Today’s world demands agility, competitiveness, and resilience. Facts such as the recent wave of layoffs in large technology companies or the forecasts of organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank about a possible recession have led us to understand one thing: business want to reduce costs and invest in innovation to remain competitive.
In this scenario, employees are understanding the importance of efficiency and collaboration, while organizations have opted to think of technology no longer just as a competitive advantage but as a necessity to automate processes and reduce costs.
Thus, continuing to invest in modernization is a priority: updating systems, adopting the cloud, big data, edge computing, AI, etc. And according to Syniti, this will require tools like observability as companies become increasingly data-driven. As reported by IDC, in 2025, there will be 175 zettabytes of data globally.
In this article, we’ll explain why the observability approach is so important to improve operational efficiency, optimize user experience, and prevent attacks.
Why Adopt Observability
According to Dynatrace, as enterprises master the data explosion, observability, security, and business analytics will become increasingly interrelated. That is why observability is an important trend.
As we talked about in one of our articles, observability is an approach that allows you to have a practically 360º view of the events and performance of a system. In addition, it allows us to identify problems in real time and prevent failures.
But what are the main functions of an observability system?
- Detect unauthorized activities, interruptions or errors.
- Identify trends that help in strategic business planning.
- Obtain application performance data to provide insights into infrastructure and consumer trends.
To implement observability, it’s necessary to know the infrastructure of each business service. In this way, your DevOps team will be equipped to understand how digital results are also business results since installing a tool is not enough to achieve the goals.
Therefore, it’s important to understand the importance of training developers in using these tools, as well as in the approach of the culture of decision-making based on data.
The essential functionalities that an observability strategy should include are:
- System visibility through dashboards.
- Issuance of alerts on risks.
- Service mapping.
- Monitoring of network and application performance.
- Provide business insights.
- Integration with tools like Clickhouse, Splunk, ElasticSearch, etc.
There are two ways to analyze a system based on observability: black box monitoring, which refers to the internal state of system mechanisms, and white box monitoring, which refers to monitoring application functionalities that are under some kind of hardware or cloud.
Black Box Monitoring
Black box monitoring is defined as a technique for analyzing the functionality of a system that doesn’t take into account the internal structure of the code.
This model has a series of characteristics that allow its operation and is based on sampling. It’s basically the use of external tools and platforms that allow you to perform a verification of the operation of the system.
It’s responsible for user requests, that is, in this type of verification, the user or client is in charge of defining the metrics that will be used to analyze the data.
Black box monitoring also offers a level of code abstraction, that is, it performs system behavior checks, and this improves communication between software modules or subsystems.
In general, it could be said that black box monitoring is a series of tests that aim to test a system where the code and routes are invisible.
Some examples of black box monitoring are disk space, CPU usage, memory usage, load average, network traffic, kernel errors, etc.
White Box Monitoring
It’s a monitoring based on metrics within a system. Some examples of this are the number of HTTP requests, availability, queries executed against a database, number of connected users, metrics based on HTTP requests such as “access prohibited” (403), errors, and tracking the use of an API or interface of the user. Other types of white box monitoring are:
- MySQL query tracking.
- Number of users who use an application in a day.
- Detection of unexpected user behavior.
Observability Use Cases
Observability allows you to visualize and interpret data to better understand the operation of a business—and this gives you agility. With an observability tool, you can process your data, manipulate it, interpret it, and visualize it in a way that it’s possible to know what is happening.
This approach allows you to filter all the data that reaches your server, for example, see the traffic of a website by region, your number of orders, errors, etc. It also allows you to have a detailed vision of the business.
In other words, observability provides you with business insights that are basically summarized as follows:
- Accurate business decisions through observation.
- Get to know customers better based on data analysis.
- Allows you to optimize the user experience.
In short, business agility can use observability tools to improve decision cycles, risk management, plan contingencies, integrate the voice of customers, and, in general, respond to strategic opportunities by taking advantage of the technology.
According to a report from NSFOCUS, the world leader in network and cyber security, from 2021 to 2022, DDoS attacks increased by 205%. This means that the cybersecurity problem is not just present but exponentially sophisticated over time.
It’s known that these attacks are common in serverless or CDN architectures. This is where real-time monitoring and alerting tools come into play, allowing organizations to respond quickly to attacks.
The GraphQL API is an example of how an interface can optimize observability as it refines a security policy, for example by updating a network layer protection solution with information on which ports or IPs have previously been attacked to limit the rate or block requests by IP, geolocation, ASN and more.
Knowing how to protect yourself against cyber threats can make a big difference in your operations. An observability approach allows this since it:
Provides visualization of threads and attacks.
Quickly displays threat and attack data.
Keeping your system running properly will prevent users from leaving your website or app. For this, you will need tools that allow you to identify problems early and provide the data to identify their root cause.
The truth is that having a slow site and applications can seriously damage a company’s reputation as customers will abandon their search or purchase process.
Globally, it’ss estimated that the cost of purchase abandonment for the e-commerce sector is 18 millions of dollars . Fortunately, having a proper observability approach can help you prevent these losses by giving you:
- Early identification of trouble spots.
- Quick detection of website or application failures.
Current times require agile solutions. Observability is one of them since it allows you to have a simple view of your insights, learn about trends, help your DevOps team solve problems, obtain real-time insights about what is happening in your applications, and much more.
 2023 Data Trends & Predictions (Syniti)
 ¿Qué son las pruebas de caja negra?, (Keepcoding)
 H1 2022 Global DDoS Attack Landscape Report, (NSFOCUS)