Separating Fact from Fiction in Observability Data Management

Written by Perry Correll

January 19, 2023

Observability – Is it about applying critical thinking to data and network management or maybe the greatest marketing campaign since Kale? I think it is the former.

The definition of Critical thinking from Wikipedia is, “The analysis of available facts, evidence, observations, and arguments to form a judgment. The subject is complex; several different definitions exist, which generally include the rational, skeptical, and unbiased analysis or evaluation of factual evidence.”

Wow, that kind of hits the term ‘Observability’ right on the head because when we try and discuss it, there are often lots of different opinions of what it does. There is no real accepted definition agreed upon by any ‘authority.’

I checked:

  • IEEE documents – nothing
  • ISO documents – nothing
  • RFCs – nada
  • ITU – zip
  • I even checked out some 5G documentation, since we all know they promise to do everything, for every technology – nope, nothing there either.

In fact, the most often quoted definition is,” Observability allows you to understand the behavior of systems from the data they produce.” That’s it, 14 words!

  • 14 words, heck even lollipops have a patent to define what’s required.
  • 14 words, latest Wi-Fi standard, 11ax (Wi-Fi6) took 14 years, and thousands of pages to define it
  • 14 words, yet every vendor tries to convince you it defines their solution to a tee!

So, after saying all that, now I am going to convince you to join my webinar? I am, because Observability is just an umbrella term for data management and includes the areas of telemetry, security data, machine data and other terms associated with managing data.

This session will provide an objective view of Observability, not just from Cribl’s point of view, but also the opinion of your peers, end-users, and even other Observability solution vendors.

Is it a critical tool that will solve all your network issues? A marketing hooey? Or maybe somewhere in between and brings different value to different organizations?

This webinar will be the leadoff to a series titled; Day in the Life of a XYZ, think ITOps, SRE, DevOps, SecOps, … Might fun, might be informative, might just be worth your time. To register, click here.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorites which I think applies to Observability, the early hype vs today’s reality: Amaras Law: We overestimate the impact of technology in the short-term and underestimate the effects in the long run.

We hope to see you on the 25th!

Questions about our technology? We’d love to chat with you.

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