Overcoming the challenges with ‘observability’
I&O organizations have always utilized various monitoring processes to collect system data and report on the state of individual elements. However, monitoring alone is insufficient to address the challenges of complex modern environments. The current environment needs monitoring to be complemented by good 'observability’, which is the ability to understand why a system behaves in a certain way.
We need solutions that are beyond simple monitoring. Observability solutions will help I&O organizations gain better and deeper insights across the full stack in real time, linking these insights to business outcomes, cost of services, and end-to-end development workflows.
The upcoming sections elaborate upon Wipro’s approach, solution and guidance to rolling out observability concepts and solutions within an organization.
Application of observability
Let us examine the following scenario to understand this better.
The business operations team of a large retail company suddenly sees a decline in online sales. Concurrently, I&O teams see performance degradations on the application supporting the online portal. The database team has been working on database performance issues for the last 3 hours and have identified some long running queries as the cause. Coincidently, security operations has been on high alert due to an unprecedented stream of attacks on the environment.
Is it coincidence that sales is declining at the same time that a security attack is on?
Without applying observability, various operations teams, from business to IT to security, would be working in silos and wasting precious time before realizing that the individual issues were interconnected. The monitoring solution worked only because each team realized the stated changes in their respective elements through alerts. But was this sufficient to help the business?
The need in such situations is for a solution that can provide a more unified 360 degree relational view of the environment, applying artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) techniques to filter and correlate data across multiple services. This helps the I&O teams to quickly understand business and end-user impact. Observability platforms allow I&O teams to build and maintain comprehensive views of the full status and performance of entire services, from applications, on-premises infrastructure, cloud services, containers, to Kubernetes, etc.
In our scenario, a well designed observability solution would have helped the security team to correlate the impact of the ongoing security incidents with the decline in online sales within minutes.