How Observability Empowers DevOps Teams to Build Products Customers Will Love

DevOps teams that have found themselves stretched thin should consider turning to observability solutions to streamline their work. Our expert explains how it can solve their problems.

Written by Cullen Childress
Published on Feb. 01, 2024
How Observability Empowers DevOps Teams to Build Products Customers Will Love
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Today’s IT environments are incredibly complex. Distributed workforces, digital transformation efforts, hybrid IT, and the shift to the cloud have resulted in the average enterprise employing between 2.6 and 2.7 clouds, not to mention up to 60 different enterprise apps and productivity tools and technologies. 

Managing multicloud infrastructures and tools can be a daunting task. Professionals responsible for developing and maintaining applications and business services across several cloud platforms now experience significant difficulties obtaining comprehensive visibility across all components of a complex application or business services. These components typically include the network, infrastructure, cloud service, database, application, and more. As a result, these professionals often struggle to identify and remediate issues instead of supporting the innovation needed to protect and grow the business’s bottom line.

The complicated nature of today’s hybrid and multicloud environments has been particularly challenging for DevOps teams. Amid the shift leftan organizations DevOps professionals must both manage customer-facing applications and build new ones in a continuous delivery model. DevOps teams often face the challenge of building applications across different clouds while using complex newer architectures like microservices and infrastructure technologies like containers and cloud services. 

To ensure users’ needs are met and applications can be built, shipped, and managed effectively for customers, overworked DevOps teams need help. So, here’s how observability is helping organizations alleviate the burdens they face and free up their DevOps teams to innovate again. 

What Is the Shift Left?

The term “shift left” refers to the growing practice of moving testing, quality, and performance evaluation to early in the development process.

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Comprehensive Visibility Helps Optimize Performance

For those unfamiliar with the term, observability has its roots in application monitoring, but you can think of it as monitoring evolved. Although monitoring technology helps reactively explain what happens in each aspect of an application or a business service, observability provides a holistic view of an entire application or a business service separately. The point is to help uncover the root cause of something and provide proactive analytics and intelligence about how to fix it.

With observability, DevOps teams gain comprehensive, single-pane-of-glass visibility into the performance and availability of applications, regardless of the complexity of the organization. Regarding DevOps specifically, observability helps teams optimize the customer experience for existing applications by quickly identifying performance issues in real-time. Observability alerts DevOps teams when an application or service is unavailable or crashes, providing actionable insights to help quickly remediate situations. For instance, if an application goes down, observability offers a summary and detailed service and transaction traces that make it easy to pinpoint the root cause of performance issues.

 

Reducing Alert Fatigue Enables Innovation

The job of DevOps professionals is already more challenging than ever. Building innovative products customers love is complex, and it’s nearly impossible when those teams are constantly focused on responding to endless alerts related to keeping their applications working effectively. With observability, DevOps teams can more quickly and easily achieve optimal performance of existing applications. 

Beyond providing actionable remediation tactics for issues that arise, today’s artificial intelligence and machine learning-powered observability solutions can predict and prevent future problems. Through AI and ML capabilities, observability quickly analyzes large quantities of data and filters the noise, collecting more precise and relevant data to reduce complexity and allow teams to focus on the most urgent issues. 

The result is that DevOps teams are no longer stuck responding to alerts and fixing outages. Instead, these teams are freed up and have more time to build new applications and services customers will love and that will help the team remain competitive.

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Advanced Code Profiling Solves Problems Earlier

In addition to helping improve the performance of existing applications, observability also critically helps DevOps teams develop new innovative software built to perform more effectively. Advanced observability solutions offer DevOps professionals live code profiling tools that identify and fix potential issues before code is shipped and user performance is impacted. By providing a breakdown of the most frequent functions and methods in a transaction, live code profiling provides enough details to understand what line of code is causing a performance issue and includes the information needed to quickly find the relevant section in the source code. 

This reduces performance bottlenecks in the software development stage, which means better applications are delivered faster with less downtime or performance issues experienced by the user. By drawing on AI and ML-powered observability to reduce the need for manual corrective tasks in day-to-day operations, DevOps teams can continue building innovative products customers love instead of spending their days mired in managing alerts and fixing problems.

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