Observability and Instrumentation

Let’s start with a definition

What is observability?

What’s monitoring?

Why is this important?

Instrumentation

  • The system posts data to a payment gateway. You want to know how many requests were successful and how many failed. Here you could use a counter to count the number of successes and number of failures. You could then graph the counts and compare the numbers to highlight issues. You could set up alerting when a high number of failures occur.
  • You create an API endpoint for external systems to fetch data. You want to know how long requests can take and observe where bottlenecks in your code is. You may want to wrap timers around calls to the database and calls to other external systems. You can then graph the time particular calls make to understand these bottlenecks.

Tools

Source: https://github.com/kontera-technologies/graphite-api
Source: https://hexdocs.pm/prometheus_ex/Prometheus.Metric.Counter.html
Source: https://docs.newrelic.com/docs/agents/ruby-agent/api-guides/ruby-custom-metrics
  • Processed — indicated the messages that were processed by system A to be sent for processing by System B.
  • Failed — counted the number of messages that failed to be sent to system B
  • Sending — number of messages sent to system B.
Source: https://docs.newrelic.com/docs/apm/new-relic-apm/getting-started/introduction-new-relic-apm

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Claire Tran

Claire Tran

Engineering Leader | Writer | Speaker | Traveller. Passionate about growing opportunities for people in Tech.

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