Monitor GORM performance with OpenTelemetry

Learn how to monitor GORM performance using OpenTelemetry GORM instrumentation.

What is OpenTelemetry?

OpenTelemetryopen in new window is an open source and vendor-neutral API for OpenTelemetry tracingopen in new window, logsopen in new window, and metricsopen in new window.

OpenTelemetry provides a set of APIs, libraries, and instrumentation tools to instrument applications and collect data about their behavior and performance.

The goal of OpenTelemetry is to provide a standardized and vendor agnostic way to instrument applications for observability, for example, many open source tracing toolsopen in new window already support OpenTelemetry.

What is GORM?

GORM is a popular, high-level ORM (Object-Relational Mapping) library for Go, and OpenTelemetry GORM provides a set of libraries and tools for instrumenting GORM applications to collect telemetry data such as traces, metrics, and logs.

GORM instrumentation

To install GORM OpenTelemetry instrumentation:

go get


OpenTelemetry GORM is designed is easy to use and provides a simple API for instrumenting GORM applications, making it possible for developers to quickly add observability to their applications without having to write a lot of code.

To instrument GORM, you need to install the plugin provided by otelgorm:

import (

db, err := gorm.Open(sqlite.Open("file::memory:?cache=shared"), &gorm.Config{})
if err != nil {

if err := db.Use(otelgorm.NewPlugin()); err != nil {

And then use db.WithContext(ctx) to propagate the active span via contextopen in new window:

var num int
if err := db.WithContext(ctx).Raw("SELECT 42").Scan(&num).Error; err != nil {

What is Uptrace?

Uptrace is a distributed tracing toolopen in new window that supports distributed tracing, metrics, and logs. You can use it to monitor applications and troubleshoot issues.

Uptrace Overview

Uptrace comes with an intuitive query builder, rich dashboards, alerting rules with notifications, and integrations for most languages and frameworks.

Uptrace can process billions of spans and metrics on a single server and allows you to monitor your applications at 10x lower cost.

In just a few minutes, you can try Uptrace by visiting the cloud demoopen in new window (no login required) or running it locally with Dockeropen in new window. The source code is available on GitHubopen in new window.

What's next?

Next, instrument more operations to get a more detailed picture. Try to prioritize network calls, disk operations, database queries, error and logs.

You can also create your own instrumentations using OpenTelemetry Go Tracing APIopen in new window.

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