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SignalFx 2019 Prediction: Unified, Integrated Monitoring Will Become a Requirement for Digital Businesses

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2019.  Read them in this 11th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Arijit Mukherji, CTO, SignalFx

Unified, Integrated Monitoring Will Become a Requirement for Digital Businesses

For modern organizations, the customer's experience with their online service ultimately determines the success of their brand and by extension their digital business. The question is: Do organizations have in place the visibility required to operate their software-defined business? To that end, most depend on a basket of independent observability tools like APM for applications, metrics for infrastructure, and logs for errors and security. This approach, while sufficient for simple monolithic architectures, breaks down in cloud-native environments which are significantly more diverse and complex.

In fact, applications in these environments are sitting atop a proverbial iceberg - a layered substrate of elastic OSS and cloud services, hosts and virtual machines, containers and container orchestrators, microservices and applications. Monitoring these in isolation is akin to blind men feeling an elephant - it provides visibility into individual aspects, but loses sight of the bigger picture. The complex interactions and interdependencies between the many microservices adds a whole new level of difficulty to this mix, making the need for an integrated monitoring toolset apparent. So what are those requirements? What's needed is a holistic single-pane-of-glass view that makes sense of a sea of data. We are operating in a world that moves in real-time, so what's needed are timely alerts when the business KPIs are stressed. For lowering MTTR, what's needed is fast triage to identify affected components. For continuous quality improvement, we need powerful root cause analysis to isolate the underlying issues. In other words, we need tight coupling and interoperability between APM, metrics, and logs because shared among them is the context and data necessary to solve these use cases.

Solutions and vendors in this space have traditionally focused on one of these areas. Vendors are now beginning to see the growing demand for a unified experience. In 2019, they will make bold moves to partner with, acquire, or build functionality adjacent to their core expertise. This trend has started already with APM vendors getting into infrastructure monitoring, log vendors adding metrics capabilities, and metrics providers adding APM functionality for microservices.

This trend towards consolidation is not new - we have seen this play out in many different technology categories in the past. We know from that experience that a cobbling together of disparate tools will not work well enough. They either provide a bad user experience or the independent solutions are sub-optimal. The winning solutions will combine the best technical capabilities in each domain with seamless integration and interoperability between them.


About the Author

Arijit Mukherji 

Arijit Mukherji, CTO, SignalFx

Arijit is CTO at SignalFx. He has been a passionate innovator in the monitoring space for over 13 years. Arijit was instrumental in building SignalFx's solution from the ground up, including its unique scalable real-time streaming analytics technology. Prior to joining SignalFx, he spent six years developing and scaling Facebook's monitoring platform and networking tools from scratch during the company's explosive growth phase. In his diverse career spanning 20 years, Arijit has been involved with pioneering efforts in enterprise VoIP telephony and network virtualization as an engineer and architect at Cisco. He holds a Master's degree in Computer Science and is the author of nine technology patents.
Published Monday, February 11, 2019 7:19 AM by David Marshall
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