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Discussion on: How do you wrap your head around observability?

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nickmaris

It is about creating a feedback loop for the change you introduced or you plan to introduce by defining and measuring the outcome you expect.

From a system point of view, there are some common expectations that someone can enumerate depending on the type and scale of the system.

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nickmaris • Edited

Some additions to my mental model above:

  1. Observability is the necessary instrumentation to enable monitoring of a change or a system whereas traceability is the necessary instrumentation to enable tracing across systems.

  2. The bigger the scale, the more metrics we care about and the more needs we have from a monitoring stack and observability capability. If we put Devops, application developers, product managers and business owners in a spectrum, they need different metrics to take their own decisions but the variety of metrics is smaller on the right. The types of data and the types of aggregations are limited but there are many ways to have dashboards and/or alerts depending on the volume and velocity of data. This means that there is no one size fits all for everything. Don't reinvent the wheel as you don't want to panic while panicking :)

  3. Some types of observability metrics enable or even automate the rollout of changes.

  4. Operational aspects like IaC, fluency on navigating a big number of metrics, on creating new ones and on executing runbooks play an important role as most such metrics might be designed to be ignored for 99% of their time until the right moment. Information that cannot lead eventually to any decision is useless.