OpenTelemetry Updates Lambda Support

The Functions-as-a-Service (FaaS) SIG is incredibly excited to announce that the release of OpenTelemetry Lambda layers, and associated documentation on how to monitor Amazon Web Services (AWS) Lambdas.

OTel FaaS repackaged

If you’ve been monitoring Lambdas using OTel for a while now, you may be slightly confused by this announcement. You might think something like: OTel has had a repository for Lambda layers and they’ve been available on AWS for years.

You’re totally correct. Rest assured, we’re not reinventing the wheel. However, there are some pre-existing problems that may impact users:

  • The OTel Lambda layers were only released as part of the AWS Distribution for OTel (ADOT), and the community had limited control over releases which meant a delay getting new features and fixes delivered.
  • The layers available on AWS combined the Collector and auto-instrumentation capabilities into a single package, which contributed to performance degradations and limited user choice.
  • There wasn’t official OTel guidance on how to monitor Lambdas and no single source of truth for OTel users to reference.

The FaaS SIG has addressed the above-mentioned shortcomings:

  • We have written new GitHub Actions to release the Lambda layers ourselves, thus empowering the community to make its own release decisions.
  • Separated the Collector and instrumentation layers to give users options when instrumenting their Lambdas. We now offer a standalone Lambda layer for the Collector alongside auto-instrumentation layers for JavaScript, Java, and Python.
  • Added official community Lambda documentation to the OTel website under the new FaaS section.

What next

Moving forward, the FaaS SIG plans to: enhance the documentation, add auto-instrumentation for other Cloud vendors like Azure and GCP (tentative), enhancing the existing Lambda assets, and improving OpenTelemetry performance for Function specific scenarios.

Get Involved

Interested in learning more, or if you’d like to help: join us in a SIG meeting (every Tuesday at 12 pm PST), or join us on Slack at #otel-faas.