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Published by Racquel Yerbury on Oct 7, 2019 12:45:18 PM

The Marvel of Observability

“[You’ve] been fighting with one arm behind your back. What happens when [you’re] finally set free?” - Paraphrasing Carol Danvers, a.k.a. Captain Marvel

BOOK REVIEW: How to Architect and Build Highly Observable Systems by Baron Schwartz

Observability is a property of an application or system, not the actual act of analysis. The system is observable, practically and mathematically, if you can understand its inner workings and state by measuring its external behaviors. That means the system exposes telemetry, which is the data emitted from instrumentation that expresses those external behaviors—a feature ideally baked into your code upfront. Monitoring is the act of analyzing the telemetry to see whether the system is functioning correctly. And diagnostics is the process of determining what’s wrong with a system.

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Published by Baron Schwartz on Dec 3, 2017 3:51:06 PM

Monitoring, Analytics, Diagnostics, Observability, and Root Cause Analysis

Monitoring is a hopelessly overloaded term in tech culture. The term now carries decades of inaccurate and imprecise use. The result is that several people can be engaged in an earnest conversation about monitoring and, despite efforts to get each other to see what they mean, remain on totally different wavelengths. I know, because I’ve seen it happen many times. It’s amazing how many times I’ve seen people frustrated with each other because they mean different things when talking about these words.

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Published by Baron Schwartz on Nov 7, 2017 5:09:42 PM

Hierarchical Observability with RED

I've written before about the minimal set of metrics that can serve effectively as application/service vital signs. One such set is the RED acronym, which stands for Request Rate, Request Errors, and Request Duration. (I'll write in the future about what's missing from this acronym, but it'll serve the purpose for now).

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Published by Baron Schwartz on Oct 5, 2017 4:02:17 PM

Monitoring and Observability with USE and RED

Modern systems can emit thousands or millions of metrics, and modern monitoring tools can collect them all. Faced with such an abundance of data, it can be very difficult to know where to start looking when you’re trying to diagnose a problem. And when you’re not in diagnosis mode, but you just want to know whether there’s a problem at all, you might have the same difficulty. What are the truly key KPIs coming from your systems?

 

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