Using Vector to Build a Telemetry Pipeline Solution
For operational telemetry data pipelines, Vector emerges as a pivotal tool, acclaimed for its robust performance and adaptability. Its utility is underscored by industry experts, such as Gregg Siegfried, Analyst VP at Gartner, who asserts, "Vector is well-documented and supports a wide variety of sources and sinks...for core telemetry pipeline use cases, Vector would be my choice." Gregg noted that, unlike general-purpose data pipelines, Vector was envisioned as a telemetry data-aware pipeline technology from the beginning.
Understand, Optimize, and Respond
More than just infrastructure and tool selection, however, organizations need to adopt an approach to how they tackle their telemetry needs. The approach should define the tool selection, not the other way around. The telemetry strategy recommended by Mezmo revolves around three core value pillars that help you gain confidence in your telemetry data: Understand, Optimize, and Respond.
- Understand: The journey begins with Mezmo's tools that facilitate the parsing and profiling of telemetry data. This foundational step ensures that users can identify and implement the most efficient pipeline configurations from the outset.
- Optimize: Mezmo pipelines with capabilities such as parse, reduce, sample, and aggregate help significantly drop data volume and associated costs without compromising data integrity. Related features such as simulation allow users to evaluate pipeline performance prior to activation and tapping to monitor real-time flow.
- Respond: Pipelines need to provide near real-time alerts and then adapt to common SRE practices such as incident response, meaning increasing fidelity when issues are ongoing and reverting to normal state post-incident. Pipelines must reconfigure or initiate rerouting automatically to address changes in the data profile or quality.
Mezmo evaluated Vector to build its telemetry pipeline and after extensive testing and evaluation of pipeline alternatives chose Vector to be the foundation. Vector stands out for its exceptional performance, written in RUST, a wide array of features, and compatibility with numerous sources and sinks. However, recognizing that Vector primarily functions as a pipeline tool that is focused on data processing on an endpoint, Mezmo has developed a suite of services and enhancements that help with the entire telemetry data lifecycle.
Despite Vector's strengths, it represents only a part of a more extensive telemetry solution. Vector can help with the optimization and processing of your data., however, real-world concerns include how to guarantee no data loss, link together distributed nodes for scaling, push configurations to distributed nodes, manage credentials, and troubleshoot issues. Addressing this need, Mezmo created a platform that reduces the operational burden associated with telemetry data engineering including features like durability, scaling, configuration management, simulation, and error handling. These features let users focus on solving the real problems such as excessive observability platform costs and high MTTRs without the overhead associated with building the operational foundation themselves.
Mezmo Provides Comprehensive Observability Capabilities Beyond Vector Pipeline
Mezmo has built numerous enhancements that go beyond Vector and make telemetry pipelines suitable for enterprise operations. Some of these include:
- Advanced parsing and profiling tools for Data Understanding and optimal pipeline configuration.
- Preconfigured pipeline "Recipes" for efficient data volume and cost management.
- Simulation and tap features for comprehensive pre-deployment testing.
- A central cloud-based control plane that helps users to deploy and manage Vector instances at scale.
- A user-friendly visual interface and Terraform support for streamlined deployment and management.
- Rigorous testing, bug fixing, and tuning tailored to diverse use cases.
While Vector lays a solid foundation, Mezmo elevates the solution to an enterprise-class platform, mitigating the complexities associated with telemetry by applying data engineering principles. Through its support, scalability, and extensive feature set, Mezmo enables organizations to concentrate on their core objective: delivering exceptional digital experiences. This is particularly crucial for Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) organizations that aim to allocate more than 50% of their resources to new software development rather than maintenance tasks or Toil.
A key challenge when dealing with the large data volumes found in telemetry is data locality, meaning processing the data as close to the source as possible to minimize cost and overhead. Mezmo Edge enables enterprises to deploy telemetry pipelines and process data in their own environment. This allows organizations to process data locally but manage the process centrally in the cloud across all environments. Key use cases for Edge include:
- Organizations that need to comply with PCI, GDPR, or CCPA or that generally work with PII will benefit from Edge’s secure approach to data protection. Edge keeps the data within their own environment, detecting the presence of sensitive data in the stream, and scrubbing it prior to sending it out of Edge.
- Edge provides a pipeline's telemetry data optimization benefits without cloud data egress charges.
- Edge can also access data within its local environment, making it ideal for processing on-premises data sources or data streams that are not natively secure, like syslog.
- For distributed applications, Edge can provide identical processing for each zone with independent monitoring and management for each Edge instance, making it simple to deploy and maintain.
Vector's efficacy as a core telemetry data pipeline is irrefutable. Nonetheless, transitioning from data collection to actionable insights entails a broader, more nuanced approach. Mezmo has built a solution that capitalizes on Vector's strengths and addresses the comprehensive needs of telemetry data management. Through concerted efforts in testing, bug fixing, and feature development, alongside the Understand, Optimize, and Respond framework, Mezmo has delivered a robust foundation for organizations seeking to leverage their telemetry data fully.