CIO – Peter Waterhouse – 7/14/17
[Ed. note: Peter Waterhouse is Sr Strategist, DevOps at CA Technologies]
But needing to deliver more digital touch points and functional gloss to maintain a high-quality customer experience is only part of the issue – there’s an added twist. Application functionality alone is not the only determinant of quality – usability and performances are critical too; they’re inseparable.
Because customers judge a business based on the quality of digital interactions which now includes performance, any issues (be that fixing problems or finding opportunities to optimize) must occur before production. So application monitoring becomes a business imperative - essential to enriching quality across our own software factories and serving many more practitioners vital information needed to drive improvement. Get this right and its DevOps gold – automated feedback loops that typify high-performance teams. That said, it’s easier said than done.
Shift left monitoring is hard because of two major issues. Firstly, those tools wielded behind the operational iron curtain are woefully inadequate to support the modern platforms comprising cloud services, containers and a multitude of micro services. Secondly, development stakeholders who’re increasingly accountable for ‘quality’, don’t trust or can’t work with existing monitoring tools.
These issues aren’t because of bad products. Any half-decent monitoring solutions can ingest, correlate and analyze millions of metrics. Where they fall down, however, is the operational tax imposed before anything meaningful is delivered. Too often, tools require lengthy agent configuration and setup. All fine for monolithic-style applications which don’t change much and where inherent fragility requires lots of pampering. But overkill in distributed application architectures where it’s no big deal for a container go down and pop back up.