Brad Lhotsky Profile picture
May 8, 2018 11 tweets 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Personal rage thread on #Monitoring vs. #Observability. Courtesy of this delineastion: "Monitoring is telling you your systems are broken, Observability is being able to ask why?"
Telling me a system is broken is *worthless* if I can't ask it why it's broken.
"Yo, your shit's broken" has ALWAYS been BAD monitoring.
At times, it may be the only monitoring we have, but it's not the end goal.
Every time I see #Monitoring vs #Observability I wonder if they knew sysadmins could program before #DevOps became a thing. I've been a sysadmin for almost 20 yrs. On day 1, I thought "running the same commands over and over again is dumb, here's some #Perl."
If you're not programming as a sysadmin, you're not doing your job.
If you're not actioning and answering the "why" in your monitoring system, you're not really monitoring things. You're just complaining.
(note: complaining is better than maintaining ignorance)
"Monitoring" has always been more than metrics, alerts, and notifications to me. It's about understanding the systems and becoming more intelligent about metrics, alerts, and notifications. My real goal is to prevent *all* of the notifications.
It's an active, continuous process. As programming is fundamental to my sysadmin work, I consider the concept of "observability" as fundamental to monitoring.

Can you do one without the other? Sure, poorly, and I don't want to work there.
I'd argue further that your monitoring system *itself* needs to be *observable* or you shouldn't be talking about this in the first place.
Semantics? Maybe, but your language is painting this picture for me:

* Q3 2019 DEVOPS
* Q9 2020 PROFIT

It's arbitrary and off-putting.
"Observability" is gussied up for the board, stake holders and share holders. It might sound edgy or progressive at tech conferences.

In the trenches, we're monitoring shit.
I sysadmin because I want to make others more productive.
If I speak about "monitoring" and you hear "sends a page when HTTP status <> 200", then want to share how much better "observability" would be ....

.... I might lose my cool. #SorryNotSorry

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