With the real-time insight introduced by modern infrastructure monitoring, application developers, infrastructure engineers, and operations teams can collaborate across the entire application lifecycle for the first time. The best DevOps strategy requires full visibility not only up and down the stack, but also across all stages of the application lifecycle. 

 

Tapjoy Quote

 

For every modern application, infrastructure monitoring that aggregates metrics and focuses on time series analytics is essential to ensuring availability and performance in a production environment. This fills a large gap not previously addressed by APM or logs: intelligent and timely alerting on service-wide issues and trends across the environment (whether in the cloud or on-prem, or a mix of legacy and new architectures).

Today, a more modern approach to infrastructure monitoring can help rationalize the role of the APM and log management tools that development and operations teams already use to understand the lifecycle of their applications. The data and insights at each stage of the journey shouldn’t be viewed in three separate silos. Today’s smartest product organizations are managing both effectiveness and cost by flowing insights across all stages of the application lifecycle.

Using the metaphor of an airplane, APM serves as the essential pre-flight testing, infrastructure monitoring provides in-flight systems intelligence, and log management is the black box recorder for deeper post-flight analysis.

An APM solution provides the same code-level insights through transaction traces that the battery of pre- flight tests evaluate relative to expected passenger number, freight weight, weather conditions, fuel storage, and flight distance. Like a jet engine, performance engineering prior to deploying code tests how the existing network and architecture are likely to interact with code changes downstream.

Just as conditions can change rapidly in response to the unpredictable nature of flight, streaming analytics on infrastructure and application telemetry help ensure that the operations team is focused on the right things at any given moment. During the flight, like in a distributed cloud environment in production, alerting on the atmospheric and computer data that indicate performance relative to historical and expected patterns is the best way to know when a pilot (or infrastructure engineer) needs to take action. A modern infrastructure monitoring solution aggregates metrics from every element manager, including APM, to become the system of record for real-time operations.

Airplane Metaphor

After the plane has landed, and you once again have the luxury of time, log management helps engineers evaluate any systems errors in-depth to ensure that specific action can happen prior to the next scheduled flight to avoid similar events. Like the black box recorder, logs are incredibly useful for root cause analysis a er a problem has occurred. Once the outcome is known, log management provides many of the details on chains of events, dependencies, and the decisions that contributed along the way.

SignalFx is the best way to aggregate and alert on streaming metrics, helping today’s dev and ops teams fill the gap between APM’s pre-flight performance engineering and log management’s post-mortem event analysis. SignalFx’s real-time visibility into and analytics on the live production environment also help rationalize your existing investments with better overall results.

Modern Infrastructure Monitoring + APMs + Logs
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About the authors

Ryan Goldman

Ryan is Head of Marketing at SignalFx. Previously, he managed product marketing at Cloudera and Mixpanel, was a marketing strategist at Cisco, and supported international development NGO projects in Washington, D.C.

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