Observability vs Monitoring Use Cases
Brief introduction of observability and monitoring. Examples of observability use cases and monitoring use cases. Role of observability and monitoring in DevOps.
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Observability and monitoring are the two different types of DevOps measurement contributing to continuous delivery. These two are often used interchangeably, but there are key differences between them that separate them from each other.
Observability is defined as the ability to understand a system's internal state by analyzing the data generated by the system, such as — logs, metrics, and traces. Monitoring is closely related to Observability. In general, monitoring is classified as the collection and analysis of data that are pulled from IT systems. By analyzing the information about the application’s usage patterns, monitoring helps IT teams detect vulnerabilities beforehand and come up with an appropriate solution.
The broader distinction between observability and monitoring use cases lies in the extent of coverage. While monitoring typically focuses on a singular aspect, observability provides end-to-end visibility over the area of interest.
Let’s have a quick look at the various observability and monitoring use cases.
Observability Use Cases
Application Modernization: To stay up with contemporary needs, businesses have rapidly updated their tech stack. This covers the utilization of microservices, cloud infrastructure, SaaS delivery strategies, etc.
Modern apps are very well matched to user demands, but managing them has gotten more and more challenging. Particularly with specialized tools that are devoted to different domains. By offering a unified system and dashboard to manage the entire infrastructure, Observability tackles this issue. As a result, you can find problems fast and fix them.
Cloud Infrastructure Observability: The adoption of cloud-native technologies has become standard. In most circumstances, they are both far more dynamic and economical. Cloud-native systems, however, are also extremely complex. There is always so much going on; one unfortunate side effect is frequently the emergence of undesirable operational silos.
In the bid to manage these operation silos, teams often lose the understanding of how performance anomalies turn into a bad user experience down the line. Observability helps align efforts from various teams in cloud infrastructure by being a single source of insights to improve user experiences.
Cost Optimization: Multiple factors affect the revenue. Some factors include overprovisioning of resources, delay in identifying the root cause, and loss of brand reputation due to bad user experiences.
Full stack observability into your application and IT infrastructure provide reliable and timely information. You can use it to avoid overprovisioning and board up all the money-leaking holes. You can also use it to bring synergy between the application and infrastructure teams to ensure they both work towards the same goal.
Application Security: Modern businesses always run the risk of encountering cybercrimes. Especially because it’s nearly impossible to overlook the security of complex cloud infrastructures manually.
But observability can help make your application exponentially more secure. It can automatically detect issues and address them. Even better, it can identify a lot of possible security loopholes and patch them up for you.
Long-Term Trending: Monitoring an application or platform's performance over time is also one of the beneficial applications of observability. Changes can be detected, and patterns outside the target can be found, leading to a request for human intervention.
For instance, memory leaks in apps or services might be problematic even if they happen slowly. Resources can be changed to better suit the needs of apps that a larger number of people use.
Monitoring Use Cases
While observability takes care of broader business elements, monitoring is applied to specific aspects of the application and infrastructure. Let’s have a quick look at some of the monitoring use cases.
Availability Monitoring: Nothing is worse than the system going down. Availability monitoring is used to minimize site downtime and its negative consequences. It monitors the availability of infrastructure components such as servers and notifies the webmaster in case something goes wrong.
Web Performance Monitoring: It keeps track of the online service's accessibility as well as other precise criteria. This category includes factors like page load times, knowledge transmission errors, loading errors, etc., that are tracked.
Application Performance Monitoring (APM): Mostly used for mobile apps, websites, and business applications, APM focuses on performance parameters that impact user experiences. It also includes the underlying infrastructure and dependencies of the application.
API Monitoring: With most modern applications using APIs, it’s critical to ensure that API resources are available, functional, and responsive. API monitoring gathers all the relevant metrics for API to ensure unhindered operations.
Real User Monitoring: Apps can perform differently in real-world scenarios compared to controlled environments. Real user monitoring gathers user interaction data and keeps you informed if the app performs the same way in both environments. It includes data around page load events, HTTP requests, application crashes, and more.
Security Monitoring: Any stakeholder who uses the program will have a very miserable day at work if it is exposed to a security threat. Any security blunder can result in the demise of your application, whether it's caused by old hardware, negligent users, malware, or outside service providers. In order to spot and notify about any anomaly, security monitoring keeps an eye on the flow of information and events.
Both observability and monitoring have essential but slightly different roles to play in your DevOps strategy. However, both are essential to protecting the security perimeter of your business from unauthorized users. Although observability and monitoring are frequently used to evaluate performance and health, they also help to keep your IT systems secure. By increasing observability throughout your IT infrastructure, you can resolve problems swiftly and reduce the attack surface by removing exploitable routes.
Additionally, logging can provide you with a more in-depth understanding of how your tech stack is used and can alert you to anomalies and unwanted access in advance. In this blog, we have highlighted the use cases for Observability and Monitoring. If you have any additional information, let us know in the comments below.
Published at DZone with permission of Hiren Dhaduk. See the original article here.
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