Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 81 - Page 37


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Modern application architectures offer huge benefits for organisations in terms of improved speed to innovation , greater flexibility and improved reliability .

But IT teams in organisations across the UAE and the world for that matter , are now finding themselves under immense pressure as they attempt to monitor and manage availability and performance across hugely complex cloud-native application architectures . In particular , they ’ re struggling to get visibility into applications and underlying infrastructure for large , managed Kubernetes environments running on public clouds .
There is no doubt that staying on top of availability and performance is a far greater challenge in a software defined , cloud environment , where everything is constantly changing in real-time . But with Digital Transformation projects and innovation initiatives continuing to run at breakneck speed , the heat is on for technologists to adapt and get the visibility and insight they need across these modern environments .
An issue of scalability
Traditional approaches to application availability and performance were often based on physical infrastructure . For example , 10 years ago , IT departments operated a fixed number of servers and network wires , they were dealing with constants and fixed dashboards for every layer of the IT stack . The advent of cloud computing added a new level of complexity and organisations found themselves continually scaling their use of IT , up and down , based on real-time business needs .
While monitoring solutions have adapted to accommodate rising deployments of cloud alongside traditional on-premise environments , the reality is that most were not designed to efficiently handle the dynamic and highly volatile cloud-native environments that we increasingly see today .
Therefore , the fundamental question is one of scale , these highly distributed systems rely on thousands of containers and spawn a massive volume of metrics , events , logs and traces ( MELT ) telemetry every second . And currently , most technologists simply don ’ t have a way to cut through this crippling data volume and noise when troubleshooting application availability and performance problems caused by infrastructure related issues that span across hybrid environments .
The case for cloud-native observability
As such , it is essential for technologists to implement a cloud-native observability solution , to provide observability into highly dynamic and complex cloudnative applications and the entire technology stack .
In order for technologists to be able to thoroughly understand how their applications are behaving and where issues might lie , they need visibility across the application level , into the supporting digital services ( such as Kubernetes ) and into the underlying infrastructure as code ( IaC ) services ( such as compute , server , database and network ) they leverage from their cloud providers .
But before technologists ’ rush to implement a solution to this growing challenge , there are some important factors that must be considered when thinking about observability into cloud environments .
For one , technologists should be looking to implement a purpose-built solution ; one that can observe distributed and dynamic cloud-native applications . Traditional monitoring solutions continue to play a vital role , and will do so for years to come , but it becomes problematic when cloud functionality is bolted on to existing monitoring and APM solutions . Too often , when new use cases are added to existing solutions , data remains disconnected and siloed , forcing users to jump from tab to tab , to try to identify the root causes of performance issues . Very few of these solutions provide complete visibility , for example insight into business metrics or security performance , and many are naturally biased towards a particular layer of the IT stack depending on their legacy , whether that is the application or core infrastructure .
A new approach for new teams
Cloud-native applications are built in completely different ways , and they ’ re managed by new teams
Gregg Ostrowski , Executive CTO at Cisco AppDynamics
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