I just returned from AWS re:Invent 2017 – wow, what an event!
Several monitoring vendors had impressive exhibits on display including us (Dynatrace), New Relic, DataDog, SignalFx, and others. I spent some time observing the demos these other vendors were showing to their booth visitors. With each demo that I watched, I repeatedly had the overwhelming urge to grab a microphone and announce…
…but since that behavior would’ve been frowned upon, I thought I would just write this blog instead.
Over the years, people have grown accustomed to how monitoring tools function and the value they provide. As a result, they unknowingly have low expectations and they accept ineffective capabilities as normal. For example:
Things that people accept as normal with their tools
- People think that a monitoring tool will require a lot of effort and skill to configure, setup and use effectively.
- People accept the fact that they’ll need several different tools to get a basic level of monitoring across all the different systems.
- People believe that visibility comes from creating a bunch of dashboards and charts.
- People understand they will have to deal with alert storms and false positive alerts.
- People expect that finding the root cause of a problem will require correlating and drilling through tons of data points (and a fair amount of luck).
The monitoring tool demos I observed at AWS re:Invent continued to reinforce these same low expectations.
Demonstrator: “Here’s how you can display the host CPU % on a chart…”
Audience: Heads nodding, people clapping.
I was amazed by how many people think these old, tiresome approaches to monitoring are acceptable.
It’s time to realize this isn’t good enough. Stop the madness.
Next time you use a monitoring tool or see a demonstration – expect more. Ask questions like:
- Why doesn’t this tool monitor the end user experience?
- Why can’t I see the performance details of each user session and each user click?
- Why does this tool require 10 different types of agents?
- Why doesn’t this tool just tell me the root cause of a problem?
- Why doesn’t this tool show me the business impact of a problem?
- Why does this tool require me to have to modify the startup scripts for every single JVM to monitor the java applications? What isn’t this done automatically?
- Why does this tool only have 2 new releases per year?
- Why is this tool not usable by other people in the organization including non-technical people?
- Why do I need multiple tools for APM, infrastructure, cloud, logs, and user monitoring?
- If this tool can monitor a Docker container, why doesn’t it automatically monitor the application component within the container?
- Why doesn’t the tool automatically upgrade itself?
- Why can’t I choose to run the tool on-premise or use it via SaaS?
- Why do I have to configure alerting rules? Isn’t the tool smart enough to recognize application and infrastructure problems by itself?
- Why doesn’t the tool automatically trace all the transactions from end to end? Why do I have to insert additional code into my application to enable tracing and telemetry?
- Why do I need yet another tool like Moogsoft or Big Panda to handle the alert notifications?
- Why do I have to manually configure dozens of different “integrations” for the monitoring to work?
Expect more – monitoring redefined
If you expect more and want a monitoring solution that does not have these same old limitations, you should try Dynatrace and find out what monitoring redefined is all about.