Distributed Tracing

This topic describes how to leverage Distributed Tracing in your GigaSpaces cluster to identify latency issues.


Distributed tracing is quickly becoming a must-have component in the tools that organizations use to monitor their complex, microservice-based architectures. This helps engineers to pinpoint errors and identify performance bottlenecks.

GigaSpaces monitoring, part of the GigaOps Stack, includes Zipkin, a distributed tracing system that gathers timing data to enable troubleshooting latency issues in the system. This enables more effective performance tuning.

OpenTracing is a vendor-agnostic API for tracing and allows users to instrument their own services or libraries for distributed tracing.

For more information, view https://opentracing.io/docs/overview/

Tracing with GigaSpaces

Proxy-Side Tracing

GigaSpaces allows its users to trace their code by using OpenTracing spans in the proxy side.

In order to turn tracing on, you must configure a Tracer and register it with the GlobalTracer.registerIfAbsent method provided by the OpenTracing library. An example of such a Tracer is ZipkinTracer that reports the traces to a Zipkin server.

Every synchronous method in the GigaSpaces API will add a span to the active span if it exists. When the span is finished it is reported to the tracing endpoint (e.g. Zipkin).

The following example assumes that a Tracer and GigaSpaces proxy are defined. It creates a new span in the user’s code and calls the readMultiple method that adds a new span to the lifecycle of the flow:

// define Tracer and GigaSpaces proxy
 io.opentracing.Span span = tracer.buildSpan("FirstSpan").start();
 gigaSpaces.readMultiple(new Person());


Zipkin Built-In tracer

GigaSpaces provides a built-in bean com.gigaspaces.tracing.ZipkinTracerBean that can be used to send the traces to Zipkin as the tracing endpoint. This bean will register a GlobalTracer that can be used by the user’s code. Same GlobalTracer will be used in the GigaSpaces proxy for the synchronous methods.

 public ZipkinTracerBean tracerBean() {
     return new ZipkinTracerBean("GatewayService")

This bean is part of the xap-reporter module. To use it you need to add it to your processing unit jar file with its dependencies.


The screenshot below shows a “trace” of data sampled by Zipkin of multiple microservices running on a GigaSpaces distributed cluster:




Additional Resources

Microservices example with OpenTracing enabled