Amit Gud is a software engineer at DoorDash, since 2020, working on the Developer productivity team. He holds a Masters Degree in Computer Science from Kansas State University.
The ability to attach auxiliary metadata to requests within a large microservice architecture enables powerful use cases, such as infrastructure-level sharding, language localization, and testing-in-production. Adding this context to requests allows services and infrastructure libraries to make local decisions, and it can be used by infrastructure components in the directed acyclic graph that requests follow. Although there are large benefits to enabling context in service-to-service requests, propagating this information for all our microservices is a challenge.
To provide context to our requests, DoorDash is pioneering the adoption of the open source OpenTelemetry project to solve observability challenges for its diverse and expanding microservice architecture. OpenTelemetry relies on context propagation to stitch together the telemetry data for a particular request. With the dearth of open source or third-party solutions for custom context propagation, OpenTelemetry comes closest to being an off-the-shelf offering, which is why we pragmatically chose it over other options.