B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro
B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro

Episode · 2 weeks ago

The New IT of Observability


Applications evolve rapidly and are creating unexplored levels of complexity and an extremely dynamic environment. 

The founders of Instana realized legacy APM tools were going to struggle to handle emerging cloud-based containerized microservice applications.  

The new observability approach goes far beyond old capabilities, maximizes efficiency and reduces costs. 

Shelby Skrhak dives into the all-encompassing ideal of observability with Chris Farrell, vice president of Value Services at IBM, and Manoj Khabe, VP, Enterprise Management Solutions and Strategy at Converge Technology Solutions Corp:  

  • The need for a new way of monitoring ever more complex applications
  • How organizations can use observability to increase efficiency and cut costs
  • The challenges of ensuring optimal performance and avoiding catastrophic events 

To join the discussion, follow us on Twitter @IngramTechSol #B2BTechTalk 

Listen to this episode and more like it by subscribing to B2B Tech Talk on Spotify,Apple Podcasts or Stitcher. Or, tune in on our website.

You're listening to B two B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro, the place to learn about new technology and technological advances before they become mainstream. This podcast is sponsored by IBM. IBM is a leading hybrid multi cloud solutions company accelerating the creation, development, and manufacturing of the industry's most advanced information technology for companies around the world. Let's get into it. Welcome to B two B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro. I'm your host Shelby scare Hawk, and our guest today are Chris Ferrell, VP of Automation Value Services at IBM, and Minos Copy, Vice President of Enterprise Management Solutions at Converge Technology Solutions. Chris Minos Welcome, Thanks glad to be here. Thank you Like well, today we are talking about I t of the serve ability with IBM in Stanta, but I want to understand a little bit about the relationship of IBM in Stanna and Converge Technology Solutions. So Chris, tell us a little bit about your journey with Instata. Sure well. IBM acquired Sanna right at the beginning of or right at the end of and Stana was founded in by set up four experts in a PM. They had all been very successful doing a PM things and they saw a thing coming down the road, the containers, Kubernetes, Cloud Native, and they knew that the legacy APM tools were going to struggle. And this is not because like the APM tools are bad tools. Uh, they were just built to do something else. And so they set out to take all that they knew about ap M that was good and all they knew about a p M that wasn't good and kind of make a super version of it. And of course over time that came observe ability. Because observe ability has elements of APM in it, but it goes well beyond what APM tools think about doing. And so we built they built the company, and uh, you know, they hired a lot of other people with ap M experience like myself, and we were very fortunate and happy to have a successful a few years independently and then they get acquired by IBM, and it's been a great two years of being inside IBM as well being very successful and the company still operates very well as the enterprise observe ability provider for an IBM solution. Okay, so that integration is has gone well and seamlessly then has been fantastic. Well, so can you tell us about Converge Technology Solutions and how you work with IBM. Sure, yeah, thank you, thanks post of all, thanks for having me. Technology Solutions is a premier IBAN business partner. We are sustenable and a cloud solutions company. We focus delivering the industruating solutions...

...and services. You know, we being a global company, our global solution approach helps us to deliver solutions around UH analytics, a modernization, cloud platforms, digital workspace, especially in the remote work, remote work, air and so forth. So we we work very closely with technology partners I bean being premier partner for us to leverage this platform to deliver the solutions to our client. We leverage our bestpectice methodology, offering advisory solutions, to implementation services, to manage services, expertise across all the different ive vendors in marketplace to help customers adopt these solutions. So our our really goal is to be a trusted partner of a customer of IBM to bring these world class solutions that IBM has to offer and help customers to adopt those solutions to be more efficient, but reduce the cost and be be competive in the monkey space, right, So Converge and ib and working together, would like to offer that competitive advantage to our customers. Yeah. Well, um, you said some some MAgric words there about reducing costs and increasing efficiency, and I want to come back to those things. But going back to kind of the the big topic for today being observe ability. So, Chris, we had discussed this idea of observe ability, but to kind of recap and expand what is observe ability and how is it different than the legacy a p MS that you talked about, Well, observe ability is it includes aspects of ap M in it. But I think to understand why observe ability exists, you have to kind of look at where applications have evolved in the last six or seven years and really start it with the acceptance of or the desire to move to micro services, which got very fast adoption of container technology, specifically Docker. And then you add on an element of complexity like Kubernetes, which is used to of course manage the provisioning of those containers, and you've created a extremely complex environment that is also extremely dynamic or as my favorite word of the decade, ephemeral and it's always changing, and so what ended up happening is a new way of monitoring. This new technology was needed. This has happened before. It's why APUM exists. Twenty years ago APUM exists, you know, got created to deal with a lack of visibility and Java applications, and then as those grew to distributed job applications, a new version of APM tools got created to deal with the ideas or complexities of that distributed information. We're dealing with a whole different level...

...of complexity. The lines are blurred between software and infrastructure. The lines are blurred between code and not code pieces of your applications. And the lines are also being blurred into organizations as they try to move faster, and so development operations right DevOps, site reliability engineering, the idea of trying to achieve continuous delivery. All these things are creating pressures on the tools to keep up with both velocity and also complexity. And so that's where observe ability was born from. Because you can't just have this code centric view of the world anymore. You have to understand what all the services are doing as part of an application environment and you have to understand the connection between software layers and infrastructure layers, many of which are just additional software layers, and being able to manage that full stack all at once while also understanding what is doing to end users and what it's doing with resources. And so observe ability is kind of this all encompassing ideal of how do you deal with all of this together? And that's that's the biggest difference. Of course, the definition I'm doing air quotes. The definition of observe ability to the world is metrics, traces, and logs. But we don't think that in that way. We think of it in how organizations can use data more efficiently and better. Well, you know, Minnaus, you see this from the from the partner perspective, and so when when you look at observe ability, I mean Chris said it. You know, this is more than just numbers on a on a single pane of glass. It is I guess, can you tell us what it's really used for and why that's important? I guess what's the what's the essence of observe abilities benefit for companies? Yeah? No, I think just to add to what Chris mentioned, right, I think for what from a partner perspective, what we're seeing is the customers are, you know, going through the different set of challenges while they're modernizing these applications. You know, I would like to use like a car anology, right, I mean you have been think about these different parts that you can build a car, whether it's a tire or seat or you know, the wheel or different indicators and engages and you know, instruments and so forth. Are those micro services? Right? And you have been asked to, Hey, take this micro services and build a car. You know, so obviously, how do you build it? Right? When you have been asked to go from a typical theater architecture where you have a set of modern way of a certain set of application process versus now we have been asked to build this new, modern, fancy car with so called micro services. Thousands of different parts been thrown at you. How which part do I use? How do I use it? Is it's safer to use? How do I maintain and manage it? Right? And even though you eventually build a car, slash should build the application? Do do my application...

...have all the features I want? Is my application being properly architectured? What happens when something goes wrong? Do I have a visibility to look at this card? Right? So imagine when the car is built, would you really drive the car without having a center console, center dashboard and not knowing the speed of the car and the temperature of the car, and the fuel of the car, or maybe an a vehicle the battery status of the car. Right. So, I think this is the analogy that I we see is very important aligns with what we are seeing in this modern application. You know, development modern applications have increased the complexity that I T leaders face today. You know, the rise of micro services, the cloud, native other distributor systems have made the challenges of ensuring application performance greater than ever, you know, and what we believe is to meet this challenge just two fundamental aspect most coexist. One is high quality code of your application and the resources to ensure that such code executes without billy optimately at a high performance. And that's where we believe observe Ability platform offered buy Instanna is really important. It's key to successful successful delivered their modern applicitions. Well, I am a huge fan of analogies, and we know that's a very adapt one, Chris, what would you add to that? Then? I mean, I guess what makes the use of instanna important and I guess more importantly more urgent today than than before. I think the biggest difference between making a decision to move from one version of a tool to another or upgrading slightly is that we're talking about applications that are so much more com plex, that are so much more critical to our business, by the way, and that deal with so many different types of users that by not having the right tool in place, you're actually risking a catastrophic event. And the catastrophe is going to come. It might come any year, it might come in four months, it might come in two days if you're running new technologies and not using new observe ability aspects ideals to monitor them and to to make sure they're running. And the catastrophic effect could be as small as you have a bunch of users that can't access accounts for some amount of time, whether that time is one hour or one day, or it could have a much larger effect where uh it could affect bottom line or even the viability of a business, depending on how whorton an application is to...

...the operation of said business. Well, in well, I want to come back to MINOS which you said about reducing costs and increasing efficiency. So Chris, I'll come to you for the efficiency part of it, and MINOS follow up with you about reduced cost I mean, you know, I know yours definitely perked up when you say those two things. So what do you mean Chris when you say that, you know and SONA can make developers more efficient? So it's really interesting to talk about a tool that you don't actually necessarily have to use developers to use to make work and say that makes developers more efficient. But that is exactly what we're finding companies and customers that have gotten SUNA in average about developer time going back to their developers. Now, there are many There are actually several different ways that this can happen. One is if they're actually having their developers instruments some level of details monitoring metrics into the I T systems. Then one of the things that can happen is that you no longer have to have those developers. Right, the very basic monitoring aspects, things like load latency, error rates, right, those things are attracted automatically by INSANA. So the developers, if they want to when they do their instrumentation, whether it's with an open telemetry or Yeager or some other open source ap I, they can actually focus more on things that you don't get from a monitoring tool, like what a parameter was, like it's a gold user or a platinum user, or where something came from. Of course we know where things come from too, but the really cool thing is why since we integrate all those things together, they don't have to go rewrite anything. They don't have to do that, so there's efficiency upfront. We also, since we automate all the other parts of understanding data, you don't have to have developers sit down with your operations team and tell the operations team what different pieces of the application do because you don't need to know that ahead of time. You don't have to map things out a time. There's no setup of dashboards. We actually don't even require people to set up thresholds for alerts because we're going to go figure out whether or not an alert needs to be set, and we're also going to then provide information to all the different users that's exactly what they need. And that's the last step of making developers more efficient, eliminating the need to get everyone, all stakeholders together whenever there's a problem so that everyone together can figure out what the data from the tool means. Instead, we're going to figure that out and we're gonna say, you know what, there's an incident, there's a service problem. The problem is on this server and it appears to be this code. So Jim, you go fix the problem because it's it's on your code. Susie and Angie, you don't have to come to the meeting to sit around for an hour and the...

...three of you, along with twenty OPS people and four d B A s and three business owners are going to sit around for an hour and try to figure out what all this data means so that we know then can assign Jim to go fix the problem. Instead, Jim is just gonna get the data and he's gonna start fixing the problem. So we see again floor basic minimum developer efficiency back. We've had some organizations get or even six developer time back, and this goes down to the to the line of code. That's that's incredible. Yeah, it's it's pretty cool when you think about it. And of course APM tools had the ability to do line of code and sometimes. But it's really incredible for me to think about, because I've been in this business for twenty years, what we had to do just to get some basic information twenty years ago versus now we have the ability to take measurements at one second, all measurements at one second, to trace every request across every piece and service, and and have code level visibility, and even have production profiling or which is you know, serious debugging information for developers, all with just you know, a fraction of the overhead that we took up ten twenty years ago. So it is really cool to think about all the information it's available now. Yeah, it's you're right that you know, it wasn't just the challenge of solving what the problem was. You know, once you you did all that sleothing, then you had to figure out how to fix it exactly. Yeah, that that's a big that's a big weight off. Una tell us about you know, the reduced costs that that comes associated with being able to pinpoint problems and you know, get faster to solutions. You should be absolutely, I mean, just piggyback of what Chris mentioned, right, I think in next generation applications, the applications the slowness is new down. You know, having performance problems new down. So it's really important to really have the automated instrumentation of entire application processes, the performance, the errors they lass and changes and to really understand the impact of the change in real time. Helps you to improve what we call mean time to identify and does improve the meantime to isolate and respond. Being able to really tie that with your real time c i C pipeline. You don't really wait after the fact, you know you're you're basically tie that pipeline in real time and understand the impact of the change in real time so that you can quickly diagnosis the problem and actually lower the business impact of the problem, essentially helping you to gain the efficiency and lower the cost of your operations and maintain the applications. And instead of being a simple signal instrumental solutions and the agent instrumentation solution, you know it gives you even easy to use and quicker I'm to market, essentially helping you...

...your overall operational cost of rolling out your operational applications and managing them well. As we do start to wrap up our episode, we always ask our guests the same final question, and that's where do you see technology going in the next year? And I know that's broad, but you know, within within this space and and you know what you're seeing, you know where are we going to be in three minersia, I'll start with you. Sure, yeah, Shelby, I mean this is this is I would say, we're just catching the surface. You know. The developers have been challenged to roll out new applications much faster and much quicker. And the only way that they can do is basically leveraging latest and latest technology is being available at them at their disposal to really build those applications faster. Right, So what I see is this is the operational challenge is going to increase day by day to get the restability into the applications. The infrastructure is getting more and more complex, from legacy monolithic applications to micro services architecture to going into a software defined infrastructure that applications sits on, and back back in days, we used to have probably three or four technologies been used for building applications, right, but now being able to roll out applications fast, it's only possible by using the latest and latest tools, which probably in hundreds of tools out there that developers used to develop the applications, and I think in order to stay competitive, you want to release your applications and releases and features and functions faster, maybe weeks, right, not months. And that's why when you have this mode applications, you need that platform lega instant are to meet those new challenges. To me, I look at I think of that question, and in reality, I think of all the really interesting technology in our hands today, and our hands not meaning instant or IBM, but but the I T industry, and how there's still so much that we can leverage that we already have. So we talk about things like hybrid cloud and multi cloud and now super cloud. The truth is is that what we're really talking about is organizations and Emmino's really hit on it modernizing their applications but doing so in a way that makes the organization better. So to me, the future of technology is actually kind of a morphine of an organization to deal with or be able to better address the needs of the marketplace by speeding up. Right. So these are these are things we've been talking about for five or six years, embracing C I, C D, and I always like to say not everyone can get to continuous delivery, but everyone should be striving to get to continuous delivery, because the faster you are in your development pipelines, the better off you're going to be,...

...the more responsive to the market you're going to be. Well to do that, that means you have to put in new methods for developing, testing, and deploying your application, your your services, your different pieces right, which means you have to have tools that now all work together. For example, instead of you deploy a new piece of code and then you wait for the monitoring tool to come back and tell you if things are good, and then if things aren't, then you go, oh, I have to go roll back my code. How about you roll out a piece of code and one second later, the monitoring tool knows that there's a problem, and instead of you having to wait for it to tell you, which, by the way, with the sonnet, that would be another two seconds later, but instead after those two seconds and SONA will just tell Jenkins, hey, this piece of code that just got rolled out, it's bad. Roll it back, right. So these increase confidence in organizations, and that confidence will allow them to start really leveraging all the technology they have at hand operations. Teams will no longer be scared to have developers pick six different database services as part of an application, because each particular service has a specific need or function that are functioned that fit a need for that developer. Developers will no longer feel like they're they're not getting the information they need to be more efficient and their code, and everybody will at least now feel happy that we're all on the same page and moving the same direction. So it's not that it's new technology, it's just a better use of our old technology of our current technology. Right, that makes sense? Well, Chris, how can we if if listeners have any questions about something we talked about today or or want to find out more, how can they reach out? So, of course, uh, they should always have to have an IBM partner reach out there IBM partner. IBM partners are very well versed in in in Sanna and IBM products. But you can learn anything you want about Instana at Instanta dot um. It's still a live website, still going, and in fact we have two really cool things on there for people that just want to get started. Of course, we have a free trial that you can that people can use and just start right in on their own applications. But if they don't have an application ready yet that they want to throw it on and look at, we have a thing that we call play with that allows them with just a very just just a very quick little button to get in and start playing with a real and sauna instance running managing a real application running environment. So you kind of get a feel for everything is and actually we kind of have a few scripted ways to walk people through and understand what it is they are seeing and how to handle it. Excellent. Well, uh no, Chris, I appreciate the conversation today. Thank you so much for joining me. Oh, thanks for having this great to enjoy the conversation. We appreciate it. Yes, thanks very much, really enjoyed it. And thank you listeners for tuning in and subscribing to BE two be tech Talk with Ingram Micro. If you like this...

...episode or have a question, please join the discussion on Twitter with the hashtag B two B tech Talk. Until next time, I'm Shelby scare Talk. You've been listening to B two B tech Talk with Ingram Micro. This episode was sponsored by IBM. B two B tech Talk is a joint production with sweet Fish Media and Angram Micro. Ingram Micro production handled by Laura Burton. To not miss an episode, subscribe today to your favorite podcast platform,.

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