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If you are looking to monitor or improve an IT structure, you might have heard about observability. But what is it exactly? Observability is the set of metrics to track the performance or health of something.
Different types of observability metrics can be used for various purposes. This article will be helpful to anyone looking to understand what observability is and how it can be applied in different scenarios.
It will also help people looking for tools to help them measure their IT structures or teams’ performance.
How to Observe your IT Infrastructure with a Clear Understanding of Useful Metrics?
Observability is one of the most challenging concepts in IT to get your head around. It’s vital to know what observability is, but you also need to know how to take advantage of it.
The word observability has roots in science and astronomy, where observers used measurements of phenomena or celestial bodies’ positions and motions relative to each other to understand them better. This is no different in IT.
Monitoring is one of the most common ways to observe your infrastructure, but it’s not enough by itself. You need observability metrics as well to make sense out of what you are monitoring. There are five types of observability metrics: utilization, latency, error rate, saturation, and flow.
What is the Difference between IT Infrastructure Observability and Monitoring?
It’s also important to know that there is a clear difference between observability and monitoring. Monitoring tells you what the state of something is. Observability metrics, on the other hand, tell you why it has that state.
Latency, error rate, saturation, and flow are used not only for IT infrastructure but also for people. People can be observed by their metrics too. For example, the latency of a task is how long it takes for an IT staff member to complete one.
The error rate is how many errors they make on that task or their call volume, and the saturation is any downtime they experience during that time.
Monitoring can help observe your infrastructure as well as people. Monitoring metrics are numbers. They are used to track the performance or health of something. For example, CPU, memory, and disk utilization are all examples of monitoring metrics.
Why is Infrastructure Observability Important? – The Value of New Opportunities
Observing your infrastructure is the first step to improving it. Once you know what’s going on, you can determine how to fix it and save yourself time and money in the process.
Monitoring and observability go hand in hand. You can’t understand why something is not working correctly unless you apply both of them together. When you monitor something, you are looking for a specific set of metrics. When the issue arises, you need observability to understand it better.
People can also benefit from observable infrastructures because it’s more efficient. It takes less time to do what they’re supposed to do because the resources are readily available to them when they need them, and they can tell which ones are underperforming. It’s also easy to troubleshoot problems when you take advantage of observability tools.
The Problem with Traditional Network Monitoring Software
Traditional monitoring tools can help track everything that happens on your network, but they don’t always provide the level of observability metrics required for complete understanding. For example, why is something slow? Why is it down? Synthetic monitoring has abilities such as performance management, capacity management, and application monitoring. These tools do a much better job than traditional ones regarding observability metrics for IT infrastructure.
IT infrastructure is one of the most challenging concepts in IT to get your head around. Monitoring is one of the most common ways to observe your infrastructure, but it’s not enough by itself. You need observability metrics as well to make sense out of what you are monitoring.