February 15, 2018

Observability: The New Wave or Buzzword?

Monitoring tells you whether the system works. Observability lets you ask why it’s not working.

— Baron Schwartz (@xaprb) October 19, 2017

In Monitoring in the time of Cloud Native, Cindy Sridharan views monitoring (alerting and overview dashboards) as the tip of the observability iceberg with debugging beneath it. We’ve had alerting, dashboards, and debugging tools for decades, so why are we now deciding this needs an overarching name?

If we look at where the time is spent resolving a performance incident as the iceberg, a greater percentage of the iceberg is now in debugging:

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