Apache SkyWalking in Action

Your guide to observability at scale

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SkyWalking in Action: Your Guide to Observability at Scale

Apache SkyWalking is a super-powerful observability platform and application performance monitor (APM) tool that was created to solve some of the thorniest problems faced by today’s administrators: Identifying why and where a request is slow, distinguishing normal from deviant system performance, comparing apples-to-apples metrics across apps regardless of programming language, and attaining a complete and meaningful view of performance.

SkyWalking is one of the Apache Software Foundation’s Top-Level Projects, and it provides a highly efficient, automated way to instrument microservices, cloud native, and container-based applications, with or without a service mesh. Its global community includes more than 200 contributors. SkyWalking is in use at some of the world’s largest companies, including Alibaba, Huawei, WeBank, youzan.com, and many more.

This book serves as a step-by-step guide to give readers a foundational understanding of distributed monitoring and tracing systems and practical ability to navigate Apache SkyWalking. You’ll learn about SkyWalking’s core modules and the design concepts behind them so that you can get the most out of observing your system.

Use SkyWalking for

  • Monitoring the health of your services with distributed tracing collected with low payload;
  • Observing your distributed system, on or off service mesh;
  • Automating source code change and instrumentation: multiple language agents provided
  • Advanced visualization: used in traces, metrics, and topology maps.

“Apache SkyWalking is an open-source platform for application performance monitoring and observability of distributed systems. It is widely used in the industry due to its sophisticated design and high efficiency. This book is written by lead author Sheng Wu, the founder of SkyWalking. It is informative, easy to use, and well written for learning and referencing.”

Jerry Tan Zhongyi
Baidu Open Source Lead

“SkyWalking is an exemplary model of Apache in terms of both its product and community. It is a China-based project that has high international growth capabilities. It has been widely used in all walks of life and has become the fundamental support of many modern systems. In this book, readers will learn to use SkyWalking from scratch, master its core principles and design ideas, and benefit from experts’ insights gleaned from years of experience in the community.”

Liang Zhang
JD Digital Technology Center Architecture Expert,
Vice President and Founder, Apache ShardingSphere


“Apache SkyWalking is an excellent open source APM solution that has become very popular with users. This book comprehensively introduces its usage and the design principles of various modules. It is highly recommended for microservice architects, developers, system operation and maintenance personnel, and readers interested in application performance management technology.”

Jiang Ning
Huawei Open Source Competence Center Technical Expert, Apache Member



Sheng Wu
Founding Engineer, Tetrate

Yixiong Cao skywalking

Yixiong  Cao
OpenSource enthusiast, Apache SkyWalking PMC Member,
Focus on the technology development of APM, and RPC


Hongtao Gao
Tetrate engineer and former Huawei Cloud expert

Can Li skywalking

Can Li
Apache Skywalking PMC Member,
Focus on Kubernetes Cloud Native, Service Mesh and Distributed Tracing Monitor System