Key Criteria for Evaluating Cloud Observability Solutionsv2.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Cloud Observability Primer
  3. Report Methodology
  4. Decision Criteria Analysis
  5. Evaluation Metrics
  6. Key Criteria: Impact Analysis
  7. Analyst’s Take
  8. About Ron Williams

1. Summary

Enterprises, regardless of size, are moving applications and infrastructure to the cloud. Startups and smaller companies may use a single public cloud, while larger organizations use multiple clouds and on-site infrastructure that may include a private cloud. The expansion of cloud usage, particularly multicloud configurations, presents a major challenge, as organizations struggle to monitor and manage their dynamic cloud environments.

Cloud observability addresses this challenge by providing monitoring, performance measurement, reporting, and predictive analytics of diverse cloud infrastructures. As Figure 1 shows, these capabilities enable both IT awareness and business awareness, and provide a platform for enabling broad operational awareness of the organization, its infrastructure, and its operations. Importantly, cloud observability solutions are tuned to the volatility of cloud environments, which unlike on-premises infrastructures, can change quickly based on application requirements, finances, and performance fluctuations. Without a cloud awareness platform, organizations risk flying blind.

Figure 1. Aspects of Operational Awareness

These solutions fill an essential gap not served by familiar solutions like application performance management (which reports on the performance of applications but can’t determine how the cloud infrastructure is utilized) and AIOps (which looks at performance data from any source but doesn’t know how the cloud deployment is used). Cloud observability can work across clouds and even multiple cloud infrastructures to monitor applications and resources.

It’s common for cloud implementations to be over-provisioned and underutilized. Thus, any cloud observability platform should include utilization monitoring, orphaned resource discovery, and provision reporting. These areas have direct cost implications and, when ignored or neglected, can lead to spending on cloud implementations beyond what’s anticipated.

Taking control of cloud awareness means evaluating which cloud (or clouds) are in use, what the business expectations are, and the abilities of the operations and DevOps teams. Cloud observability solutions enable this evaluation.

The GigaOm Key Criteria Report for Cloud Observability is in its second year, and the need for infrastructure, application, and network awareness has not changed since that first report. This year’s report builds on the coverage of that analysis, reflecting the expanding role and advancing technologies of cloud observability solutions, and the impact those changes have on IT decision making.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:
Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.
GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.
Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.

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