Author: autoletics

Observability: Signaling and Seeing the Situation

Let’s consider that the primary purpose of a monitoring dashboard is to bring immediate awareness of the situation to the viewer – to call attention to the current state of affairs, and support prediction and projection of scene in which situations exist and unfold over time. When you look at today’s dashboards built with Grafana, …

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Observability: Where is it heading?

Observability is a hot topic in software and system engineering circles even though it is poorly defined and largely misunderstood. At this point in time, it would seem impossible to state what observability is and how does it differ from monitoring. There is so much vendor noise as well as nonsense and misinformation regarding pillars, platforms, pipelines, unknown unknowns, …

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Observability: The OODA Loop

Today, companies face mounting pressure to demonstrate both speed and agility in an ever-changing and increasingly competitive environment. Information technology is seen as a critical enabler in adjusting to market shifts and threats and increasing customer expectations while evolving and improving offered services. For an organization to improve its capability to change the underlying systems …

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From Data to Dashboard – An Observability Anti-Pattern

Numerous initiatives around Observability, sometimes referred to as Visibility in the business domain, fail to meet expectations due to engineers naively expecting that once data is being collected, all that needs to be done is to put up a dashboard before sitting back to stare blankly at large monitoring screens hoping for a signal to …

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Hierarchies of Attention and Abstraction in Observability

When designing observability and controllability interfaces for systems of services, or any system for that matter, it is essential to consider how it connects the operator to the operational domain in terms of the information content, structure, and (visual) forms. What representation is most effective in the immediate grounding of an operator within a situation? …

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Observability via (Verbal) Protocol Analysis

I’m always on the lookout for new ways to explain and relate to the design of the OpenSignals conceptual model of signals and states. So it was a pleasant surprise to stumble across (Verbal) Protocol Analysis during a recent certification in Design Thinking and some readings in situational awareness. VPA is a technique that has been used by researchers …

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Orientating Observability

The orientation concept in OpenSignals seems to be somewhat novel or not so familiar amongst previous attempts at signaling. The reason for orientation, which has two values of EMIT and RECEIPT, is very straightforward once we take into account that there are two perspectives to any interaction or communication. Let’s imagine a signaling model that …

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Streamlining Observability Data Pipelines

The first generation of Observability instrumentation libraries, toolkits, and agents have taken the big data pipelines of both application performance monitoring (traces, metrics) and event collection (logs) and combined them into one enormously big pipe to the cloud.

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Scaling Observability via Attention and Awareness

OpenSignals tackles scaling of observability on many fronts – at the machine and human interfaces and along the data pipeline starting at the source. Before discussing how OpenSignals addresses situational awareness in the context of a system of (micro)services (deferred for a future post), it is crucial to consider the foundational model elements independently of a domain.

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