Highlights –

  • The most significant takeaway is that observability, which was in the background for so long, is now become mainstream.
  • Ninety-eight per cent of people responded observability would benefit their organizations. Almost 95% agree that observability tools enable technical teams to make effective business decisions.

Enterprise IT is getting more complicated as we enter the third decade of the 21st century. Data management and information administration staff have found that they need more assistance than the employees can provide. They need dependable tools that can observe apps and infrastructure on a 24/7 basis, keep track of important metrics, and offer potential solutions when issues surface (which happens frequently).

VMWare launched its second annual State of Observability report recently, clearly pointing out such truths and other vital facts. The most significant takeaway is that observability, which was a background participant in enterprise IT for so long, has now become mainstream.

VMWare’s senior engineering director of Tazu Observability, Mayan Weiss, said that the report also revealed that 89% of the participants agree that today’s applications are more complex. Also, 97% of the people experience challenges while observing cloud application environments, with insight issues increasing from last year.

Weiss also said, “We see this change in the market because we see how applications are now being constructed and run. IT used to be a big monolith on-premises in a very controlled environment. Somebody in the organization used to be able to take you to a room and point at the physical setup and say, ‘Hey, your application is running right there.’ That was observability then. It’s a little more complicated now. Those days weren’t that long ago.”

Monitoring tools are getting outdated due to the cloud-first approach

Weiss explained how they had seen the digital transformation pace accelerating as more and more organizations opt for a cloud-first approach to meet the constant changes in the business. He clarified that digital transformations could be completed only when observability tools are in place.

Organizations are upgrading their cloud strategies to a multi-cloud environment and are working towards adopting more cloud-native technologies, containers, and microservices. This, in turn, creates more distributed systems, making it difficult to get a comprehensive view of their performance. This is the reason why legacy monitoring tools are obsolete for modern applications.

“The reason for that is the change to cloud computing multi-services. Together with the amount of data that is being generated in these applications, you can’t cope with it anymore,” Weiss said.

Monitoring means collecting system data and alerting admins if anything seems wrong. Observability is much more than monitoring – it interprets data and suggests solutions if something is wrong, allowing the teams to identify the root cause, increase operational productivity, and reduce downtime.

Takeaways from the report:

The report also touches base on other data points that include –

  • Ninety-eight per cent of the people responded that observability would benefit their organizations. Almost 95% agree that observability tools enable technical teams to make effective business decisions.
  • Organizations that use observability have reported immense benefits, with 87% rating technology as either necessary (41%) or valuable (46%).
  • The number of monitoring tools used in most organizations presents a problem. Almost half (46%) currently employ more than five different tools, and only 7% say they are satisfied with the current monitoring tool they’re using. Though there is a need to rationalize these tool sets, the best way to accomplish this hasn’t emerged yet.
  • Almost 48% think it’s best to identify issues in existing toolsets and acquire additional capabilities. At the same time, 38% prefer integrating new or existing tools to reduce the overall toolset.
  • Though only 14% of respondents liked the idea of evaluating new needs and starting from scratch, it was the only and best alternative that worked since last year.
  • This survey was conducted among 315 qualified professionals working in companies with more than 100 employees and ten developers. Most respondents work in departments like SRE, application delivery, architecture, critical cloud applications in a DevOps, or in a tools role.

Experts’ Take

Weiss said in an interview, “Previously, the solution was to put an agent on the server that can do everything, collect everything – but there is no place to put the agent anymore. Services are becoming very volatile. They’re disappearing. They’re here now, they’re not here tomorrow. I’m not even talking about serverless. So, that’s a change that is trending.”