api:tag("radius request", "final_result", "error"),
    otter_span_mpdict_api:tag("radius request", "final_result_reason", "unknown user"),
    otter_span_mpdict_api:finish("radius request"),
    ...

Span id API

The Span id API is exposed from the otter_span_id_api module.

This API spawns a separate process for each started span and uses the PID of this collector process to identify the span. API calls send messages to this process. If there are no messages (tag, log, finish) received for a time period configured in span_id_api_process_timeout otter application configuration parameter (in milliseconds, default 30000) then the process exits, all eventual subsequent span actions are ignored and the span is discarded. Advantage of this API could be that the PID does not change as it would with the functional API and it is not bound to a particular request process as the process dictionary APIs. Disadvantage is the increased resource consumption, especially the potentially large amount of additional processes spawned on a fairly busy system. Span pre-filtering could be used to help this.

Start span with name only. Name should refer e.g. to the interface.

-spec start(Name :: info()) -> pid().

Start span with name and trace id where trace id e.g. received from protocol.

-spec start(Name :: info(), TraceId :: trace_id()) -> pid();

Start span with name and parent span. The trace id and parent id is taken from the parent span.

-spec start(Name :: info(), ParentSpan :: span()) -> pid();

Start span with name and trace id.

-spec start(Name :: info(), TraceId :: trace_id()) -> pid();

Start span with name, trace_id and parent span id e.g. received from protocol.

-spec start(Name :: info(), TraceId :: trace_id(), ParentId :: span_id()) -> pid().

Start a span with name and initial tags. This function triggers pre-filtering where the name and initial tags can be used to decide whether the span shall be active or inactive (see later at filtering).

-spec start_with_tags(Name :: info(), Tags :: [tag()]) -> pid() | undefined.

Start a span with name, initial tags and a parent span. This function triggers pre-filtering.

-spec start_with_tags(Name :: info(), Tags :: [tag()], ParentSpan :: span()) -> pid() | undefined.

Start a span with name, initial tags and a trace id. This function triggers pre-filtering.

-spec start_with_tags(Name :: info(), Tags :: [tag()], TraceId :: trace_id()) -> pid() | undefined.

Start a span with name, initial tags and a trace id. This function triggers pre-filtering.

-spec start_with_tags(Name :: info(), Tags :: [tag()], TraceId :: trace_id()) -> pid() | undefined.

Add a tag to the previously started span.

-spec tag(Pid :: pid() | undefined, Key :: info(), Value :: info()) -> ok.

Add a tag to the previously started span with additional service information

-spec tag(Pid :: pid() | undefined, Key :: info(), Value :: info(), Service :: service()) -> ok.

Add a log/event to the previously started span

-spec log(Pid :: pid() | undefined, Text :: info()) -> ok.

Add a log/event to the previously started span with additional service information

-spec log(Pid :: pid() | undefined, Text :: info(), Service :: service()) -> ok.

End span and invoke the span filter (see below). If the span is inactive, the span is discarded.

-spec finish(Pid :: pid() | undefined) -> ok.

Get span id's. Return the trace_id and the span_id from the span. In case the span is inactive i.e. the Pid is undefined, this function returns the tuple {0, 0}.

-spec ids(Pid :: pid() | undefined) -> {trace_id(), span_id()}.

example :

    ...
    SpanPid = otter_span_id_api:start("radius request"),
    ...
    ...
    otter_span_id_api:tag(SpanPid, "request_id", RequestId),
    ...
    ...
    otter_span_id_api:log(SpanPid, "invoke user db"),
    ...
    ...
    otter_span_id_api:log(SpanPid, "user db result"),
    otter_span_id_api:tag(SpanPid, "user_db_result", "ok"),
    ...
    ...
    otter_span_id_api:tag(SpanPid, "final_result", "error"),
    otter_span_id_api:tag(SpanPid, "final_result_reason", "unknown user"),
    otter_span_id_api:finish(SpanPid),
    ...

tag/log information

A note on the tag key/value and log types: the Zipkin interface requires string types. The Zipkin connector module (otter_conn_zipkin) attempts to convert: integer, atom, and iolist types to binary. Unknown data types (e.g. record, tuples, or maps) are converted using the "~p" io:fwrite formating control character. The resulting string might be hard to read for non-Erlang people, but it is still better than loosing the information completely.

If the generation of log values is complex or computational expensive, a arity zero fun can be passed as info. The function is executed in the connector module and thereby after span_end has been called.

Adding service information to tags and logs means that otter adds a host structure to each of these elements. The extra optional service parameter in the relevant API calls can have 3 formats.

The atom default will include service/host information based on the following configuration parameters of the zipkin connector.

    ...
    {zipkin_tag_host_ip, {127,0,0,1}},
    {zipkin_tag_host_port, 0},
    {zipkin_tag_host_service, "otter_test"},
    ...

Name of the service as a string in binary() or list() format also adds the host information based on the configuration above, except the service name will be as specified in the parameter.

A 3 element tuple {Service, Ip, Port} which will be used to compose the information. This can be interesting to compose "ca" and "sa" opentracing tags where the host information may refer to a remote server/client node instead of the one where the span is generated.

Configuration

There is no configuration involved in the stage of producing span data. The paramers mentioned above are functionally specific to the zipkin connector. It was simpler to explain them though in this context.

Span Filtering

Pre-filtering

When a span is started with the start_with_tags function, it triggers pre-filtering with the otter_span_name and the initial tags provided in the function call.

The filter is defined with the prefilter_rules otter application configuration and has the same syntax as normal filter rules at span completion. The same conditions can be used, however the actions are different.

Prefilter actions can be : allow, discard, {snapshot_count, [...], [...]}

The logic of the prefilter is also different, as it stops at the first matching condition set and executes the actions found there. In final span filter, all rules are checked and all matching actions are collected/executed.

When the prefilter has the action discard in the matched actions, the behaviour is dependent on the API.

With the basic functional API, the span timestamp is set to 0 indicating that the span is inactive. Any subsequent action on an inactive span is ignored and the final filter is not triggered (i.e. the span is discarded). If ids are requested for an inactive span, the tuple {0,0} is returned. otter.hrl in the otter_lib application defines the ?is_span_active(Span) macro that can be used in guards if necessary.

With both process dictionary APIs the behaviour is similar to the functional API.

The span id API does not start a span collection process for inactive spans, and returns undefined instead of the Pid. All subsequent span actions accept undefined Pid and in that case the action is ignored.

Final filtering

When the collection of span information is completed (i.e. span finish is called), the filtering is invoked. Filtering is based on the tags collected in the span with the span name and the span duration added to the key/value pair list with keys : otter_span_name and otter_span_duration. The resulting key/value pair list which is used as input of the filter rules. With the examples above it can look like this :

    [
        {otter_span_name, "radius request"},
        {otter_span_duration, 1202},
        {"request_id", "6390266399200312"},
        {"user_db_result", "ok"},
        {"final_result", "error"},
        {"final_result_reason", "unknown user"}
    ]

This key/value pair list is passed to a sequence of conditions/actions pairs. In each pair the, conditions are a list of checks against the key/value pair list. If all conditions in the list are true, the actions are executed. An empty condition list always returns a positive match.

Filter conditions

Check the presence of a Key
    {present, Key}
Check whether 2 Keys have the same value
    {same, Key1, Key2}
Compare a value

The value of a Key/Value pair can be compared to a value

    {value, Key, ValueToCompare}

example: check the name of the span

    {value, otter_span_name, "radius request"}
Checking integer values

Key/Value pairs with integer values can be checked with the following conditions.

    {greater, Key, Integer}

    {less, Key, Integer}

    {between, Key, Integer1, Integer2}

example: check whether the span duration is greater than 5 seconds

    {greater, otter_span_duration, 5000000}
Negate condition check
    {negate, Condition}

example: Check if the final result is other than ok

    {negate, {value, "final_result", "ok"}}
One out of

This condition uses a random generated number and in the range of 0 < X =< Integer, then checks for the value 1. This filter is typically meant for pre-filtering.

    {one_out_of, Integer}

example: Match 1 out of 1000 requests

    {one_out_of, 1000}

Filter Actions

Snapshot/Count

Snapshot/Count increases a counter with a key composed by a fixed prefix and values of Key/Values in the Key/Value list. The key is a list of parameters. Also it stores the last span that triggers the counter in an ets table. These cheap snapshots can be used for initial analysis of eventual problems. The snapshots and counter can be retrieved by the otter counter API (see below).

    {snapshot_count, Prefix, KeyList}

example: snapshot/count any request that take long in different counters for each span name and final result. The condition example above with the otter_span_duration could be used to trigger this action.

    {snapshot_count, [long_request], [otter_span_name, "final_result"]}

This will produce a counter and snapshot with e.g. such key :

    [long_request, "radius request", "ok"]
Send span to Zipkin

This action triggers sending the span to Zipkin. This action can only be used in final filter rules.

    send_to_zipkin
Allow or discard in prefilter

Pre-filter actions can be (next to snapshot_count) the atoms allow or discard. When a span is discarded, it is marked as inactive and the different APIs do their best to ignore it with as little resource consumption as possible, while keeping the API contract (i.e. same instrumentation works with active and inactive spans)

Filter configuration

The final filter rules are configured under filter_rules and the prefilter rules in prefilter_rules. If filter rules are not defined, the spans are discarded, if prefilter rules are not defined, all spans handled as active.

Example

example Condition/Action (rule) list:

    [
        {
            %% Condition
            [
                {greater, otter_span_duration, 5000000},
                {value, otter_span_name, "radius request"}
            ],
            %% Action
            [
                {snapshot_count, [long_radius_request], []},
                send_to_zipkin
            ]
        },
        %% Rule counts all requests with name and result
        {
            %% Condition
            [
            ],
            %% Action
            [
                {snapshot_count, [request], [otter_span_name, final_result]}
            ]
        }

    ]
External filter functions

Both filter_rules and prefilter_rules configurations can have a {Module, Function, ExtraArgument} tuple as value. With this configuration Module:Function(Span :: span(), ExtraArgument) will be called and expected to return a tuple {NewSpan :: span(), Actions :: [action()]}. Any other results are ignored and the span is discarded. The external filter can also modify the span. The actions are as described above. Unknown actions in the list are ignored. Of course the external filter can do any additional actions before returning the result.

Sending a span to Zipkin or Jaeger

As a result of filter action send_to_zipkin the span is forwarded to the trace collector using HTTP/Thrift binary protocol. In the context of the span producing process the span is added to a buffer (ETS table). The content of this buffer is sent to Zipkin asynchronously in intervals configured in zipkin_batch_interval_ms (milliseconds).

The URI of the Zipkin trace collector is configured in zipkin_collector_uri. When Jaeger is used then the URL should also include "format=zipkin.thrift" request parameter. e.g.

    ...
    %% example url for sending spans to Jaeger
    {zipkin_collector_uri, "http://127.0.0.1:14268/api/v1/spans"},
    ...

Tags ane logs in Zipkin can have an optional node entry. This entry contains the service name and IP/Port of the node sending the span. The Zipkin connector module (otter_conn_zipkin.erl) can add an extra tag to each span during encoding the span by setting the zipkin_add_host_tag_to_span in the configuration. The value of the parameter should a tuple {Key, Value}. OpenZipkin uses the "lc" (Local Component) tag to display the service for a span.

example :

    {zipkin_add_host_tag_to_span, {"lc", ""}},

The default service/host information to be sent to zipkin is provided in zipkin_tag_host_service, zipkin_tag_host_ip and zipkin_tag_host_port configuration parameters.

Sending the span to Zipkin utilizes the configured HTTP client. OTTER has support for inets https, ibrowse or hackney. Alternatively a callback function can be configured to plug in other http clients.

The configuration to specify the http client is http_client which can have the vaue of the atoms httpc (default), ibrowse, hackney or the tuple {Module, Function}. Except for httpc the other clients should be added to the project dependencies. OTTER does not include them.

In case {Module, Function} is configured then Module:Function(ZipkinUrl :: list(), BinaryThriftData :: binary()) is called. The callback is expected to return {ok, HTTPResultCode :: integer()}. Normally callback should send a HTTP POST request to OpenZipkin or Jaeger setting the content type to application/x-thrift. Both of these trace collectors return HTTP result code 202 in success case.

Snapshot/Counter

As a result of the filter snapshot_count action, 2 ETS tables are used to count events (see snapshot_count action above) and in the same time store the last span information that has increased the counter. This can be considered a useful and fairly cheap troubleshooting tool.

Tho retrieve and manage these snapshot counters, OTTER provides API calls in the otter API module.

List counters
    -spec counter_list() -> [{list(), integer()}].

example:

3> otter:counter_list().
[{[long_span,test_request],1},
 {[otter_conn_zipkin,send_spans,failed],1},
 {[span_processed,"customer db lookup"],1},
 {[span_processed,test_request],1},
 {[long_span,"customer db lookup"],1}]
Retrieve snapshot for counter
    -spec counter_snapshot(list()) -> term().

example:

4> otter:counter_snapshot([long_span,test_request]).
[{[long_span,test_request],
  [{snap_timestamp,{2017,2,21,19,8,23,76525}},
   {data,{span,1487700503067982,3826404163842487863,
               test_request,1113017739039451686,undefined,
               [{customer_id,1},
                {transaction_id,3232323},
                {magic_tag,"wizz"},
                {magic_result,error},
                {db_result,"bad customer"},
                {final_result,error}],
               [{1487700503067998,"starting some magic"},
                {1487700503068000,"finished magic"},
                {1487700503068012,"db lookup"},
                {1487700503076491,"db lookup returned"}],
               8525}}]}]
Delete counter (and its snapshot)
    -spec counter_delete(list()) -> ok.
Delete all counters and snapshots
    -spec counter_delete_all() -> ok.

OTTER Configuration

The OTTER application configuration is handled through the otter_config module (otter_config.erl). In the default implementation it uses the application environment. An example configuration can be found in the otter.app.src file.

    ...
    {http_client, ibrowse}, %% ibrowse | httpc
    {zipkin_collector_uri, "http://172.17.0.2:9411/api/v1/spans"},
    {zipkin_batch_interval_ms, 100},
    {zipkin_tag_host_ip, {127,0,0,1}},
    {zipkin_tag_host_port, 0},
    {zipkin_tag_host_service, "otter_test"},
    {zipkin_add_host_tag_to_span, {"lc", ""}},
    {filter_rules, [
        {
            [
                {greater, otter_span_duration, 1000}
            ],
            [
                {snapshot_count, [long_span], [otter_span_name]}
            ]
        },
        {
            [],
            [
                {snapshot_count, [span_processed], [otter_span_name]},
                send_to_zipkin
            ]
        }
    ]},
    ...

Acknowledgements

The development of ''otter'' was championed by Holger Winkelmann of Travelping. Both Travelping and bet365 kindly provided sponsorship for the initial development. The development was primarily done by Ferenc Holzhauser with design input from Chandru Mullaparthi.

License

Apache 2.0