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Getting Started with Distributed Tracing

Get set and get ready: This section describes what you have to do to get set up - before you can use Distributed Tracing in

If you already use Distributed Tracing, you can quickly send your tracing data to through your chosen integration.

To set up Distributed Tracing:

Get access to

Sign up for a free trial account. Once you have a account, navigate to the Distributed Tracing interface.

Ready to get some trace data!

Get credentials to send tracing data

When you configure your system to send tracing data to, you need to provide your Distributed Tracing token and Region information.

Look up your Tracing token

You must have admin permissions for the account to view the Manage tokens page. If you're not an admin user for the account, consult with an account admin to get the Distributed Tracing token information.

  1. From the Tracing menu, go to Manage tokens.

    Distributed Tracing tokens

  2. Find the Distributed Tracing account you want to ship to in the table, and copy the token.

For information about how to manage your tracing data sources, see the Manage a Distributed Tracing account topic.

Look up your Region information

If you have admin user permissions, you can clarify the 2-letter code for your region in Settings > General settings > Account settings.

Navigate to general settings

The list of all the region codes is available in the Docs, in the Region code column of the Regions and Listener Hosts table. The default region is US east.

Set up instrumentation

Application instrumentation starts with selecting the library based on the programming language that you're using. makes the process of collecting data from the software as easy as possible by taking advantage of community-developed plug-ins for the most commonly used libraries and frameworks.

There’s a growing trend to do this for every type of library, software system, infrastructure component, such as proxies and service meshes, and even for orchestration systems, such as Kubernetes itself.’s distributed tracing solution is designed to support a variety of popular open source instrumentation libraries, including OpenTracing, Jaeger, OpenTelemetry, and Zipkin.

But instrumentation doesn't have to be a huge all-or-nothing effort. It's not mandatory to immediately instrument ALL the code in your environment to start benefitting from Distributed Tracing: You can ramp up your instrumentation gradually, by implementing on a service-by-service basis.

If you hit a wall, we’ll do our best to provide support to help you solve your instrumentation issues.

To determine the best instrumentation strategy for your system, start with Send your traces.

Install and Run the OpenTelemetry Collector captures end-to-end distributed transactions from your applications and infrastructure with trace spans sent directly to via the OpenTelemetry collector, which you install inside your environment.

We recommend that you use the OpenTelemetry collector to gather trace transaction data from your system. With the merging of the OpenTracing and OpenCensus projects, OpenTelemetry is the CNCF standard.

This link takes you to the OpenTelemetry installation. The information is also available in the Docs, in Ship your data > OpenTelemetry installation.

If you’re deploying distributed tracing on Kubernetes, we recommend the Kubernetes deployment reference topic.

For additional insights, check out our Guide to OpenTelemetry!