Personas and use cases

For IBM® Instana Observability (Instana), four personas are defined: Site Reliability Engineer (SRE), DevOps,IT admin, and developer. Each persona can complete their tasks more efficiently and easily with IBM® Instana Observability (Instana).

Persona: Site Reliability Engineer

An SRE needs to complete the following tasks:

  • Maintain healthy pipeline and simplify deployment.

  • Monitor availability and status for platform and managed services. Maintain application availability, reliability, and performance from the product user's perspective.

  • Detect problems before they affect customers, solve problems,and prevent them from happening again by creating manual or automated runbooks.

  • Set common goals with developers, and provide developers access to relevant logs, events, and performance metrics that are necessary to troubleshoot and quickly resolve problems.

Instana can help an SRE in the following aspects:

Tasks References
Improve platform observability and monitor all infrastructures in one user interface Monitoring infrastructure
Respond to and recover from various outages or slow-downs Managing built-in issues and incidents
Monitor alerts and incidents, analyze the business impact, and respond in time Configuring and managing alerts
Prevent high-impact incidents from happening again Synthetic monitoring
Automate and streamline incident response Managing actions
Capture necessary information to optimize the performance of applications and services Application perspectives
Analyze resource usage and optimize capacity utilization - Monitoring infrastructure
- Instana AutoProfile
Establish Service level objectives (SLO) and set thresholds to measure service performance Service level objectives
Identify root cause of issues Root cause analysis
Automate anomaly detection and notification Smart alerts
Leverage existing tools and technologies to enhance application performance Integrations, SDKs, and APIs

Persona: DevOps

DevOps can discover the traditional and modern services of the application, deploy applications by using the DevOps pipeline to drive a consistent process for delivering changes, and ensure that applications meet their goals of stability and security. See the following tasks:

  • Keep every system running at maximum reliability.
  • Predict and mitigate further incidents.
  • Mitigate incidents without help from developers.
  • Fulfill customers service level agreements (SLA) with solid SLOs (latency, traffic, errors, and saturation).

Instana can help DevOps in the following aspects:

Tasks References
Create Synthetic tests to actively monitor applications - Synthetic monitoring
- Smart Alerts for synthetics
Identify root cause of issues Root cause analysis
Monitor applications and infrastructure proactively Built-in events reference
Build custom dashboards, and provide insights into the application and infrastructure performance Building custom dashboards
Examine the release impact Pipeline feedback
Manage the backend infrastructure Backend correlation
Locate and monitor all the components of an application or service Automatic discovery and monitoring
Set up alert channels to notify issues that impact SLAs Setting up alert channels
Integrate infrastructure and application monitoring Infrastructure correlation

Persona: IT admin

An IT admin needs to keep the performance of on-premises IT infrastructure at its best ability. See the following tasks:

  • Set up and configure infrastructures and softwares.
  • Perform capacity planning and optimization.
  • Monitor availability and status for on-premises IT infrastructures.
  • Monitor alerts and incidents, analyze the business impact, and respond in time.
  • Perform root cause analysis and relay information to developers or SREs.
  • Respond to and recover from various outages or slow-downs. Prevent high-impact incidents from happening again.

Instana can help an IT admin in the following aspects:

Tasks References
Understand all the physical and logical dependencies of components to set up and configure them - Leveraging the dynamic graph
- Context guide
Create and manage Service Level Objectives (SLOs) to analyze the quality of service delivered Service level objective
Track resource usage to optimize capacity - Monitoring infrastructure
- Mobile app monitoring
- Monitoring websites
Compare infrastructure entities to quickly isolate the scope of infrastructure issues Analyze Infrastructure
Detect the root cause of issues to facilitate quick resolution Root cause analysis


A developer needs to code new microservices and cloud-native applications instead of worrying about infrastructure or resources provisioning. See the following tasks:

  • Get all the meaningful information to understand how the application (and some infrastructure) components interact with each other, and how bugs or issues spread and impact the global product.
  • Check whether any actions are needed for optimization.
  • Analyze problems, explore options, find the optimal way to solve them, and then code the solution.
  • Pay more attention to application development, and drive more innovation to keep up with competitors.

Instana can help a developer in the following aspects:

Tasks References
Locate performance hot spots and bottlenecks at the code level Instana AutoProfile
Visualize application performance to identify and optimize the hot path Analyze profiles
View all components of an application or service to create, build, and support - Application perspectives
- Instana AutoProfile
Relate infrastructure issues to application impact Analyze infrastructure
Access release impact to anticipate and address potential issues Pipeline feedback
Create Synthetic tests to predict issues before they occur Synthetic monitoring
Correlate performance data from different sources to identify the root cause of a performance issue Root cause analysis