Honeycomb is an observability solution that shows you the patterns and outliers of system usage in today’s modern, complex, distributed applications. Unlike other observability companies that started with expertise in logs or metrics, Honeycomb began with and is a proponent of distributed traces as the most important observability signal.
Honeycomb enables engineering teams to understand what's happening in production by observing, analyzing, and distilling production data. It focuses on enabling you to find the ‘unknown unknowns’ and provides real-time, interactive introspection for your high cardinality data at scale and speed.
Honeycomb is very active in the OpenTelemetry project, contributing and providing leadership. In addition, their founder, Charity Majors, has provided thought leadership around ‘observability driven development,’ a methodology Tracetest uses to improve the development cycle of modern distributed applications.
Tracetest leverages the observability provided by the traces captured with Honeycomb to build tests across your distributed architecture quickly. Tests created in Tracetest can verify not only against the response from calls to your system, but it can also verify all the underlying processes that are exposed in the spans collected in the trace that is created as a result of the triggering of the test. This enables a distributed test to be created to verify the entire flow across multiple microservices.
Tracetest works with Honeycomb via the OpenTelemetry Collector, which is the method recommended by the OpenTelemetry community to collect, process, and export trace data from your system. The OTel Collector is made to sit between your application and the trace data store, which is Honeycomb in this case. Tracetest leverages the capabilities of the OpenTelemetry Collector to collect the traces generated by a Tracetest test and route this data directly to the Tracetest server.
You also continue to send your trace data to Honeycomb, which provides you analytics across both your normal traces and the trace data created by trace-based tests in Tracetest. You can spot anomalies in Honeycomb, diagnose them and create Tracetests to prevent regressions in the future. You can also use Honeycomb to view trends across your Tracetest test runs, allowing changes in performance over time to be identified.
Tracetest allows you to select Honeycomb as your trace data store and provides details on how to configure your OpenTelemetry Collector to create a second pipeline to route traces to Tracetest.