Why Access and Control Are Essential for Observability

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    Observability is the ability to see and understand the internal state of a system from its external outputs. Logs, Metrics, and Traces, collectively called observability data, are external outputs widely considered to be three pillars of observability

    This data has become increasingly crucial for teams across the business, as it helps them understand how their products and services perform, which ultimately drives essential outcomes such as customer satisfaction, brand reputation, and revenue. Therefore, teams must harness the power of their observability data to provide the insights needed to make business decisions. Organizations that can derive the maximum value from their data investments acquire a substantial competitive advantage over other organizations, thus transforming their business by reaching transformational observability.

    However, the fact is that observability data volumes are exploding, with some reporting upwards of 23% year-over-year growth. At the same time, IT budgets remain static, and teams often have more data volume than they have the budget to process and store it for meaningful action. This means that before organizations can meaningfully leverage their observability data, they must define strategies around ensuring access and control of that data. 

    Today we're going to dive into why organizations should be mindful of and prioritize data access and control on their observability journey. 

    More Insights For Everyone

    Knowledge is power. In data management and observability, having access to your data means that you know virtually everything about your system (or can acquire the information) at any given moment. As observability data become critical across the organization (i.e., not just with ITOps or Development), the entire team must be able to unlock these insights and operate from a joint knowledge base rather than only having a limited view in disparate silos. This shared knowledge base, in turn, drives seamless collaboration without having to worry about delays, hiccups, or roadblocks. These could include: having to go from one department to the next to get information, not having enough information to make a decision, having to migrate from one tool to another to get the information, having to wait long periods to send the data from one place to another even to be able to use it, and not being able to detect issues or regulate systems in general. 

    Having a high level of access to your data and your systems across teams ensures that everyone understands the health of your applications and environments. More importantly, it allows teams to take a more proactive posture in identifying potential issues. Armed with a complete set of relevant data, they are well-equipped to deal with current and potential future problems if they arise- before a customer finds out. 

    Reduced Costs

    Complete access means that your data, spending, and usage are entirely transparent, predictable, and, more importantly, manageable.

    Teams can no longer afford to send their data to a single, high-cost destination. Instead, they must better understand what insights are necessary for critical workflows and requirements and which are useless and create unnecessary costs. In practice, this requires the flexibility to:

    • Route certain data types directly to low-cost storage (for compliance purposes, for example).
    • Processing data to remove extraneous information before it is ingested into an analysis platform. Not only does this reduce volume, but it also helps improve downstream efficiency by making that data easier to understand and take action on (more on this later).
    • Dropping data that doesn't serve any useful purpose to the organization while still in motion.

    This control over your data ensures that you're spending responsibly and getting the most value out of your data investments without having to spread your budget thin on numerous systems or correcting things you could have prevented with the proper level of insight. 

    Better Context

    While critical to the business, Observability data is not helpful in and of itself. It is often not human-readable and complicated to interpret on the business side. Controlling data to provide more context makes it usable as soon as needed. It can mean that some data needs to be parsed or transformed to make it more functional or enriched with additional information to paint a broader picture. These practices ensure that you've optimized your data to make it as valuable as possible to whoever is consuming it, regardless of who they are, their skill level, or what team they're a part of. Additionally, this increased context reduces the overall amount of data you need to decide, meaning that you don't need to store as much information and can continue to reduce your spending. 

    Complete Actionability

    When you know more, you can do more. When you know better, you do better. 

    In the realm of data management, this holds. 

    By implementing the above practices around data access and control, teams across the organization can take immediate action regarding your system's health. Speed is critical here, as a few extra seconds, minutes, hours, or worse can be the difference maker when responding to issues, protecting your system, or mitigating business risk. Additionally, most of these actions will be more proactive because you've optimized your data for insights and context. You'll save your team time and energy that your teams could spend elsewhere instead of manually sitting around your systems monitoring its health to varying efficiency. 

    Without adequate access and control of your observability data, you likely won't know enough about your system or its issues to take action. Any action will probably be ineffective because of how long it takes to execute. Teams that can harness the power of their data, using access and control as a foundation, are set up for success to leverage those insights and deliver impactful business outcomes.

    Access and Control Are Essential for Observability

    Access and control are paramount for observability. Organizations are generating extraordinary amounts of data, and their budgets aren't keeping pace. Without access and control, teams will spread thin trying to manage it. Organizations will spread their budgets thin trying to store all of it, and responding to your system as it accrues more data will be extremely difficult. 

    Tip: To better understand how observability impacts teams across organizations, check out this white paper

    Mezmo provides an observability pipeline to control, enrich, and correlate data across domains to drive actionability. Mezmo's Observability Data Pipeline goes beyond simple data routing and transformation. It enables data-in-motion analysis to maintain complete access and control of your data while deriving the maximum value from it as you use it. 

    Do you want to transform your organization and upgrade how you manage your data today? 

    Talk to a Mezmo solutions specialist or request a demo.

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    Alissa Lydon

    12.7.22

    Alissa Lydon is the Director of Product Marketing at Mezmo, where she manages industry intelligence, product launches, and sales enablement strategy. When she’s not bringing awesome products to market, you can find her supporting the Oakland A’s and raising the next generation of world class PMMs.

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