Modern Observability for Modern Applications

Distributed applications and environments are complex and difficult to troubleshoot. The result? Downtime, latency and longer delivery cycles. To monitor, troubleshoot and fix problems quickly, developers need to view the entire architecture, not just the logs.

Why Developers Are Moving to Microservices

Monolithic applications are built on a single codebase. When one code module is changed the entire system is affected. Abstracted from infrastructure, microservices fix that problem. Microservices split application functionality into independent services. Then each service can be easily and cost-effectively changed, deployed, scaled and managed as a service.

The Evolution of Host-Based Monolithic Applications to Cloud Microservices

Host-Based Monolithic Architecture → Host-Based Distributed Architecture → Abstracted Host Highly Distributed Architecture

More Microservices, More Problems

Microservices do amazing things, but result in more complex environments. These highly distributed services and environments make it difficult to find and fix problems. Here are just a few of the challenges facing developers:


Determining whether the application is even working correctly can be a time-consuming challenge.


Basic logs and metrics aren’t the right tools for highly distributed applications.


Building new services is difficult when you’re unsure what’s currently running in production.

The Solution: Observability

By stitching together metrics, logs, and traces, observability addresses the challenges of monitoring highly distributed environments. Here’s how it works:


Metrics tell you the “what.” By measuring the health and performance of infrastructure, operating systems, applications and everything in between, metrics can:

  • Help development teams understand if an application or resource is working properly

  • Be aggregated to show trends or outliers over time


Logs tell you the “why.” Logs record discrete events produced by applications and associated resources over time. Logs can:

  • Provide context about events

  • Be written manually as unstructured (more common) or structured (less common) data


Traces tell you the “where.” In highly distributed environments with containers and microservices, traces show the path of a request, transaction or operation as it travels across a distributed environment and can:

  • Follow interdependencies (spans) between applications to detail information about them

  • Discover the latency of components along the path

  • Identify which component is creating a bottleneck

The Only Way to Understand Cloud-Native Workloads

The longer it takes a developer to find and fix a problem within these distributed systems, the more a company is at risk of undermining its bottom line. Distributed tracing tells the whole story of a transaction or workflow, enabling speedy fixes—even within the most complex environment.