IT Brief Australia logo
Technology news for Australia's largest enterprises
Story image

What is full-stack observability?

By Contributor
Fri 28 Aug 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Article by New Relic vice president customer solution APJ, Jill Macmurchy.

While the terms ‘monitoring’ and ‘observability’ may seem interchangeable, there’s a distinct difference between the two. 

Monitoring delivers automated checks for predefined problems that informs IT teams when an issue has occurred. Observability - while including monitoring capabilities - has a broader mission: to let teams ask open-ended questions, to explore data to a granular level, and to provide answers to the unknowns.

As technology, and the infrastructure that hosts it, have become increasingly complex, monitoring on its own isn’t an effective strategy to ensure that quality software is developed and tested in order to then perform at its best in production. Full-stack observability enables businesses to view their entire estate across the full software development chain in one place. 

Shifting from a monitoring to an observability mindset is crucial to modern tech environments. Below are three key outcomes of a successful observability strategy.

Resolving issues quickly and effectively

Full-stack observability is about capturing metrics, events, logs and trace data from software and making it available to teams to enable the best software performance and most effective response to an issue. 

Speed and collaboration are critical to effective incident response. Currently, most organisations use multiple monitoring tools with different user interfaces, and each generates their own alerts, thus creating data silos and alert noise. 

The context shifting and tool hopping required to understand the root cause of an incident leads to guesswork and delays in resolving issues.

Knowing why something happened means steps can be taken to prevent future problems. 

For example, Australian telco amaysim suffered a regular mid-morning slowdown in processing speed, but had no idea why. By leveraging their observability insights, its tech team was able to uncover that the issue could be attributed to an overnight process that regularly ran beyond 9 am, when customer support processes were placing increased demands on infrastructure. This insight enabled the company to reschedule its processes and prevent the issue from occurring again in the future.

Deliver a better customer experience

According to mobile app developer Dot Com Infoway, 62% of people uninstall an app if they experience mobile crashes, freezes or errors. 

Today, customers expect more and tolerate less. Slow, error-prone, or poorly designed user experiences will result in customers going elsewhere. If they can’t do what they came to do, they won’t come back – especially if they’ve found a competitor offering a better experience.

Observability enables engineers to deliver excellent customer experiences. Issues can be pinpointed, prioritised and resolved much more quickly than traditional monitoring – with the process ideally taking place before customers ever become aware of them. 

With meaningful data, IT teams are given the insights that they need to move at speed with less risk, which drives the growth of digital business.

When Insurance Australia Group (IAG) had a critical payment site go down, it had the potential to be damaging by causing lost or delayed business. Thanks to increased observability, the company was able to identify precisely where transactions were getting blocked and immediately work to resolve the issue - all within a couple of minutes.

Work smarter, not harder

As technology evolves, the degree of complexity and fragmentation of software architecture is increasing. 

Today, organisations build microservice architectures and distributed systems on a wide range of cloud providers and computing platforms. As individual applications are deconstructed into potentially dozens of microservices, SRE and IT Ops teams face a complexity of scale. They’re now responsible for services they know little about, yet must maintain.

This creates a skills gap, with team members having to troubleshoot parts of an app they may not be familiar with. 

A database expert, for example, now must know about networking, as well as APIs. The number of new and different technologies becomes too extensive for any one person to master.

An observability platform provides a single pane of glass over an entire environment (from dev to prod): a high-level view that shows how all systems are performing. 

By analysing the data from these systems and correlating it with metadata, the entities producing it can be identified and connected - and the relationships between them understood in a much more comprehensive way. This gives data context and meaning, which helps bridge the skills gap. 

Data is made accessible even to those who aren’t familiar with a particular technology or code, which makes observability one of the most powerful tools available to tech teams today.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Bitdefender, Cohesity, Fortinet & MODIFI
We round up all job appointments from June 27-30, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Australian consumers loyal to retailers who deliver speed and visibility
SOTI finds extensive order visibility and speed are the most important factors for turning one-off customers into loyal, long-term buyers.
Story image
Ivanti puts spotlight on power of employee digital experiences
The report revealed that 49% of employees are frustrated by the tech and tools their organisation provides and 64% believe this impacts morale.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Juniper study reveals top AI trends in APAC region
Juniper's research shows an increase in enterprise artificial intelligence adoption over the last 12 months is yielding tangible benefits to organisations.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Google Cloud launches new Digital Accelerator bundles for Aussie SMBs
The new bundles are designed to help Australian small and medium-sized businesses embrace digital transformation and take their businesses online.
Story image
Voice recognition
Renesas and Cyberon expand services with voice recognition
“We are honoured to collaborate with Renesas to simplify the development of embedded voice recognition functions."
Story image
State Library of Victoria
State Library of Victoria entrusts Oracle support and security to Rimini Street
“Our finance team are very happy with the support and security that Rimini Street provides, which keeps our assets and our customers secure."
Story image
Dicker Data
EXCLUSIVE: Why women in IT makes good business sense - Dicker Data
The Federal government wants to bolster female participation in the tech industry to at least 40% by 2030. Here's how one homegrown Australian company has already reached that goal.
Digital Transformation
Discover the 5 signs your business is ready for a cloud-based ERP. Is your business being left behind as more of your competitors switch to the cloud?
Link image
Story image
SNP unveils next generation of CrystalBridge software platform
Data is a key pillar of every customer-centric organisation, as it relies on agile decisions to become increasingly sustainable and intelligent.
Story image
NOWPayments launches new service to analyse cryptocurrency fees
NOWPayments has launched a new network fee optimisation solution that analyses current network fees and picks the most profitable option out of the client's payout wallets.
Story image
Forescout reveals top vulnerabilities impacting OT vendors
Forescout’s Vedere Labs has disclosed OT: ICEFALL, naming 56 vulnerabilities affecting devices from 10 operational technology vendors.
Story image
How New South Wales state departments achieved cloud migration success
State departments in New South Wales are heading to the cloud to achieve better workflow solutions, and one company is paving the way for their success.
Story image
Monitors are an excellent incentive for getting employees back
The pandemic has taught us that hybrid working is a lot easier than we would’ve thought, so how can the office be made to feel as comfortable as home? The answer could be staring you in the face right now.
Story image
Data ownership
Brands must reclaim trust by empowering data ownership
According to Twilio's new State of Personalisation Report 2022, 62% of consumers expect personalisation from brands, and yet only 40% trust brands to use their data responsibly and keep it safe.
Story image
Cloudian, Vertica to deliver on-premise data warehouse platform
"We’re enabling our customers to capitalise on a leading object storage platform and maximise the value of their digital assets.”
Story image
Vertiv releases updates on ESG initiatives, sets sights on future
Vertiv has released its inaugural environmental, social and governance (ESG) report, the company’s first public report of its ESG activities.
Story image
Sutton Tools deploys Infor M3 CloudSuite for manufacturing
Sutton Tools has also implemented the Infor OS cloud operating platform, including Infor Intelligent Open Network and Mongoose.
Supply chain
Discover the 4 critical priorities for wholesale distribution businesses in FY23. Are you worried about how supply chain issues may affect your business in 2023?
Link image
Story image
How Airwallex helps businesses achieve globalisation success
As markets continue to shift, businesses need to be able to provide the same quality of service for customers regardless of where they are located around the world.
Story image
Cloud Security
Palo Alto Networks bolsters cloud native security offerings
Latest Prisma Cloud platform updates help organisations continuously monitor and secure web applications with maximum flexibility.
Story image
How the metaverse will change the future of the supply chain
The metaverse is set to significantly change the way we live and work, so what problems can it solve in supply chain management?
Story image
New VMware offerings improve cloud infrastructure management
VMware has unveiled VMware vSphere+ and VMware vSAN+ to help organisations bring benefits of the cloud to existing on-prem infrastructure.
Story image
SAS wins Microsoft ISV 2022 Partner of the Year award
"We formed the SAS and Microsoft strategic partnership with a shared goal of making it easier for customers to drive better decisions in the cloud."
Story image
Hybrid workforce
How organisations can prepare for a post-pandemic workforce
The so-called 'new normal' office looks different to how it did pre-pandemic, and organisations need to take steps to better manage their post-pandemic workforce. 
Story image
New study reveals 51% of employees using unauthorised apps
The research shows that 92% of employees and managers in large enterprises want full control over applications, but they don't have it.
Story image
Four factors to consider when choosing the right job accounting solution
Progressive job-based businesses can achieve success by strengthening their ability to quantify every cost attributable to the delivery of an outcome for a customer.
Story image
Industry-first comprehensive risk-based API security enhances protection
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial part of operating web and mobile application businesses and are causing significant economic growth in the digital sector.
Story image
Data Protection
Five signs your business is ready to move to the cloud
Many organisations are thinking about moving to the cloud. But what are the signs you are ready, and what are the reasons to move?
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
HPE GreenLake advances hybrid cloud experience with new services
"The innovations unveiled today further build on our vision to provide the market with an unmatched platform to spur innovation and drive transformation.”
Story image
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from CyberArk
Olly Stimpson joins us today to discuss the importance of MSP programmes and how MSP partners are experiencing success with CyberArk.
Discover the 5 ways your ERP may be letting you down. Is your current system outdated, difficult to manage, and costing you a fortune?
Link image
Story image
Hybrid workforce
Why hybrid working is here to stay and how to ace it
Citrix's new report reveals hybrid workers are more productive and engaged at work than their office and completely remote counterparts.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
Advent One acquires Layer 8 Networks, complements hybrid cloud offering
The acquisition comes at a time of surging demand in hybrid cloud, network virtualisation and network security.
Story image
Internet of Things
ManageEngine wins big in IDC MarketScape assessment
ManageEngine's Endpoint Central service has been recognised as a leader by IDC MarketScape in several categories including Internet of Things device deployments and UEM software for SMEs.
Story image
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from CrowdStrike
Scott Jarkoff joins us today to discuss current trends in the cyber threat landscape, and the reporting work CrowdStrike is doing to prevent further cyber harm.
Story image
Enterprise Resource Planning / ERP
Five ways your ERP is letting you down and why its time for a change
Wiise explains while moving to a new system may seem daunting, the truth is that legacy systems could be holding your business back.
Story image
Four things wholesale distributors need to consider for FY2023
In a post-pandemic world, there are many things for a distribution business to juggle. ERP solutions company Wiise narrows down what companies should focus on.
Project management
Discover the 4 crucial factors for choosing the right job-costing solution. Is your team struggling to cost jobs and keep projects running on budget?
Link image
Story image
Zscaler launches co-located data centres in Canberra and Auckland
The investment will offer public and private sector enterprises greater resilience in support of their zero trust cybersecurity posture.
Story image
The best ways to attract young talent during labour shortages
New research from Citrix reveals hybrid working and ventures into the metaverse are top of mind for Gen Z workers.
Story image
Robotic Process Automation / RPA
Salesforce announces latest generation of MuleSoft
Salesforce has introduced the next generation of MuleSoft, a unified solution for automation, integration and APIs to automate any workflow.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Accenture shares the benefits of supply chain visibility
It's clear that gaining better visibility into the supply chain will help organisations avoid excess costs, inefficiencies, and complexity to ultimately improve their bottom line.
Story image
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure expands distributed cloud services
“Distributed cloud is the next evolution of cloud computing, and provides customers with more flexibility and control in how they deploy cloud resources."