i'm a developer — eli5 me about opentelemetry standard

Answer
OpenTelemetry is a standard approach to collecting observability data, which includes metrics, traces, and logs. It is part of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and provides APIs and SDKs in more than a dozen languages to help you instrument, generate, collect, and export telemetry data. OpenTelemetry is important because it acts as a universal collector for observability data, preventing vendor lock-in and allowing developers to use the language and formats they're already familiar with. It's akin to how USB-C standardized the connection of various devices like mouses, keyboards, and monitors. OpenTelemetry is an abstraction layer for logging and tracing, which can save a lot of headaches when switching from one vendor to another. However, it's worth noting that OpenTelemetry is primarily focused on data collection. You'll need another tool to analyze the data, create dashboards, identify patterns, and set up alerts. OpenTelemetry offers a single set of APIs and libraries that standardize how you collect and transfer telemetry data. It provides a specification for instrumentation, allowing you to send data to distinct backends of your choice. In comparison to OpenTracing, another observability standard, OpenTelemetry provides more built-in support for metrics and includes features such as automatic metrics collection and correlation. OpenTracing primarily focuses on providing a consistent API for tracing, but does not have built-in support for metrics. In summary, OpenTelemetry is a powerful tool for developers to standardize the collection of observability data across different systems and languages, helping to avoid vendor lock-in and facilitating the analysis of system performance and health.
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