A software tool or component that processes and forwards software telemetry to an observability back end, such as Splunk Observability Cloud. In the context of application monitoring, agents instrument applications to collect spans, traces, logs, and metrics.

There are two types of observability agents:

  • Agents that collect infrastructure telemetry, which run in the background as daemons or services
  • Agents that instrument software applications by attaching to the application as packages or components

You can configure Splunk agents for application monitoring (APM), real-time user monitoring (RUM), and infrastructure monitoring using the Splunk Distribution of OpenTelemetry Collector.

Related terms

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