Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Feed Post

Break Down the Silos: Correlate Data Between Vendors | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #APM #Monitoring

The complexity of modern infrastructure makes it difficult to avoid silos

Break Down the Silos: Correlate Data Between Vendors
By Chris Riley

Thanks to the DevOps movement, we now understand why software delivery chains that consist of a series of silos are bad. They complicate communication between different teams, leading to delivery delays, backtracking, and bugs.

When it comes to incident management, there is another type of silo to contend with - the kind that separates incident management data from one vendor or product to another. These silos hamper incident resolution, as it makes it more difficult to collect and analyze monitoring data from multiple sources.

How do you break down these silos to keep incident management operations flowing efficiently?

Identify the Silos
The first step in working past incident management silos is to understand why silos exist in the first place.

The reason is simple: Modern infrastructure consists of diverse hardware and software. Most components have special monitoring needs. They output information in a certain format, according to a certain rhythm, and they require data to be collected in a certain way. The monitoring information associated with each part of the infrastructure, therefore, lives in a silo, because it is not readily comparable to data from other parts of the infrastructure.

As a basic example, take a datacenter that consists of ten bare-metal servers running Windows and another ten bare-metal servers that run Linux. In this scenario, the company would require different monitoring tools for its Windows and Linux servers. Although some of the monitoring information for each type of operating system (such as whether the host is up) would be the same, other data would not be. And either way, the data would need to be collected by tools that are compatible with the operating system in question. Each context, therefore, becomes a distinct silo, with its own miniature ecosystem of monitoring tools and data.

This is just a simple example, by the way. Things are much more complicated in most real-world settings, when you would have not just two different types of bare-metal servers to monitor, but virtual servers running on top of one or more types of hypervisors, workstations running different types of desktop operating systems, and mobile devices powered by a widely varying array of mobile operating systems, versions, and so on.

Break Down Silos
How do you eliminate the silos that separate each monitoring context within your infrastructure so that you get seamless and holistic monitoring visibility? The solution has two parts.

Step 1: Centralize Data Collection
The first step is to implement an incident management solution that can collect information from diverse types of environments, then forward that information to a central location. This way, engineers can monitor the entire infrastructure from a single vantage point. They don't need to go looking inside individual silos to monitor different parts of the infrastructure.

Centralized data collection requires an incident management solution that is smart enough to aggregate monitoring information from multiple sources. This is no trivial task; supporting a wide range of environments and endpoints requires integration with many different types of monitoring systems, sometimes even custom tooling.

Step 2: Translate the Data
The second step is one that is easy to overlook. In addition to aggregating data from many monitoring tools and exposing it in a central location, incident management teams also need to translate all of the data into a consistent format.

Data translation is the only way to assure that every engineer is able to interpret and react to alerts from any source. If data is not translated, engineers would have to have special expertise in a particular type of monitoring system or know a certain vendor's schema, in order to understand data that originated from that system. Making all of the data available in a central location would, therefore, be of little help in breaking down silos, because there would still be tall barriers separating different monitoring contexts.

Consider, for example, the different ways in which Zabbix and Nagios use the term "alias." On the former monitoring system, an alias basically serves as a shorthand for any type of configuration term. On Nagios, in contrast, an alias is a given name for a host. Its meaning is more specific. If you don't understand this difference and you see data from both Zabbix and Nagios systems aggregated in a centralized dashboard, things can easily get confusing.

For effective incident management then, you need a solution that can translate vendor- and platform-specific terminology into a single, consistent language. Only with event normalization, such as that enabled by the PagerDuty Common Event Format, can responders easily and accurately interpret data from multiple sources.

The complexity of modern infrastructure makes it difficult to avoid silos. Yet, that does not mean that monitoring information has to live within those silos, as information is only useful when it can be understood and acted upon. By aggregating monitoring information from diverse sources and translating it into a language that anyone on the on-call team can understand, incident management teams can break down the silos that exist within their infrastructure. They will then enjoy seamless communication and agile, real-time response to incidents.


Dunatov, Devin. "Speeding." Jul 17, 2012. Online image. <https://www.flickr.com/photos/ddunatov/7588797542>

The post Break Down the Silos: Correlate Data Between Vendors appeared first on PagerDuty.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By PagerDuty Blog

PagerDuty’s operations performance platform helps companies increase reliability. By connecting people, systems and data in a single view, PagerDuty delivers visibility and actionable intelligence across global operations for effective incident resolution management. PagerDuty has over 100 platform partners, and is trusted by Fortune 500 companies and startups alike, including Microsoft, National Instruments, Electronic Arts, Adobe, Rackspace, Etsy, Square and Github.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by ...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Cell networks have the advantage of long-range communications, reaching an estimated 90% of the world. But cell networks such as 2G, 3G and LTE consume lots of power and were designed for connecting people. They are not optimized for low- or battery-powered devices or for IoT applications with infrequently transmitted data. Cell IoT modules that support narrow-band IoT and 4G cell networks will enable cell connectivity, device management, and app enablement for low-power wide-area network IoT. B...
The hierarchical architecture that distributes "compute" within the network specially at the edge can enable new services by harnessing emerging technologies. But Edge-Compute comes at increased cost that needs to be managed and potentially augmented by creative architecture solutions as there will always a catching-up with the capacity demands. Processing power in smartphones has enhanced YoY and there is increasingly spare compute capacity that can be potentially pooled. Uber has successfully ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...