Thursday, May 7, 2015
An Open Response to the Open Letter To Monitoring/Metrics/Alerting Companies
John we couldn’t agree more with this letter, the specific issue is context. Too many of the tools and systems in use both commercially and with open source are metric or event (log) collectors, providing dashboards with little context about what is happening. In order to provide the proper context and operational visibility one must understand relationships and data flows between metrics and events.
This well written letter makes many points we completely agree with at AppDynamics. The use of words predictive or fixing issues automatically are not something we prescribe. Gartner has also long condoned the use of predictive in ITOA scenarios (“IT Operations Analytics Technology Requires Planning and Training” Will Cappelli December 2012). The area we disagree with is having early warning indicators of problems which are escalating. If technology is employed which collects end user experience from the browser and that performance is baselined by geography, as degradation occurs across the user community this often is an early warning indicator that something is behaving abnormally. We have customers who have seen a vast reduction in complete outages (P1 issues), and an increase in degraded service issues (P2 issues). This means we have evidence that the use of AppDynamics can in fact reduce the number of outages by providing early warning indicators. We have other evidence showing legacy enterprise monitoring tools are far too slow, this is a coupling of older technology, and organizational or process issues. This prevents the alerts from getting into the right hands in a timely manner. For example in a enterprise with siloed teams and tools, a storage contention bottleneck on a particular array would often be seen by the storage team, but lack of application operations visibility and escalation in a timely manner would result in service issues. This of course can be solved by fixing organization issues, but that is a challenge at scale.