Observability and Maturity Part 3 – Feature Awareness

Welcome to the third installment in our Observability and Maturity Series, Feature Awareness. Part one of this series introduced the Five Phases of Maturity, and part two introduced the Six Assessment Areas and focused on “Adoption and Enablement” along with stakeholders.

In part three, we build on the earlier posts and introduce the concept of Feature Awareness.

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“I should make a t-shirt….” We’ve all heard or even made this joke at some point. That concept or discussion happens so often that we should just put it on a t-shirt. For me, that happens as we begin to discuss the Loop1 Monitoring Maturity Model (L1M3, pronounced lime), along with SolarWinds Hybrid Cloud Observability, and people start to say, “I didn’t know SolarWinds could do that…”. It happens so often I really should put it on a t-shirt.

Unfortunately, this lack of awareness is no laughing matter. Organizations spend millions of dollars annually yet never fully understand the functionality available in the tools they own. The fact that concepts like tool consolidation and rationalization are so prevalent in the IT industry speaks volumes to the increasing trend of organizations trying to fight against this problem.

It is also why the concept of “IT Silos” gets such a bad name, as we discuss in the second phase of maturity. Fragmented refers to what happens when every silo buys its tools, doesn’t work to integrate its tools, and doesn’t share information with other teams. Our mission at Loop1 is to help IT teams become “fully meshed silos” where cross-domain intelligence is developed and shared proactively.

Cross-Domain intelligence refers to the expertise required to run modern applications in our hybrid IT world. You can no longer be successful if you remain focused only on your narrow area of expertise. Our systems and platforms have various dependencies and correlations that must be understood and managed. From the network to storage, along with network services like DNS and DHCP, servers and operating system performance metrics, databases and DB performance, virtualization, containers, microservices, and web application layers, all of it ties together. So we as engineers, application owners, and administrators have an increasing need to understand it all.

Conceptually it isn’t too hard to do. Having the right tools, and knowing how to leverage all of the features within those tools, makes it far more straightforward. The layers of application delivery have not changed since the inception of client-server applications. As a result, now more than ever, our IT tools, when deployed correctly, automatically provide us with accurate correlation and help deliver cross-domain understanding.

Unfortunately for most organizations, cross-domain intelligence is hampered by fragmented silos and tools that don’t integrate. Resolution of issues takes far longer (and often fails) as engineers and administrators are faced with too much data and no meaningful techniques to process and correlate all the information their disparate tools are drowning them in.

In the SolarWinds Hybrid Cloud Observability platform, this challenge is solved and surfaces in three key features;

AppStack: The automatic correlation of storage, virtualization, database, server, and applications.

PerfStack: The ability to dynamically combine performance metrics, logs, and events from multiple entities into a single time-series view.

AlertStack: Automatic correlation of device and application status along with active alert data to better identify correlated issues across a shared infrastructure.

If you aren’t aware of these features and the underlying instrumentation that these features leverage, you likely belong to that crowd of many that have admitted, “I didn’t know SolarWinds could do that.”

Interested to learn more about Observability and Maturity? Then look out for our next blog post in the series where we build on the earlier posts and introduce the concept of Observability Data and Metrics.

Bill Fitzpatrick, Loop1 Chairman and CEO

Bill Fitzpatrick
Chairman and CEO | Loop1

AUTHOR

An accomplished engineer with a gift for translating technical concepts into plain English and a sharp business sense, Bill Fitzpatrick is building on the success of Loop1 Systems to execute an ambitious vision for the future. Bill co-founded Loop1 Systems, a SolarWinds Authorized Partner, in 2009. He played an integral role in building the nearly 10-year-old business into what is today, a bustling, Austin-based company counting more than 200 of the Fortune 500 as clients. In the summer of 2017, Bill assumed full ownership of Loop1 Systems and has since laser-focused on one simple goal: to bring the truth to light for each Loop1 client.

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