The focus on customer experience, the role of observability and the ability to correlate and have a complete view of our systems are driving the transformation of control and monitoring systems.
By Elena Fasolo, Senior Manager - IT Data Analytics at Kirey Group
The Digital Transformation involves a deep change in the environments related to the delivery of digital services. Consequently, it implies an extremely complex reorganization of the management and monitoring of these services.
Today many companies are engaged in developing micro-services-based applications using container platforms on premises or in the cloud. This change in infrastructure has a significant impact on monitoring systems because these new architectures are dynamic, distributed and interconnected, making monitoring much more complex than in the past. Therefore, it is necessary to have new tools able to manage this complexity, in particular when the aim of the company is to move the entire application deployment to the cloud or use Saas tools.
The new challenges of monitoring
Today’s monitoring tools should have new features to approach distributed services. One of the main element is granularity to monitor all the components of the applications, because a highly dynamic context requires fresh data available in real time.
In addition, modern monitoring systems should be able to self-configure. The applications are composed of thousands of distributed micro-services, so it is no longer thinkable to monitor, one by one, such services in an hybrid context. Finally, in a container-based scenario one of the main advantages is the greater scalability, the challenge is to monitor the micro-services born and died within a few hours ensuring a complete and constant visibility on the system.
We shouldn’t underestimate the impact of changes from the end-user perspective. It is a driving force for digital transformation, with increasingly demanding users expecting user-friendly, high-performance, fast and intuitive applications. the biggest change in monitoring systems exactley arises from the demands of users. It is necessary to meet the demand to be able to monitor and analyze user performance and user experience, not only of end-user applications, but also for internal business applications, used by employees and partners. It is no longer a question of monitoring only the technical aspects, even more and more complex, but also of understanding "what the user sees", the state of performance and the customer experience.
In essence, monitoring systems today should evolve from all points of view, becoming increasingly interconnected, considering different architectures, user experiences, and even increasingly heterogeneous users, in a scenario that sees all the actors in the company involved in the provision of digital services and eager to have greater visibility to do the best.
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New and old architectures: the principle of observability
The architectural paradigm change at the application and infrastructure level, has deeply modified the monitoring needs. It is necessary to have new tools, able to keep up with applications and with an infrastructure that must be dynamic, configurable and manageable in a centralized way. These tools allow to have an overall view and, at the same time, they are able to "hold together" the old and the new and to adapt to the new multi-cloud and hybrid environments. They need to adapt to both new applications and applications based on older, legacy and mainframe architectures to support the company’s future transformation choices.
Recently, Kirey Group has supported a PA organization that has been a pioneer in addressing the migration of all its infrastructures from legacy on premise to the Microsoft Azure cloud; Kirey Group was able to guarantee the customer a perfect control and monitoring of this passage with the possibility to observe during this delicate passage everything that was happening in real time, from the point of view of the availability of services and the control of all services.
The risks of data proliferation
We will increasingly need integration between applications, data and systems to meet the the business needs, but we should face a more complex challenge. It will be necessary to manage the volume of data that will grow exponentially together with our architectures and, consequently, of the data produced by the monitoring platforms. One of the aspects to consider is the risk of having too much unnecessary information and data.
Many vendors today offer machine learning-based automated analysis tools and artificial intelligence algorithms to bring to the attention of specialists only the most important needs. But what companies are asking for is something different: their needs are to correlate this information, analyze and represent them through cross-area dashboards. For this reason, we are often faced with data consolidation monitoring projects on data lakes or big data platforms.
In conclusion, the focus on customer experience, the role of observability and the ability to correlate and have a complete view of our systems are driving the transformation of control and monitoring systems.
Even if we can continue to use instruments specific to particulate areas, we will necessarily have to adopt a system that offers us an overall vision, interconnected, and able to make correlations, by automatically linking the collected information and providing 360-degree visibility of what is happening and what the user has requested. in this way we can provide answers to increasingly heterogeneous teams that can collaborate in the company to solve any business problems, such as operations, development and security (DevSecOps) to support the company in its transformation and future growth.