Survey Review: Key Challenges of Scaling Observability with Cloud Workloads

When you migrated critical infrastructure to the cloud, what were your goals and expectations?

Odds are, you hoped leaving on-premises infrastructure would produce significant organizational benefits. You probably figured you’d streamline operations and reduce management overhead. You felt you’d have an easier time meeting business goals. Perhaps most important of all, you likely expected your environment would become less complex, and even cost less to operate.

The truth of what’s happened to organizations relying on cloud infrastructure is more complicated. Performance and usage optimization are critical priorities, but gaps have emerged in the pursuit of achieving them. Observability helps get there, but challenges remain on the path to getting to a full-scale observability solution.

To help get to the heart of the issues, and provide clarity on the path forward, set out to get the opinions of practitioners dealing with these quandaries everyday. We commissioned a recent study by Forrester Research of more than 100 global infrastructure and cloud-monitoring decision-makers to determine where the industry stands on cloud observability.

What we discovered is clear: cloud observability is getting noisier and more complex, and technical leaders are looking for ways to scale observability more efficiently. Over the next few weeks, we’ll take a deep dive into each of the areas of the study. But for now, let’s take a look at some of the key takeaways.

Cloud noise is only getting louder. Cloud environments are increasingly complex and noisy. Modern cloud environments generate massive troves of data, which can needlessly drive up costs – ultimately making full stack observability cost-prohibitive. Additionally, it’s harder for monitoring practitioners to separate signal from noise to efficiently troubleshoot production issues when most of the data is useless.

More than half of organizations say poor data quality is challenging or very challenging. It’s a perfect storm for a cloud data headache.

Cloud monitoring and observability is fractured. As an organization’s cloud presence grows, so do its observability footprint and requirements. When microservices and cloud components are added to cloud environments, new monitoring and observability tools are often implemented to ensure service performance and reliability. 

The result can be a complex and siloed group of tool sets that create additional complexity.

Many organizations have gone so far down the path with fractured monitoring strategies and technologies that those broken processes have become the norm. As a result, organizations can struggle to effectively find and isolate the most important issues. 

Cloud monitoring and observability tool sprawl is rampant: organizations are currently averaging eight different tools for monitoring. Relatedly, seven in 10 organizations believe monitoring is at least somewhat challenging because of the presence of so many tools. Eliminating the sprawl will be vital to breaking the cycle of complexity – a key reason why many organizations move to cloud infrastructure in the first place.

A monitoring evolution is sorely needed. In order to support modern architecture, cloud monitoring must evolve. Otherwise, the myriad frustrations around monitoring will continue. 

Right now, four in ten organizations say they’re paying high costs for monitoring solutions with unimpressive functionality. If there’s no change in approach, it’ll continue to be more difficult to reach those business objectives set forth by a move to the cloud.

Overcoming the challenges of noisy data and fractured monitoring strategies can help organizations stride for more efficient observability and simplified cloud environments.

Overall, our Forrester Opportunity Snapshot survey uncovered pressing monitoring challenges and revealed that observability is critical to modern monitoring. With the data showing how your IT and cloud infrastructure peers are handling these challenges, you can start down the path to re-capturing that value you sought when you moved to the cloud. 

Don’t let those business objectives you developed with the cloud in mind elude you.

Join CEO Tomer Levy and Forrester Analyst Will McKeon White on this webinar hosted by Information Week on May 4

Download your free copy of our Forrester Opportunity Snapshot: Scale Cloud Environments Demand Efficient Observability Practices, to get the information you need today.

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