When it comes to observability for Cloud Dependencies, we often think about how we can use that data for incident response. However, that data can go beyond incident response and have a number of important applications.
In this article, we’ll discuss the ways cloud dependency data can inform ways to improve resiliency, get early warnings, hold vendors accountable, and pick better vendors.
The Value of Cloud Observability
At Metrist, we think that there’s a pyramid of how observability for cloud dependencies can improve the reliability of your system, with the foundation of using the data for emergencies and the top involving proactive choices. The pyramid is as follows:
- Find out about or verify outages quickly
- Respond to incidents faster with third-party context
- Get early warnings of potential outages
- Use automation to avoid impact
- Hold vendors accountable to SLAs
- Use data to pick better vendors
While incident response is a critical part of software operations, observability for cloud dependencies can provide benefits far beyond “emergency mode.” So let’s discuss these benefits in terms of incident response and going “beyond incident response.”
The Basics: Incident Response
Since cloud dependencies are the source of 70% of today’s outages, chances are you’ll be dealing with a cloud-related outage most of the time. And with real-time data like that from Metrist, you can accomplish the following objectives:
- Find out about or verify outages quickly. The first priority when it comes to cloud-related incident response is finding out about incidents early. Of course, it’s important for the team to address incidents as quickly as possible, but there are cost associations for the company as well. Two separate studies show that the average cost of an outage is $300,000 per hour. At $5,000 per minute, every moment counts. And since cloud vendors tend to be slow to update their status pages (if they update them at all), you can spend a significant amount of time trying to find the source of the problem. Essentially, you can spend at least 20 minutes (and $100,000) trying to answer the question, “is it me or is it them?”
- Respond to incidents with context around third-parties. When dealing with a cloud-related outage, it’s very important to understand the context of third parties. For example, you should be able to answer the question, “Is it a timeout or an error? What exactly is the error? Some functionality or all functionality? Just one region or all regions? Just you or every other user of the CD?” And with the complexity and interconnectedness of our software today, you can’t fully address incidents without the context of your third parties.
But these applications are just the beginning. Let’s talk about using the data and going beyond incident response.
Observability for Cloud Dependencies: Beyond Incident Response
If you want to go to the next level when it comes to addressing – and even preventing – incidents, the following are ways you can use visibility into cloud dependencies.
- Get early warnings of impending outages. Sometimes, cloud dependencies give “warning signs” about outages – whether increased lag time, sudden occasional errors, or even a pattern of data that shows an outage is likely to occur on a certain day of the week. Knowing about those warning signs and patterns can help you better prepare so you can stay resilient and address incidents as quickly as possible.
- Use automation to avoid impact. With sufficient, accurate data, you can implement automation to avoid impact. Whether that’s early warning systems, switchover options, or failsafe measures, the data and automation can go beyond manual efforts, saving your team time and money.
- Hold vendors accountable to SLAs. It’s nearly impossible to hold vendors accountable to their SLAs. If only because they are rarely transparent about their outages – and outages do not affect everyone the same. Your individual experience may differ from others. So it’s important to understand how your particular system is being affected.
- Use historical facts to pick better vendors. With observability for cloud dependencies, you can understand if your current vendors support your reliability needs. Or you can use the data before you pick the right vendor in the first place. You don’t have to wait and see if they stay true to their SLA.
As we can see, we can not only improve reactions to incidents, but improve our proactive efforts to know about outages quickly and reduce their likelihood of happening.
What You Can Do
Cloud dependencies are becoming more and more integral to our software and business operations – so it’s becoming more and more imperative to have observability for them. And we not only need to be able to quickly and effectively address incidents as they happen, but do our best to prevent incidents in the first place.
If you have questions about how to use observability into cloud dependencies, contact us at Metrist. We’d love to help you navigate this important aspect of your business. And you can always try the Metrist software which allows you to see how your cloud dependencies are specifically affecting your software in real-time.