What you can’t see can hurt you: the importance of full-stack observability

Around the world, organisations are fine-tuning the new digital focus brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. To remain competitive, they have to grapple with multicloud-based data and operations, software as a service and hybrid working, among other trends.

In this dynamic environment, those that don’t know exactly how their business-critical applications are behaving and performing at all times are wasting their time and money – and losing ground against competitors.

Skills and integration issues

Because of the evolution of applications, traditional monitoring tools, skills and processes – often deployed in silos to focus on specific areas only – are no longer sufficient.

This lack of integration and intelligent data processing creates a visibility and governance nightmare. It limits organisations’ ability to ensure fast and effective fault tracking and performance improvements in a holistic manner. When an application goes down, they may not know the reason or impact – and, importantly, how to avoid another outage proactively.

They may also find it difficult to protect their network and users against attacks and vulnerabilities without the necessary real-time application security monitoring.

Visibility leads to insights – and action

To survive and thrive, organisations need to adopt a data-driven approach to modern observability.

Proactive performance management and automated issue identification can avert application problems – whether traditional or hybrid, on traditional infrastructure or in the cloud – before they affect users or customers. Also, intelligent security insights across multicloud environments strengthen application security.

Full-stack observability refers to real-time observability across an organisation’s technology stack – including applications, software-defined computing, storage and the network. The data it generates gives organisations actionable insights into the behaviour, performance and health of their applications and supporting infrastructure.

With all these benefits, observability seems an obvious choice to make, but it can be hard to adopt given many organisations’ limited skill sets. A lack of technological skills and resources may keep them from striving for full, data-driven observability.

For this reason, there is value in working with an experienced partner to make the shift to modern observability across the entire stack – not only during the implementation phase but also to ensure continual fine-tuning.

For example, the vast amounts of data generated by modern monitoring tools can be daunting. Without expert assistance and the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning, few organisations can interpret and contextualise all of this data to support their business outcomes.

From assessment to intelligent support

NTT’s 360 Observability, powered by Cisco’s suite of full-stack observability tools, delivers end-to-end monitoring visibility supported by the unification of application and network performance management tools.

As a first step, our Observability Maturity Assessment helps organisations align their business and information technology strategies.

This assessment summarises their performance management goals and identifies the gaps and areas of overlap between their current and desired states of observability.

Next, it details recommendations and strategies for people, processes and technologies (including high-level architectures) to implement and support full-stack observability. This is supported by a high-level roadmap to achieving the organisation’s goals.

From there, they can select one of three service levels linked to our Multicloud Application Monitoring Platform. These include regular platform checks (including security) and upgrades, with audit logs, and ongoing fine-tuning of the monitoring settings. Alerts and data dashboards can be customised, and there are regular reviews and recommendations – including the option of observability knowledge transfer and mentoring.

In this way, working with a partner like NTT delivers both full-stack observability and peace of mind to organisations, allowing them to focus fully on achieving their business goals.

Learn more about 360 Observability from NTT and discover your Observability Maturity.

James Wesley is Director of Offer Management: Application and Observability Services at NTT.

Cloud Computing, Cloud Management, Cloud Security, Multi Cloud