Welcome!

Silverlight Authors: Automic Blog, Michael Kopp, AppDynamics Blog, Kaazing Blog, Steven Mandel

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Silverlight, @CloudExpo

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Post

DevOps and Actionable DataPoints | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #BigData #Microservices

No one in IT or DevOps has the time to manually determine the actionable data points

Information overload has infiltrated our lives. From the amount of news available and at our fingertips 24/7, to the endless choices we have when making a simple purchase, to the quantity of emails we receive on a given day, it's increasingly difficult to sift out the details that really matter.

When you envision your cloud monitoring system, the same thinking applies. We receive a lot of useless data that gets fed into the system, and the reality is no one in IT or DevOps has the time to manually determine the actionable data points (that's a whole job itself), meaning monitoring what really matters is a tall order.

Even a basic cloud application can produce hundreds or thousands of data points per second. From resource metrics to activity logs, a handful of servers produces more "monitor-able" data than any human can reasonably consume. Factor in the rest of the cloud architecture - web performance, network performance, and so on - and it's clear we need a filter to monitor for data that requires action. Not only that, but we need to correlate data performance points across all systems and compare over time to find averages. The information we receive in cloud monitoring systems becomes an endless cycle of "the boy who cried wolf" - how can we really know when it's time to react to something if we're constantly receiving alerts and data? Many of the high-profile breaches in recent years have occurred for this very reason, and for companies experiencing rapid growth this issue becomes even greater over time.

This system is broken. When something goes wrong, it's like we're sitting in front of a nuclear reactor dashboard that's going haywire with alarms sounding and hundreds of buttons flashing red and we have no idea where to start in order to fix the problem. In scenarios like this in the movies, a pro always comes in and knows which one button to press to solve the issue - we need to be that person.

The Key to Smart Monitoring
The good news for all of us is smart monitoring exists and is achievable for any organization.

Take Instacart, for example, the Internet-based grocery delivery service currently operating in 17 U.S. cities and recently named Forbes' Most Promising Company of 2015. Instacart has experienced tremendous growth since its inception in 2012, and as a web and mobile-based app, the critical infrastructure that runs the business' applications faces constant demands for speedy service, expansion into new markets and increasing numbers of customers and shoppers. It's imperative for the technical team to ensure their full stack is running at optimal performance, because having the right infrastructure monitoring solutions saves the team time and allows them to focus on continuing to grow the business and support users.

Uptime and reliability of services are key metrics for Instacart, whose very name suggests an always-on nature. In response to the influx of data, Instacart employed a cloud monitoring system for its entire stack, providing top-to-bottom monitoring that enables the company to worry less about its cloud infrastructure and more about continuing to grow the business - and having a nimble monitoring system that will scale with them. For Instacart, relying on commercial real-time monitoring services to handle scaling parts of the infrastructure, including log aggregation and analysis and data correlation and reporting, is the answer.

For organizations of any size, there are golden rules when it comes to monitoring what matters, and Instacart is an example of a company who has applied this logic and continues to see success. Here are the guidelines to follow for smart cloud monitoring:

  • Start with business goals to optimize your system: Too often companies start with cloud monitoring tools and factor in the business goals later, which can leave you with tools incapable of meeting your specific needs. For smart cloud monitoring, this logic needs to be reversed. Understand what your business needs in terms of monitoring - are you anticipating rapid growth? What does your stack look like? There is no one-size-fits-all approach to monitoring, but overall it should allow you to respond to and resolve problems before they grow. You need to have enough information about how a system is performing overall and map that with business growth on an ongoing basis.
  • Focus on all systems: For optimal cloud monitoring, you should have a tool or set of tools that can consume all data from all systems. From there the system will aggregate, combine and correlate the data to create custom dashboards based on your unique monitoring needs and troubleshoot problems faster. This is essential to have full visibility and to perform accurate root cause analysis.
  • Turn data into insights: To be successful, it's all about having meaningful alerts and knowing if and when you should react. Cloud monitoring systems capable of turning streams of massive data into insights for DevOps teams are the true key to success when monitoring what matters.

For today's cloud-driven businesses, the inability to monitor effectively for data that requires action could mean a loss of competitive edge. DevOps teams dealing with a constant influx of data from monitoring systems should understand how to monitor what really matters in order to remain successful and help take their businesses into the future.

More Stories By Gerardo A Dada

Gerardo A Dada is Vice President of Product Marketing and Strategy for SolarWinds’ database and applications business globally. He is a technologist who has been at the center of the Web, mobile, social and cloud revolutions at companies like Rackspace, Microsoft, Motorola, Vignette and Bazaarvoice. He has been involved with database technologies from dBase to BTrieve to SQL Server and NoSQL and DBaaS in the cloud.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Bill Schmarzo, Tech Chair of "Big Data | Analytics" of upcoming CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York (November 12-13, 2018, New York City) today announced the outline and schedule of the track. "The track has been designed in experience/degree order," said Schmarzo. "So, that folks who attend the entire track can leave the conference with some of the skills necessary to get their work done when they get back to their offices. It actually ties back to some work that I'm doing at the University of San...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
If a machine can invent, does this mean the end of the patent system as we know it? The patent system, both in the US and Europe, allows companies to protect their inventions and helps foster innovation. However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be set to disrupt the patent system as we know it. This talk will examine how AI may change the patent landscape in the years to come. Furthermore, ways in which companies can best protect their AI related inventions will be examined from both a US and...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
Chris Matthieu is the President & CEO of Computes, inc. He brings 30 years of experience in development and launches of disruptive technologies to create new market opportunities as well as enhance enterprise product portfolios with emerging technologies. His most recent venture was Octoblu, a cross-protocol Internet of Things (IoT) mesh network platform, acquired by Citrix. Prior to co-founding Octoblu, Chris was founder of Nodester, an open-source Node.JS PaaS which was acquired by AppFog and ...
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...