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Distributed tracing

Configuring Distributed Tracing (DT) will enable you to obtain a visualization of the call paths that take place in order to process a request made to Kratos. It's yet another tool that you can use to aid you in profiling, debugging and ultimately understanding your deployment of Kratos better. Kratos supports the following tracing options:

  • Tracing backend(s): Jaeger

    Note: Adding support for other OpenTelemetry exporters is planned. To aid in priority, please create an issue with your feature request. However, official support in OpenTelemetry only exists for the exporters listed here. Other backends can be technically "supported" by sending spans to the OpenTelemetry Collector agent, and configuring the collector to push spans to whatever backend of your choice.

  • Following existing traces: If you have deployed Kratos behind a proxy that has initiated a trace, Kratos will attempt to join that trace by examining the request headers for tracing context. At present, support for Jaeger and Zipkin (B3) spans exists; support for additional formats like Trace Context and Baggage is planned.

What a Kratos trace includes

In DT speak, a trace is comprised of one or more spans which are logical units of work. Each Kratos span is encapsulated with the following state:

  • A name
  • A start time
  • A finish time
  • A set of zero or more tags

Kratos creates the following spans:

  • Top level span (named after the request path) for the requested endpoint. Span tags: - http method - http status code - error IFF status code >= 400
  • Child span will be created if bcrypt is called. Span tags: - bcrypt work factor
  • All SQL database interactions. Spans/tags will vary depending on the database driver used.

This is still evolving and subject to change as tracing support continues to expand in Kratos. If you see something that's missing/wrong, please create an issue.

Configuring tracing

The provided docker-compose file in the project repository has tracing configuration which you can use to play around with.

Simply run

docker-compose -f quickstart.yml \
-f quickstart-tracing.yml \
up --build

Grab a coffee or stretch while you wait for everything to come up. You will then be able to navigate to the Jaeger UI which you have exposed on port 16686 at http://localhost:16686/search. You can now start making requests to Kratos and inspect traces!

In essence, simply set the following environment variables:

TRACING_PROVIDER=jaeger    # only "jaeger" is supported for now