Information about Trace API data requirements, including:
- Data specifications and max limits
- Required metadata (headers, query parameters)
- Response validation details
This document applies to the Trace API overall. For rules regarding specific data formats, see:
All trace data is sent via a POST to a Trace API endpoint. We have a few endpoints, depending on your setup:
- Default Trace API endpoint:
- EU data centers:
https://trace-api.eu.newrelic.com/trace/v1(see other EU endpoints).
- Infinite Tracing: when you complete the Trace observer setup, you get a custom YOUR_TRACE_OBSERVER_URL value to use as an endpoint. If you're using an integration that uses the Trace API (for example, these integrations), you must configure that integration with that endpoint. You will also want to adjust the sampling of your tracing service to send us 100% of spans.
Currently, the Trace API accepts two types of data formats:
zipkin: For reporting Zipkin trace data. Zipkin data must be Zipkin JSON v2.
newrelic: For reporting all other trace data.
Data limits and rules:
Max age of span
Max payload size
1MB (10^6 bytes) (gzip compression supported)
Max requests per minute
Max spans per minute per account family
Dependent on agreement. Max limit: 2M.
Max spans per trace
Max attributes per span
Max span attribute value length
Allowed HTTP protocols
Cross-account visibility of span details
Potential data obfuscation
To see an example of how span limits are enforced, see Exceeding limits.
The attributes in the table below are restricted in the
newrelic-format JSON (in the
attributes block) and in the
zipkin-format JSON (in the
tags block). Any values with these keys will be omitted:
Unique identifier for the entity that created this span. Generated from
Used for backwards compatibility with data from APM agents.
The following table shows the required request metadata for all trace data formats. This metadata can be sent as HTTP headers on an ingest request or, in some cases, provided as query parameters, which may be required for tracing frameworks that don't allow header modification.
Security note: We suggest using headers because query parameters are present in the URL and may be logged before being encrypted and received by New Relic. All data sent as query parameters must be URL-safe.
Required. Must be
Required. The length of the request body in octets (8-bit bytes) unless sent with chunked encoding. This header is generally set by default by the underlying HTTP client sending the data and in most cases should not require any additional effort by the end user.
Required. The Trace API requires the Insights insert key. If this is provided as both a header and a query parameter, the values must match.
Required if compressed payload. The value must be
There are only two possible pairings for these values:
Optional - Reserved for future use. The value must be a valid
A response for successfully sending trace data will include a
requestId. For example:
There are two ways success/errors are signaled:
HTTP status code (synchronous). Authentication and request errors will be signaled via HTTP status code.
NrIntegrationErrorevents (asynchronous). Errors with the JSON payload or other semantic errors are asynchronously signaled via
NrIntegrationErrorevents that are stored in the account whose license key is associated with the request. For all errors of this type, the attribute
requestIdwill be the
requestIdfrom the endpoint response.
If you receive a
202 response and don't see an
NrIntegrationError event, your data should be visible in New Relic One's global distributed tracing UI in about a minute. You should be able to find the trace using a standard trace search like:
traceId = TRACE_ID_SENT
When you exceed your span rate limit, an
NrIntegrationError event is generated. You can query rate limit messages with this NRQL:
SELECT * FROM NrIntegrationError WHERE newRelicFeature = 'Distributed Tracing' AND category = 'RateLimit' AND rateLimitType = 'SpansPerMinute'
To get a notification when you exceed the limit, you can set up a NRQL alert.
We calculate a rolling 10-minute average based on your span rate limit. This allows for temporary rate bursts, and lets us prioritize keeping and dropping complete traces instead of indiscriminately dropping spans on a per minute limit basis.
In the example below of exceeding the rate, the rate limit is the default 100,000 spans per minute. New Relic allows a burst above 100K for a couple of minutes without downsampling, because the remaining minutes in the 10-minute window averaged under 100K spans/minute. For the previous 10 minutes (8:50 - 9:00) the service received 60,000 spans/minute.
Spans sent to API
Total for past 10 minutes
If you need more help, check out these support and learning resources:
- Browse the Explorers Hub to get help from the community and join in discussions.
- Find answers on our sites and learn how to use our support portal.
- Run New Relic Diagnostics, our troubleshooting tool for Linux, Windows, and macOS.
- Review New Relic's data security and licenses documentation.