Set up your environment to send OpenTelemetry Data to Wavefront.

With observability, you can ask questions about your system and get answers based on the telemetry data (metrics, traces, and logs) they produce.

With our tracing capabilities, you can analyze every request as it moves from one service to the next. This helps you:

  • Pinpoint the root cause of failures.
  • Identify performance bottlenecks.

Wavefront has supported instrumenting your apps for tracing with OpenTracing for a while. More recently, we added native support for OpenTelemetry. This tutorial shows how to get started with OpenTelemetry without manually instrumenting your Java application.


  • A Wavefront account. If you don’t have one yet, sign up for a free trial.
  • Java 8 or newer
  • Maven build tool
  • Docker
  • A sample application. This tutorial uses the Otel Beachshirts sample application.

Install Wavefront Proxy

Wavefront proxy ingests metrics and forwards them to the Wavefront service in a secure, fast, and reliable manner.

Run the following command.

  • MYINSTANCE is the name of your Wavefront instance, so the URL might be
  • MYTOKEN is your Wavefront API token.
docker run -d \
  -e JAVA_HEAP_USAGE=512m \
  -e WAVEFRONT_PROXY_ARGS="--customTracingListenerPorts 30001" \
  -p 2878:2878 \
  -p 30001:30001 \

See Run a Proxy in a Container for additional details.

Install the OpenTelemetry Collector

Next, you install the OpenTelemetry Collector and create the config file.

1. Download the binary from the latest release of the OpenTelemetry Collector project and add it to a directory of your choice.

2. In the same directory, create the otel_collector_config.yaml file and copy the following configuration into the file.

(Learn more about OpenTelemetry Collector configuration.)

              endpoint: "localhost:4317"
        endpoint: "http://localhost:30001"
  # Proxy hostname and customTracing ListenerPort
      timeout: 10s

        receivers: [otlp]
        exporters: [tanzuobservability]
        processors: [batch]

3. Navigate to the directory from your console and run the collector host with the config file as follows:

./otelcontribcol_darwin_amd64 --config otel_collector_config.yaml

Auto-instrument the Application

For instrumentation, we use the Java agent provided by OpenTelemetry, which can be attached to any Java application.

1. Download the sample application and navigate to the directory.

  git clone
  cd otel-demo-app-java

2. Do the install by running the following command from the root directory of the project.

mvn clean install

3. Download the OpenTelemetry Java agent.

4. Attach the Java agent and start the services independently by running the following commands.

java -javaagent:<path to otel agent> \ \
-Dotel.metrics.exporter=none \
-jar ./styling/target/styling-1.0-SNAPSHOT.jar

java -javaagent:<path to otel agent> \ \
-Dotel.metrics.exporter=none \
-jar ./shopping/target/shopping-1.0-SNAPSHOT.jar

java -javaagent:<path to otel agent> \ \
-Dotel.metrics.exporter=none \
-jar ./delivery/target/delivery-1.0-SNAPSHOT.jar

5. Interact with your application to generate traces.

For this sample application, run the following command from the root directory to send requests to services every 10 seconds.

  ./ 10

Visualize the Trace Data

When Wavefront ingests the trace data that the OpenTelemetry Collector has collected, you can examine them in the UI.

1. Log in to your Wavefront instance and select Applications > Application Status.

Data flow from shopping to styling to delivery

The Application Map gives you end-to-end visibility into the chain across services, even when those services are running in different environments. You learn about interdependencies and the overall health of your application for faster root cause analysis.

2. Select Applications > Service Dashboard to access the Service dashboard, which allows you to drill down at the service level.

Annotated screenshot of trace services and information on UI options

3. Select Applications > Traces to drill down into the traces with the Traces browser.

Annotated traces browser with information on UI options

Next Steps