Honeycomb’s 2020 Blog Roundup

By George Miranda  |   Last modified on May 14, 2021

We’re here at last: the final days of 2020. Let’s take a look back at this year’s most popular Honeycomb blog posts.

Observability 101

In Observability 101: Terminology and Concepts, Shelby Spees reflects on her journey into observability and how all the polysyllabic words presented a barrier to entry. Her post helps new users get oriented by explaining fundamental concepts and terminology. The community has found it so helpful that it’s one of our most read blog posts this year. This is a great one to share with anyone that could use a quick primer on observability.

Collaboration with Amazon Web Services

This year we had a number of great developments between AWS and Honeycomb. In March, Liz Fong-Jones shared her Observations of ARM64 & AWS’s Amazon EC2 M6G Instances. She details how we found that by migrating from C5 instances to the new M6G instance type, Honeycomb could run 30% fewer instances in total, with 10% cost savings. In our most popular blog of 2020, the benefits of saving 40% on our EC2 bill were so clearly visualized using Honeycomb that we got a shoutout during Andy Jassy’s AWS re:Invent 2020 Keynote.

In November, we announced Honeycomb’s extension for the Lambda Runtime Logs API to more reliably send Lambda events to Honeycomb while also decreasing any added overhead, latency, and cost. Then in December, we announced Honeycomb support for Event Ingestion with OTLP in tandem with product enhancement announcements for AWS Distro for OpenTelemetry. The magic of this announcement is that the work made possible by AWS launching a new feature in ALBs enabling gRPC workloads with end-to-end HTTP/2 support. That’s partner collaboration at its finest.

Developments with OpenTelemetry

2020 saw a lot of activity with how Honeycomb supports the OpenTelemetry project. In March, Paul Osman announced our new Honeycomb Exporter for OpenTelemetry. Later, Paul followed up with Tracing Header Interoperability Between OpenTelemetry and Beelines. Then, the announcement for OTLP support (in the AWS section above) wrapped up the year by allowing everyone to simplify management overhead and configuration by no longer requiring a separate OpenTelemetry exporter. What a year for OpenTelemetry and Honeycomb.

Honeycomb launches Service Level Objectives

In January, Danyel Fisher announced SLOs as a GA Feature in Honeycomb. This second post in our three-part SLO series walks through setting up SLIs, understanding your error budget, using SLO Burn Alerts, and (most importantly) how to take action from the same interface and investigate exactly why that error budget is burning down. SLOs are now a differentiating enterprise feature for Honeycomb. To cap off a year of SLO support, Irving Popovetsky recently posted Setting Business Goals with SLOs, a useful gem for goal-setting season.

Observability for everyone

Another set of top blog posts this year all had to do with our revamped pricing model. In We Listened. Simpler Pricing. You’re Welcome, Charity Majors announced Honeycomb’s simplified pricing that is solely centered around event usage. At the same time, we doubled down on making observability more accessible to everyone when Megan Gleason posted that observability was now Free as in Honey.

Tackling sociotechnical problems

Our systems are sociotechnical systems. That’s the reason why technical problems are never just technical problems, and why social problems are never just social problems. Our next few blog hits of 2020 come from Christine Yen and Charity Majors. This year they tackled how The Future of Software is a Sociotechnical Problem, how we need to build for The Future of Developer Careers, and how practices are evolving for The Future of Ops Careers.

Technical walkthroughs FTW

Last, but definitely not least, 2020 was a great year for technical walkthrough content. Defining the problems that observability can solve is great, but how do you actually do these things? Our last big hits of 2020 all revolved around practical examples of how to get work done. Liz Fong-Jones had another hit with From Zero to Insight with OpenTelemetry in Go, a step-by-step walkthrough of instrumenting Go applications to emit telemetry to Honeycomb.

The Honeybyte series of walkthroughs includes Shelby Spees giving you a Taste for Sampling, taking you through Incremental Instrumentation Beyond the Beeline, and how DEV’s Molly Struve Made a Beeline Toward Observability. Pierre Tessier also had this hot walkthrough on getting infrastructure metrics out of the new Kubernetes + Honeycomb agent.

Heading into 2021 

That’s a wrap on our top posts this year. If you love the technical walkthroughs and are curious to learn more about how Honeycomb works, sign up today to try out Honeycomb.

We’re looking forward to bringing you more great content in the new year!


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