Monitoring application stability in Cortex with Lightstep

Integrating Lightstep into Cortex can help teams import services easily, view Lightstep SLOs, and monitor application stability through Lightstep specific Scorecard rules.

July 29, 2021

Cortex allows you to get comprehensive visibility and control into your microservices through our various integrations. With the Lightstep integration, you can add to the power of Cortex by importing Lightstep services and SLOs. Lightstep provides unlimited cardinality, dynamic service maps, and immediate root cause correlation across traces, metrics, and logs anywhere in your system - it’s an incredibly powerful monitoring and observability platform. 

Inside Cortex, you’ll be able to: 

  • Import Lightstep services 
  • Define SLOs for Latency Metrics 
  • Create Scorecard rules based on Lightstep 

With this integration, you’ll be able to see the Lightstep data alongside other information about your services, allowing you to better monitor the stability of your microservices. To get started see our documentation for adding Lightstep to Cortex.

Easily import Lightstep services 

Once you’ve configured Lightstep into Cortex, you’ll be able to import your Lightstep services into Cortex. It’s incredibly simple - click the button to create a new service and you’ll see the list of discovered services on the left hand side. You can then select which you want to import into Cortex.

Afterwards, you’ll see the services in the service catalog. Each service has its own homepage with all the Lightstep information as well as information about the service such as owners, on-call rotations, and more.

View Lightstep SLOs

For each service, you’ll be able to define SLOs for latency metrics on any arbitrary streams, at different percentiles in Cortex. For a given stream, you can define a target latency threshold (e.g. 200ms) and the percentile (99th). For example, this could be “Latency for stream <x> at 99th percentile should be less than 200ms”. You can define multiple percentile+target combinations for each stream. For each percentile/latency target combination, you can define an SLO. Because Lightstep doesn’t support true event-based “SLI”, we treat each timeslice (1 minute) as an “event” for SLI calculation.

Scorecard Integration

In order to enforce best practices and hold teams accountable to creating Lightstep SLOs, you can create Scorecards. You can do so in conjunction with other rules depending on your other integrations. The available scorecard rules for Lighstep check:

  • The number of Lightstep SLOs 
  • If service is meeting all of its SLOs 

Start using Cortex & Lightstep today

Using Lightstep within Cortex will allow you to set best standards for SLOs and monitor the stability of your services. Visit our documentation to integrate Lightstep with Cortex. If you're new to Cortex, set up a demo with our team to get started. 

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