The nature of distributed systems/microservices has challenged us to rethink our approach to making an application or service observable. Common practices used in the enterprise may not give us the valuable data we need, at the scale we need, to proactively understand what’s happening between services and the impact on the business. This leads us to wonder, how can we make sure a service can perform its critical actions and how can we increase observability in microservices?

In my post “Increasing Observability of Microservices” I cover the following topics:

  • Typical monitoring scenarios you encounter in the enterprise
  • Applying observability to microservices
  • 9 ways to increase observability
  • Traps to avoid

Here’s a preview and head over to my blog for the full post.

The Typical Enterprise Experience

You monitor logs, set up alerts, collect CPU and RAM usage, and gather service uptime using heartbeat reports. You have all the right processes in place, but are you getting valuable data from typical monitoring in the enterprise?

Monitoring Microservices

In the distributed systems/Microservices world data may not be in the identical state throughout and services are constantly changing at their own pace. This can make triaging problems tricky.

Methods For Increasing Observability

  1. Service level objectives and indicators
  2. Log aggregation
  3. Traceable individual event lifecycles
  4. Business goal tracking
  5. Host performance tracking
  6. Meaningful notifications
  7. Custom approach
  8. Automation
  9. Autonomy

Traps to Avoid

Cargo cult
When you hear terms such as “Netflix did it that way” or “we have always done it this way” catch yourself and see if it really applies to you. To ensure you don’t fall into these traps always evaluate past lessons to see if they are still applicable, and consider your unique environment to make sure you don’t introduce unnecessary complications.

Tool obsessions
There are a lot of tools that can help you achieve observability, but before you find yourself in a battle of tools first get the basics right and then evaluate if those tools can help or not.


Head over to my blog to read the full post for a deeper dive into increasing observability of microservices.


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