Guest Post: Traditional methods of application monitoring expose their operations to increased risk of disruption and downtime 

By Joe Byrne, Executive CTO, Cisco AppDynamics

Across all industries, technologists are facing escalating levels of complexity as organizations rapidly ramp up their adoption of cloud native technologies, while also maintaining existing on-premises applications and infrastructure. 

This shift to hybrid environments means that IT teams are having to manage an increasingly extensive and fragmented IT landscape, with application components running across both cloud native and on-premises technologies. This poses significant challenges, including increased attack surfaces, limited visibility concerning application availability and performance, an inability to link innovation costs with business outcomes. 

One of the biggest problems that IT teams are facing as they move to a hybrid environment is how to manage the increased volumes of metrics, events, logs and traces (MELT) data which are spawned by cloud native technologies such as microservices and containers. Most technologists don’t have the right tools to sift through this overwhelming data noise to efficiently detect and identify the root causes of application performance issues. 

In research from Cisco AppDynamics, The Age of Application Observability, 78 per cent of technologists state that the increased volume of data from multi-cloud and hybrid environments is making manual monitoring impossible. They recognize that traditional application monitoring approaches are simply not fit for purpose in highly volatile and dynamic hybrid environments. They’re concerned about the potential consequences of this for their organizations – including application disruption and downtime, security breaches and sub-optimaldigital experiences for customers and employees. 

In response to this challenge, technologists are looking to implement new approaches and solutions to manage application availability, performance, and security. They point to application observability as a way for IT teams to cut through complexity within hybrid environments and deliver seamless digital experiences. 

The Limitations of Traditional Application Monitoring Methods 

Most IT departments are still relying on separate tools to monitor on-premises and cloud applications, and they lack visibility of the entire application path where components are running across hybrid environments. This is making effective troubleshooting within hybrid environments nearly impossible and, inevitably, key metrics such as Mean Time To Resolution (MTTR) are going in the wrong direction. 

Less than half of technologists are confident their organization has the right skills and processes in place to manage application availability, performance and security in a sustainable way. Most IT departments aren’t set up to operate effectively within a hybrid environment, where collaboration between teams is essential to optimize applications. These departments are still often characterized by siloed people, processes, and data. 

The Crucial Role of Application Observability in Ensuring Seamless Performance 

97 per cent of technologists state their organization needs to move from a monitoring approach to an observability solution to effectively manage multi-cloud and hybrid environments. 

Application observability provides unified visibility across both cloud native and on-premises environments, ingesting and combining vast volumes of telemetry data from cloud native environments and data from agent-based entities within on-premises applications. It allows IT teams to access real-time insights into application availability and performance across their hybrid environments. 

Crucially, application observability enables technologists to correlate application performance data with real-time business metrics so they can quickly pinpoint and prioritize issues with the potential to do serious damage to end user experience. This allows technologists to cut through complexity and data noise to focus their time and investments on the things that will have the greatest impact on customers and the business. 

An application observability approach is essential to break down silos in the IT department, bringing teams together around a single source of trusted data to achieve shared objectives. Ultimately, application observability leads to improved collaboration, efficiency, and productivity in the IT department, freeing up technologists from reactive firefighting to take a more proactive approach to innovation. Businesses can’t delay any longer – they must move beyond traditional application monitoring approaches to compete and thrive. 

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