Overcome IT Complexity with Full-Stack Observability

By Thomas LaRock, Head Geek, SolarWinds

Organizations embarking on digital transformation journeys tend to develop complex infrastructures. They are updating their legacy apps while adding multi-cloud, virtual, and cloud-native capabilities. Eventually, IT professionals find themselves managing diverse, complex, and distributed networks, including cloud, system, application, and database infrastructures.

To master the resulting complexity, organizations tend to accumulate monitoring and management tools. The goal is to simplify system monitoring, but instead silos tend to grow as teams use a wide variety of tools to manage their networks or infrastructure.

This piecemeal approach compounds operational blind spots and delays problem solving. It also increases security risks. Soon, overworked IT professionals can no longer keep pace with application modernization or infrastructure dynamics, as they are inundated with complexity.

Although this scenario is common, it is not inevitable. IT teams can ease their digital transformation journey by implementing an integrated, cost-effective, end-to-end monitoring service that can overcome complexity and silos.

Organizations need complete observability.

How observability differs from traditional monitoring

Observability goes beyond traditional monitoring. Traditional monitoring helps IT organizations understand the true state of their infrastructure and applications. It captures and processes volumes of infrastructure and application telemetry data and notifications and displays which components are active, which are down, and which have changed.

Typically, traditional monitoring focuses on a specific network, cloud, or infrastructure. It tracks application and infrastructure elements so that IT professionals can identify anomalies and investigate problems as they arise.

Monitoring relies on metric-oriented dashboards designed to evaluate telemetry data against statistically relevant manual or baseline thresholds. Monitoring tools are invaluable, but they don’t offer cross-domain correlation, service delivery insights, operational dependencies, or predictability. Modern systems have complex multi-cloud environments and a deluge of telemetry data: that counts as lost revenue.

Observability does more. It measures the internal states of systems by examining outputs and examines applications and systems in their entirety, from end-user experience to server-side metrics and logs.

But observability also includes monitoring as a critical element. To gain observability, you must first collect information through monitoring. Observability uses the information and metrics generated by monitoring to understand the cause of the problem in question.

Monitoring aggregates and displays data to determine if systems are performing as expected. The analysis of this information is compared with the expected results and the objectives. This allows IT professionals to understand the state of their infrastructure and applications.

Silos are thus avoided because complex environments are seen in their entirety.

Observability in action

Once in place, observability enables IT organizations to continuously improve performance, availability, and digital experience in complex, diverse, and distributed hybrid and cloud environments.

With observability, organizations can quickly find and resolve anomalies. However, full-stack observability goes beyond monitoring and accelerated problem solving: it provides insights, automated analytics, and actionable insights through cross-domain data correlation, machine learning ( ML) and artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps). It works on massive real-time and historical metrics, logs and trace data.

Observability goes beyond the silos and piecemeal approach associated with traditional monitoring. And when observability is not limited, when it includes ML and AIOps, it utilizes the large volume of collected data and provides insights, automated analytics, and actionable insights to help IT staff accelerate problem resolution. . It also enables ITOps, DevOps and security organizations to achieve consistent, optimized and predictable business service delivery with continuously improved digital experience and IT productivity.

The result is that customers and employees benefit from better managed systems. The technology provides organizations of all sizes and in all industries with comprehensive, integrated and cost-effective functionality through flexibility of on-premises deployment or cloud-connected software as a service (SaaS).

When embarking on digital transformation journeys, organizations don’t need more complexity, and certainly not so long as they update legacy applications and add a plethora of modern services and features to their stack. . The key to reducing complexity is observability.

Observability simplifies the transformation process. It reduces operational noise for the benefit of ITOps, DevOps and security teams. They can become more proactive in detecting problems and anomalies to optimize IT performance, compliance, and resilience. With comprehensive observability, any organization, regardless of size or industry, can reduce IT complexity while preparing for digital transformation.

Sharon D. Cole