Building and maintaining complex distributed systems
June 19–20, 2017: Training
June 20–22, 2017: Tutorials & Conference
San Jose, CA

Application tracing tutorial

Bryan Liles (Capital One)
9:00am–12:30pm Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Systems Engineering
Location: LL21 C/D
Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ***..
(3.60, 5 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Developers and operations people who have deployed applications to production

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A basic understanding of how to use the command line and a text editor and how distributed applications are put together

Materials or downloads needed in advance

  • A laptop (Windows 10, Linux, or macOS) with at least 8 GB of RAM and a current version of Docker (Docker for Mac or Windows or the latest deb/rpm from installed

What you'll learn

  • Understand how distributed tracing works and how to employ it in the development and operations of your applications


Modern applications are complex, and the complexity increases exponentially along with the amount of services. (The complexity inherent in tracing distributed applications, for instance, can be a result of incompatibilities introduced by different languages and technologies.) As applications become more advanced, special consideration has to be employed to ensure coupling of services isn’t increasing.

Bryan Liles offers a hands-on demonstration for implementing tracing in modern applications, introducing tracing through the CNCF’s OpenTracing project. Bryan walks you through building a distributed system and employing tracing to gather knowledge of complex transactions that could span multiple processes. After the application is deployed, you’ll be exposed to the different components of a tracing system and learn how to implement them in your workshop environment. You’ll leave with knowing how distributed tracing works and ready to employ it in the development and operations of your applications.

Topics include:

  • Choosing OpenTracing over other solutions
  • The types of data that will be shared with tracing
  • The components of a tracing system
  • Viewing trace data
  • Using trace data to identify potential problems
Photo of Bryan Liles

Bryan Liles

Capital One

Bryan Liles is a principal engineer on the cloud engineering team at Capital One. When not helping a huge back move to the public cloud, he gets to speak at conferences on topics ranging from machine learning to building the next generation of developers. In his free time, Bryan races cars in straight lines and around turns and builds robots and devices.

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Picture of Bryan Liles
06/20/2017 11:07am PDT

Slide Deck:

06/20/2017 3:27am PDT

Would also like to grab the slide deck and/or be able to watch this again at a later date. Thanks!

Picture of Bryan Liles
06/19/2017 7:40am PDT



06/19/2017 7:32am PDT

Any pre-tutorial instructions we might perform. Any ‘docker pull’ commands we should run to save time?

chris didato | MTS - SECOPS ARCHITECT
06/12/2017 4:56am PDT

I would love to watch this offline.
I hope to see if on YouTube.