The Future of Observability: Prometheus Conformance Program

on November 22nd 2022

What is the Prometheus Conformance Program? In this video from The Future of Observability, Julius Volz, co-Founder of Prometheus, discusses what it is and how it affects everything from testing systems that talk to each other to automated test suites.

Julius Volz: What we hope will improve things is making official the Prometheus Conformance Program that we are establishing. So that is a collaboration between the Prometheus team and the cloud native computing foundation (CNCF). The idea is to not only test PromQL but also the other languages that different Prometheus systems use to talk to each other. So there’s the open metrics transfer format for how a given service exposes metrics to Prometheus. There’s also the way that alerts are handled in the alert manager, since some services are offering that kind of thing in their cloud service as well. 

And then there’s agents that collect and forward metrics, that’s the whole remote write protocol that’s being tested. So there’s a repository now where Prometheus team members are building automated test suites for these different interfaces that vendors can run against themselves, but that we currently mostly run against different implementations. 

On Compatibility

And there’s the legal side of this from the Linux foundation/CNCF (Cloud Native Computing Foundation) where we’re still working with them to finalize the bits on that, but the idea in the end is that the Linux foundation controls PromQL and Prometheus trademarks and will allow projects and vendors who are fully compatible to say so. So there will be a logo or certification mark that is valid for a given amount of time after you have run your tests. And while we still need to flesh that out, that’s definitely coming sometime this year. As a ragtag gang of open source people, we can never give fully hard deadlines, but it’s definitely going to come this year. And the hope is that this will give another financial incentive to vendors as well. To say hey, if we are 100 percent compatible, then we can actually use specific logos and marketing language. And that’s good for the Prometheus ecosystem as well. They’re really happy about people implementing all these open interfaces in their services, but we just want them to be compatible. That’s kind of what we want as the steward of the open Prometheus system.

This is part of a multi-part interview with Julius Volz on Prometheus and observability. Stay tuned here for more videos blogs like this on new topics ranging from high cardinality to the three phases of observability. Also make sure to subscribe to Chronosphere’s YouTube channel so you don’t miss any future videos.

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