groundcover has announced Flora, a newly released eBPF-based observability agent that was built with a strict performance mindset – promising full observability at high scales while costing next to zero overhead. Flora has dramatically outperformed all leading observability platforms as Datadog, OpenTelemetry and New Relic’s modern eBPF solution – Pixie Labs.

The conducted benchmark simulated a high volume environment tracking a simple baseline HTTP server application for metrics of CPU and memory consumption before and after the integration of the various observability platforms in question.

Flora demonstrated minimal to zero overhead to the application’s CPU (+9%) and memory (+0%), while Datadog, OpenTelemetry and the Pixie agent inflicted dramatic overhead of 249%, 59% and 32% above the CPU baseline, respectively, and 227%, 27% and 9% above the memory baseline.

Additionally, under a limited CPU environment for the monitored application, the overhead added by Datadog, OpenTelemetry and the Pixie agent was also demonstrated to significantly limit the bandwidth for the HTTP server, reducing the volume of handled requests by 71%, 19% and 12%, respectively, compared to the measured baseline.

All other solutions but Flora raised the resource consumption of the application dramatically and in an unexpected manner, potentially causing the application to reach CPU throttling that might degrade its performance or even create an out of memory crash (OOM) in a limited environment.

Flora also proved to be highly efficient in the total resources it consumed, making it the most cost-effective solution at high scale. When combining the resources consumed by the different agents tested and the overhead measured on the monitored application, Flora consumed a total CPU which was similar to the one used by OpenTelemetry and the Pixie agent, but that was 73% less than the CPU consumed by Datadog. Additionally Flora consumed 74%, 77% and 96% less memory than Datadog, OpenTelemetry and the Pixie agent, respectively.

The Flora eBPF observability agent is generally available as part of groundcover’s product where private users and organizations can experience it for free.

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