OpenTelemetry (also known as OTel) is an open-source project hosted by the CNCF (Cloud Native Computing Foundation) that provides a universal standard on how tracing, logging and metrics are all supposed to be propagated in order to work more efficently with existing observability platforms. It provides this standard by offering fully open sourced APIs, libraries, and agents especially suited for distributed tracing and observability.
An OpenTelemetry Protocol (OTLP) is a single correlated stream of data containing resources, traces, metrics, logs, and events. The OTLP provides an efficient way to stream all this information for further inspection and processing of all of this data.
One of the initial components you will need to leverage in order to benefit from using OpenTelemetry are their exporters. Exporters for OpenTelemetry provide a way for you to export data to your back end, from here any ingested data can now be analysed using an external tool of your choice.
As the popularity of OpenTelemetry grows, many developers are increasingly adding custom OpenTelemetry instrumentation to their code to trace specific execution flows that they wish to capture and analyse further.