04: The uses cases

Benefits of observability

On the whole, observability makes your IT system easier to understand, monitor, update, and repair by providing greater visibility into that system’s functioning. However, there are additional, more discrete, benefits to observability:

Discover what you don’t know

Observability tools discover conditions you might never know or think to look for, then track their relationship to specific performance issues to provide the context for identifying root causes and to speed up resolution. Furthermore, observability platforms with intuitive, on-demand reports delivered through a centralized visualization dashboard make it easy for users to extract insights and make data-driven decisions.

Catch and resolve issues early in development

Observability in the early phases of the software development process allow DevOps teams to identify and fix issues in new code before they get far enough in the application lifecycle to impact the end-user experience.

Scale automatically

Observability continues to reap benefits for you as you scale up. For example, you can specify instrumentation and data aggregation as part of a Kubernetes cluster configuration and start gathering telemetry from the moment it spins up until it spins down.

Enable automated remediation

By combining with AIOps, machine learning, and automation, observability can predict issues based on system outputs and then resolve them without manual intervention – a self-healing application infrastructure. Such capabilities minimize downtime, outages and failure points, free up time for DevOps and other teams, and drive overall IT efficiency.

Because of these benefits, observability is a vital tool across a variety of business sectors, as the following use cases show.

ExaVault, Inc.

ExaVault, Inc.

Optimizing billions of mission-critical file transfers through observability tools.

ExaVault’s software solutions facilitate two billion file transfers per year for customers such as Disney, Adobe, Xerox and Zillow. With clients like those, even a second of downtime means that parties on both sides of data transfers can find themselves suddenly lacking vital data needed to make business decisions. As CEO David Ordal explains, “If we go down, our customers start losing money.”

By implementing IBM Instana®, ExaVault gained the ability to monitor API performance and to institute error tracking, debugging, and alerting. This faster, user-friendly visibility achieved a 56.6% MTTR reduction and 99.99% availability.

 

PathMotion

PathMotion

Connecting potential hires to employers thanks to observable microservice and container resources.

PathMotion, a cloud-based talent-acquisition and employer-branding platform, began its observability journey when modernizing and migrating to the cloud from an on-premises, monolithic application. The company needed an equally modern observability and monitoring solution that could keep up with the newfound velocity and complexity of containerized microservices.

By implementing Instana, PathMotion gained the ability to automatically visualize and monitor the performance of microservice architectures and software running on container orchestration platforms like Kubernetes. This allowed the company to eliminate 10% of its virtual machines and deploy more resources elsewhere, while also setting up warnings for when resources are being strained.

 “Having the ability to measure how well our microservices communicate and understanding the performance of the connections between all components in our platform became vitally important.”
-Mehdi Mahfoudi
DevOps Engineer, PathMotion

Rebendo AB

Rebendo AB

Deciphering unknown system issues with the real-time visibility of observability.

A developer of performance management solutions, Rebendo AB specializes in creating customized, detailed dashboards that provide users with increased visibility into internal IT and network operations. However, many of the company’s clients would report problems where they faced IT issues but couldn’t discover what was causing it.

As a result, in early 2021 Rebendo launched a new service, Rebendo Insight, to deliver comprehensive, real-time monitoring of application processes and promote smoother operations. This new solution provides users with a centralized management dashboard, while IBM Instana delivers the cloud engine that empowers users to observe, monitor and resolve application or service issues in real time.

The real-time monitoring provided by Rebendo Insight promotes greater efficiencies and faster problem resolution, with the granularity of this insight — updating every second — providing Rebendo with a key advantage over its competition.

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health

Improving systems insight and ensuring greater reliability in nationwide behavioral healthcare.

As one of the nation’s largest nonprofit organizations providing services, insight and leadership in the evolving field of behavioral healthcare, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health relies on continuous information sharing and collaboration between teams of doctors, educators and other providers of assistance for people living with emotional, behavioral or cognitive differences.

That’s why, when faced with challenges to its incident tracking and electronic health record (EHR) system, Devereux implemented IBM SevOne® Network Performance Management software to improve insight into its systems and ensure greater reliability. This led to proactive detection of approximately 40% of issues before end-user impact, saving 3 hours of downtime per SAN capacity issue.

“Previously, a significant amount of time was spent trying to figure out what went wrong. Opportunity was lost because our energy was used discovering underlying causes. Now, we have more insight.”
-Tom Shurer
Vice President Information Resources, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health

05: The implementation

How can you make the case for observability to your entire organization?