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Things Zipkin isn’t

Things Zipkin isn’t

10m first run of a new talk I'm working on which is the opposite of the usual. Instead of passing cups of koolaid, this will focus on the things Zipkin doesn't do well out of the box, relies on other systems for, or things tracing is generally not good for.

Firstly, this was presented a triple wellington meetup https://www.meetup.com/Cloud-Native-CNCF-Wellington/events/263154909/

Adrian Cole

August 05, 2019

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  1. We use it to solve our own latency problems This

    dotted line is how much latency we took of worst request performance!
  2. Zipkin is not a good one-stop shop! @adrianfcole #zipkin this

    applies to all non-commercial products I’m aware of
  3. Zipkin isn’t a replacement for your database All the things

    around Zipkin are built to be lossy. Access to data is not managed as well as transactional systems. Mixing low-level telemetry apis in business code can be messy. Use agents or annotations to track business functions.
  4. Zipkin isn’t logging Imagine if you had to rewrite code

    to use a niche api in order for logs to come out! Even if they would, trace data is usually not indexed for full text search (oh my!) Using correlation fields, you can combine tracing and logging.
  5. Zipkin isn't metrics The core facts of the main Zipkin

    model are timestamp and duration, not statistical significance, not time in queue. Other things eat Zipkin data though, ex haystack trends https://github.com/ExpediaDotCom/haystack-trends
  6. Zipkin isn't artificial intelligence Some commercial products analyse trace data

    and push advice like minify this web app, or change loading order. Zipkin can neither surface anomalies nor intuit solutions. Some projects are progressing anomaly detection. ex adaptive alerting https://github.com/ExpediaDotCom/adaptive-alerting
  7. Zipkin isn't profiling Profilers act at stack frame level, a

    line of code abstraction. Most profilers aren’t safe to use in production and/or make huge data. Zipkin acts on operation or service abstraction, its data should be intuitive to those unfamiliar with the code.
  8. Zipkin can’t do your dishes Zipkin focuses on request behaviour.

    It is good for focusing other tools, but implies integration for fancier things. Zipkin is not a golden hammer, nor will it ever wash your dishes…