Posted On: Oct 27, 2023

AWS X-Ray now supports W3C trace IDs generated via OpenTelemetry and other frameworks that conform to the W3C Trace Context specification, providing customers with complete, end-to-end trace visibility for faster triaging and debugging of applications. 

Trace IDs are unique identifiers for each request passed from one service to another, used for distributed tracing across systems. Popular development tools such as NGINX, Envoy Proxy, Kubernetes components and more emit traces using the OpenTelemetry protocol and generate trace IDs in the W3C format. Customers are unable to configure these external development tools to generate X-Ray format trace IDs and view traces from these tools in the X-Ray console, leading to a lack of end-to-end trace visibility. With this new, extended support for W3C trace IDs, customers can now also view traces from these external development tools, along with existing X-Ray format traces, in the X-Ray console across their distributed systems.

To ensure trace IDs in W3C format are accepted by X-Ray, use version 1.300030.0 or newer of the CloudWatch agent, or version 0.34.0 or newer of the AWS Distro for OpenTelemetry (ADOT) collector. W3C trace ID support for AWS X-Ray is now available in all AWS Commercial Regions. To learn more, refer to the AWS X-Ray developer guide and instrumentation guide.

Update: 1/3/2024 - This post has been updated to reflect W3C support through the CloudWatch agent.