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Cloud Native Ecosystem / DevOps Tools

Why Developers Need Observability-as-Code

The goal of Observability-as-Code is to track every function and request in the full context of the stack, and generate the most comprehensive and actionable insights, which correspond with intelligence from across teams.
Mar 23rd, 2022 7:24am by
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Jay Livens
Jay leads product marketing for Dynatrace’s applications and microservices and digital experience portfolios. In his free time, he enjoys running, digital photography and automating his home with open source technologies and custom Python applications.

Software developers drive not only innovation and digital transformation in business today, but also fuel efficiency, operability and resiliency in modern enterprises.

As DevOps becomes a vital focal point across the development process (as organizations increasingly shift left — that is, move software testing earlier in the software development lifecycle), developers have shouldered ever-increasing amounts of responsibility. More and more, they’re required to ensure that code is high quality and high performing, as well as secure.

At the same time, observability has begun to play an increasingly vital role in achieving and sustaining code quality and resiliency at scale.

Unpacking the Current Observability Landscape

Over the past 10 years, developers have relied on traditional monitoring tools with varying degrees of success. But during the past two years, in particular, this approach has struggled to cope with the mounting issues facing IT teams. Among the most common problems are growing cloud complexity (amid a proliferating multicloud world), expanding threat vectors and bad actors who are increasingly resourceful.

Observability has not only enabled site reliability engineering (SRE) to successfully navigate constantly changing digital concerns, but to innovate in spite of them.

In 2020, when observability was still in its early adoption stages (with less than 10% enterprise adoption at that time), Gartner predicted that a third of companies equipped with cloud-based architectures would employ observability techniques by 2024.

Why Observability-as-Code

Similar to how Infrastructure-as-Code revolutionized the managing and provisioning of infrastructure, Observability-as-Code is designed to supply DevOps teams and SREs with policies and practices that enable them to better observe the state and behavior of systems across environments.

In other words, Observability-as-Code helps developers drive real-time action via live insight — to ensure that teams achieve service-level objectives and optimize critical business metrics with enhanced efficiency.

Additionally, by instilling and automating observability policies early on in the software development lifecycle, development, DevOps and SRE teams are better equipped to bring high quality, secure innovations to market faster and at enterprise scale.

The Need for Enhanced Observability in the Enterprise

Other factors have contributed to the increased investment in observability. Unlike conventional approaches to visibility (such as traditional infrastructure monitoring), observability enables teams to see the entire software stack — no matter how broad or complex.

The goal is to track every function and request in the full context of the stack, and generate the most comprehensive and actionable insights, which correspond with intelligence from across teams.

The sheer volume of modern enterprise data today presents significant challenges to those tasked with monitoring it. Not only is it coming from disparate sources across the enterprise, but different IT environments as well.

Meanwhile, the inability of existing monitoring tools to scale with cloud environments has caused frustration. A 2020 report from Gartner indicated that traditional monitoring tools don’t offer meaningful insight regarding how performance issues with apps and services affect the customer experience or key performance indicators.

All of this means that adopting observability, application security and AIOps capabilities as code — if your organization hasn’t already — can significantly help teams close the gaps posed by competing business needs, like those for faster innovation and higher quality output.

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