FAQ for distributed tracing with VMware Aria Operations for Applications (formerly known as Tanzu Observability by Wavefront)

This page has some special tips to help you instrument your applications and send trace data to Operations for Applications.

How do I send custom span level RED metrics?

For details on how to send span-level RED metrics using a custom tracing port, see Instrument Your Application with Sender SDKs.

How do I filter RED metrics using custom span tags?

If you want to filter RED metrics data using a non-default span tag, propagate the tag as a custom span tag to the RED metrics. See Custom Span-Level Tags for RED Metrics.

How do I customize the application name (Zipkin or Jaeger)?

To override the default application name when using zipkin-js, OpenTracing Zipkin/Jaeger libraries, or OpenTelemetry Zipkin/Jaeger libraries, use any of the following options:

  • Add the following span tag to the application logic.
  • If you are using the Wavefront proxy and don’t want to modify your code, open the <wavefront_config_path>/wavefront.conf file, and update or add the following configuration.
    • Zipkin
      traceZipkinApplicationName = <Enter_Application_Name>
    • Jaeger
      traceJaegerApplicationName = <Enter_Application_Name>

How do I emit spans in Operations for Applications format?

If you are not using an Operations for Applications SDK, OpenTracing library, or OpenTelemetry library, you can still send spans to Operations for Applications using the Wavefront proxy.

Send spans to the Wavefront proxy’s customTracingListenerPorts port in the Operations for Applications spans format. Open the <wavefront_config_path>/wavefront.conf file, and update or add the customTracingListenerPorts property.

Given below is an example of the Operations for Applications span format:

wavefrontSender.sendSpan("getAllUsers", System.currentTimeMillis(), 343, "localhost",
        "2f64e538-9457-11e8-9eb6-529269fb1459")).build(), null,
      ImmutableList.<Pair<String, String>>builder().
        add(new Pair<>("application", "Wavefront")).
        add(new Pair<>("service", "myService")).
        add(new Pair<>("http.method", "GET")).build(), null);

Why don’t I see trace results on the Traces Browser?

You might not see search results:

  • If you search for a trace after 7 days because Operations for Applications retains trace data only for 7 days.
  • If you search for a trace after 1 hour because you have enabled intelligent sampling for traces.
  • If you use invalid query syntax.

Why aren’t my RED metrics updated after updating spans?

RED metrics are derived automatically using the spans sent by your applications. But, RED metrics data is not automatically updated when you update the span data, such as the span name, source name, and point tags, using preprocessor rules. You need to update the RED metrics data using a proxy rule condition and a similar point altering preprocessor rule.

For example:

  • You updated the spans using the spanAddTagIfNotExists preprocessor rule.
  • Now, the spans are updated but, the span RED metrics that were propagated previously are not updated. These RED metrics have the following format: tracing.derived.* or ∆tracing.derived.*.
  • Define a proxy rule condition to update the tracing.derived.* and ∆tracing.derived.* RED metrics using a similar point altering preprocessor rule (e.g., addTagIfNotExists preprocessor rule).