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Telemetry is all about how the signals are collected from various sources, including your own app and infrastructure and routed to destinations where they are consumed:

telemetry concept


See the Data types section for a detailed breakdown of the best practices for each type of telemetry.

Let's further dive into the concepts introduced in above figure.


We consider sources as something where signals come from. There are two types of sources:

  1. Things under your control, that is, the application source code, via instrumentation.
  2. Everything else you may use, such as managed services, not under your (direct) control. These types of sources are typically provided by AWS, exposing signals via an API.


In order to transport signals from the sources to the destinations, you need some sort of intermediary we call agent. These agents receive or pull signals from the sources and, typically via configuration, determine where signals shoud go, optionally supporting filtering and aggregation.

Agents? Routing? Shipping? Ingesting?

There are many terms out there people use to refer to the process of getting the signals from sources to destinations including routing, shipping, aggregation, ingesting etc. and while they may mean slightly different things, we will use them here interchangeably. Canonically, we will refer to those intermediary transport components as agents.


Where signals end up, for consumption. No matter if you want to store signals for later consumption, if you want to dashboard them, set an alert if a certain condition is true, or correlate signals. All of those components that serve you as the end-user are destinations.