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Monitoring & Observability

Quick overview of Monitoring and Observability

Ajaykumar Manimala
K8s Expert @ TYNYBAY
Jan 17th, 2022
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Monitoring and Observability are two terms that can be confusing. Monitoring is for the system's state, while Observability is about the system's behavior. Let's go deeper.


What is Monitoring?

Monitoring is a method of regularly measuring or observing systems, progress, performance, and other metrics. It is carried out by systems that collect, store and analyze large amounts of performance data. The process of monitoring is necessary to ensure that systems are performing as expected and that they are fit for use. Monitoring usually involves checking that a system is working correctly. It can also reveal how well the system is performing and whether it is meeting quality standards or not. It is also a method of detecting problems and failures in the system.

Why is monitoring needed?

The monitoring of applications and services is crucial in any organization. It is the number one tool to keep your business up and to run. We can be done this through log files, but monitoring is so much more than that. Monitoring, in short, is the collection, analysis, and reporting of performance data, and it gives you visibility into the health, performance, and availability of your systems. Monitoring accomplished by the use of tools like New Relic, AppDynamics, and Dynatrace, etc.,


What is Observability?

Observability is a new buzzword in the DevOps world. So what does it mean? At first glance, it is a word that doesn't mean anything. It sounds like a made-up word, but it is a concept that has been around for a long time. Observability is a term used by the scientific community to describe a measurement made on some process or phenomenon. For example, the temperature can measure the heat of a reactor core. When it comes to software, Observability is the ability to measure the performance and detect what happened in the past. In other words, Observability is the ability to observe the behavior of a system. For example, we can use Observability to measure the performance of a web server to determine if it is using too much memory or if a particular page takes too long to load. We can also use Observability to determine if an application crashed a certain number of times or see where the memory was utilized.

Why Observability is needed?

As developers, we are constantly striving to improve the quality of our products and services. We need to identify and fix issues when they arise quickly. Here is where Observability comes in. Observability allows us to see how our systems perform in real-time to address any problems before they cause customer frustration or revenue loss. It's a crucial part of DevOps culture, and it's something that you should consider implementing in your workflows.

Significant differences between Monitoring & Observability

  1. Monitoring is used to look at what's happening concerning changes in systems, While Observability looks at the different behaviors of a system.
  2. Monitoring refers to the process of checking in on the system periodically, usually at predetermined periods, such as every 5 minutes. Observability means to be able to view and access the state of the running system at any time to see what needs fixing or changing without having to wait for it to occur.
  3. Monitoring is the process of observing live systems to find problems. Observability is the practice of viewing and interacting with live systems to answer questions about them.

Final Words

Monitoring and Observability are two different ways to keep an eye on the system. We must know which one is more appropriate for a given situation. Monitoring and Observability both are important for having your application run smoothly.

It helps you get rid of performance bottlenecks and errors. With the help of Observability and sound monitoring, you can quickly check the health of your application and fix bugs before they occur.

What does SRE do? Does your organisation need SRE team?

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