Observability at KubeCon North America 2023 in Chicago

Observability at KubeCon North America 2023 in Chicago
Nov 9, 2023
4 min
Adnan Rahic
Staff Developer Advocate

Check out this quick recap of the Observability Community at KubeCon North America 2023 in Chicago!

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Greetings from KubeCon! Albeit a virtual greeting from me this time. Although I couldn't attend in person this due to my upcoming wedding this Saturday, I was there in spirit alongside my colleagues [Ken](https://www.linkedin.com/in/ken-hamric-016b1420/) and [Jorge](https://www.linkedin.com/in/jorgeepc/)!


To help with my FOMO, Ken was awesome enough to share videos and photos from the conference floor so I could tag along virtually while being knee-deep in wedding planning and preparations. 😄

So, let's dive into the world of observability and the vibrant community that surrounds it.

## KubeCon Venue

KubeCon North America 2023 was in Chicago the week of November 6th. I thought it would be interesting to recap some of the events from the Tracetest team’s perspective with an eye towards Observability.


First, the venue [McCormick Place West](https://www.mccormickplace.com/facility-overview/floor-plans/west-overview/), was beautiful. Our team had a booth on the main floor, but also attended the co-located Observability Day event prior to the main conference.

## Observability Day and OpenTelemetry

Let me start off by discussing Observability Day. The agenda was packed with informative sessions and discussions that shed light on the latest trends and advancements in observability.

The room was at capacity for most of the day, and there were times people were not allowed to enter due to crowding. Very well attended. The CNCF needs to consider providing a second room next year to have more sessions and accommodate the number of interested people!

The [opening session](https://colocatedeventsna2023.sched.com/event/1Ro19/welcome-opening-remarks-program-committee-members-austin-parker-honeycombio-eduardo-silva-calyptia-richard-hartmann-grafana-labs?iframe=no) was covered by the OpenTelemetry community’s committee members.

- [Austin Parker, Honeycomb](https://www.linkedin.com/in/austinlparker/)
- [Eduardo Silva, Calyptia](https://www.linkedin.com/in/edsiper/)
- [Richard Hartmann, Grafana Labs](https://www.linkedin.com/in/richih/)

They covered [OpenTelemetry project](https://opentelemetry.io/) updates and explained what’s been done since the community last met, and where the project is heading.


We can finally rejoice as [OpenTelemetry is in GA and production ready](https://www.cncf.io/blog/2023/11/07/opentelemetry-at-kubecon-cloudnativecon-north-america-2023-update/)!!


This was a segue into Richard Hartmann’s session on [Business Observability](https://colocatedeventsna2023.sched.com/event/1Rj1l/business-observability-finops-at-grafana-labs-richard-hartmann-grafana-labs?iframe=no), where he explains Grafana Labs' real-world savings in Kubernetes deployments using OpenCost, Prometheus, and FinOps techniques. Richard showed real-life actionable advice, and future plans of their cost-effective approach.


Ken and Jorge did catch all the session at Observability Day and shared some of their favorites with me. What particularly caught their eye were two collab sessions from Observability vendors working together. 😮

[**OTTL Me Why Transforming Telemetry in the OpenTelemetry Collector Just Got Better](https://colocatedeventsna2023.sched.com/event/1Rj2Y/ottl-me-why-transforming-telemetry-in-the-opentelemetry-collector-just-got-better-tyler-helmuth-honeycomb-evan-bradley-dynatrace?iframe=no)** — By [Tyler Helmuth, Honeycomb](https://www.linkedin.com/in/tyler-helmuth-53150899/) & [Evan Bradley, Dynatrace](https://www.linkedin.com/in/evan-bradley-a817a4154/). They explained how the OpenTelemetry Collector is an observability pipeline that can process telemetry data at scale. It uses the OpenTelemetry Transformation Language (OTTL) to enable transformations based on payload fields. Their session provides an overview of OTTL, covers use cases, best practices, and common mistakes, and discusses future developments. You'll learn how to transform, filter, sample, and route data using OTTL statements.


[**Observe Thy CI/CD Pipelines with OpenTelemetry**](https://colocatedeventsna2023.sched.com/event/1Rj6r/observe-thy-cicd-pipelines-with-opentelemetry-reese-lee-new-relic-adriana-villela-lightstep-from-servicenow?iframe=no) — By [Reese Lee, New Relic](https://www.linkedin.com/in/reese-lee/) & [Adriana Villela, Lightstep from ServiceNow](https://www.linkedin.com/in/adrianavillela/). They explained how Observability is crucial for applications and systems, but there has been a lack of movement in implementing it for CI/CD pipelines. In their session, Adriana and Reese discuss the importance of Observability for pipelines, how to make them observable using OpenTelemetry, and the challenges that need to be overcome.


Observability Day truly showcased the brilliance and innovation of the OpenTelemetry community.

## Observability Vendors at KubeCon

Moving on, let's explore the diverse range of observability vendors present at KubeCon in Chicago this year. I counted 32 vendors who set up booths, each offering unique solutions and perspectives.

- [OpenTelemetry](https://opentelemetry.io/)
- [Grafana Labs](https://grafana.com/)
- [Honeycomb](https://www.honeycomb.io/)
- [Dynatrace](https://www.dynatrace.com/)
- [Lightstep from ServiceNow](https://www.lightstep.com/)
- [OpenSearch](https://opensearch.org/)
- [Elastic](https://www.elastic.co/)
- [Splunk](https://www.splunk.com/)
- [Datadog](https://www.datadoghq.com/)
- [Cribl](https://cribl.io/)
- [Lumigo](https://www.lumigo.io/)
- [Calyptia](https://www.calyptia.com/)
- [IBM Instana](https://www.instana.com/)
- [Sumo Logic](https://www.sumologic.com/)
- [Axiom](https://axiom.co/)
- [SigScalr](https://www.sigscalr.io/)
- [VictoriaMetrics](https://victoriametrics.com/)
- [BindPlane (ObservIQ)](https://observiq.com/solutions)
- [AxoFlow](https://axoflow.com/)
- [Chronosphere](https://chronosphere.io/)
- [ClickHouse](https://clickhouse.tech/)
- [Coralogix](https://www.coralogix.com/)
- [Kloudfuse](https://www.kloudfuse.com/)
- [Observe](https://www.observeinc.com/)
- [Isovalent](https://www.isovalent.com/)
- [Groundcover](https://www.groundcover.com/)
- [Logz.io](https://logz.io/)
- [Autometrics](https://autometrics.dev/)
- [Edge Delta](https://edgedelta.com/)
- [Mezmo](https://www.mezmo.com/)
- [FluxNinja](https://fluxninja.com/)
- [Senser](https://senser.tech/)

As promised, I have compiled a collection of photos to give you a glimpse into the vibrant atmosphere and impressive setups.


## Fostering a Sense of Community

One of the coolest things about the observability space is how vendors, even though they're competing, still have this awesome sense of camaraderie and collaboration. It's really interesting to see the friendships and partnerships that have formed, making it feel like a tight-knit community.

What’s the proof? Many of the vendors collaborated on sessions. Like the ones I mentioned above, where Developer Advocates from ServiceNow and New Relic did a collaborative session, as well as engineers from Honeycomb and Dynatrace.

In this inclusive community, Tracetest is like the Switzerland of OpenTelemetry. We’re not really taking sides because we work closely with all the vendors, enabling trace-based testing with the observability data they provide. I’d like to think we’re promoting unity and cooperation!

## Where do we go from now?

With KubeCon wrapping up today, let’s continue the discussion and try contributing even more to the OpenTelemetry project. The massive bombshell of being in GA has only boosted my motivation contribute to the project even more.

Our team has been active in the last year, with numerous PRs, both code contributions and content for the OpenTelemetry blog. I am hoping we can ramp up even more and help the developer community embrace OpenTelemetry, making it easier than ever to get started.

## What do you think?

I’ve shared my thoughts and experiences from KubeCon. Let me hear your ideas as well! What topics would you like to see covered? Feel free to reach out and share your suggestions!

- Do you want us to contribute to something specific in the OpenTelemetry project?
- Do you need a specific feature in Tracetest to help you work with OpenTelemetry?

There are no bad ideas!

I’m eager to hear your thoughts. Feel free to reach out to me any way you prefer! I am active on LinkedIn daily and happy to answer questions or just chat about OTel.

- [LinkedIn](https://www.linkedin.com/in/adnanrahic/)
- [Slack](https://dub.sh/tracetest-community)
- [Contact Form](https://tracetest.io/contact)

## See you at KubeCon Europe in Paris!

To wrap it up, KubeCon was a super exciting experience, even if I couldn't be there in person. The observability vendors showed off their skills, and the awesome sense of community was all about working together and contributing to OpenTelemetry.

If you enjoyed this post, share it with your friends!

Feel free to [connect with us on social media](https://www.linkedin.com/company/tracetest), join our [Slack community](https://dub.sh/tracetest-community), and [give us a ⭐ on GitHub](https://github.com/kubeshop/tracetest).