DevOps is a practice that helps teams continuously create, refine, and improve. DevOps and site reliability engineering (SRE) teams must constantly hone and enhance the systems and software they are responsible for. This includes taking a clear-eyed and honest look at how technology and culture choices impact their practice.
Teams must discover what works, what doesn’t, and what best serves the end user. DevOps leaders need to ask if smarter monitoring strategies can fix the flaws in their practice, improve team dynamics, and drive better end-user experiences.
Here are five common blind spots DevOps and SRE teams sometimes encounter and advice on how to avoid them.
1. Using a cloud-only monitoring strategy
It’s foolhardy to believe app and service success can be defined only by cloud performance metrics. DevOps teams need to monitor the entire service delivery chain for a true view of user impact and satisfaction. User perception is critical to the success of your apps and services, so smart monitoring strategies gather as much insight as possible into what the end user is experiencing. Beyond cloud monitoring, where else should you look?
Can a better monitoring strategy transform your end-user insight? Monitor regional backbone and broadband service providers. Monitor mobile networks to understand when 3G/4G LTE network service degrades. Look for issues inside your own firewalls to detect problems your employees or customers face when on-site. For a more in-depth look into this topic, read how to include multiple perspectives in your monitoring strategy.
2. Forgetting about the end user
Some DevOps teams fall into the trap of believing DevOps processes apply to and affect only internal functions. Teams must realize that for DevOps it’s all about the end users, whether they are internal or external to the organization. Apps are written in an assortment of languages. They are deployed on many different infrastructure types and platforms. They are accessed on an ever-widening array of device types—phones, watches, tablets. These variables complicate gathering useful information about the end user.
Real user monitoring (RUM) helps simplify that process by offering actionable insight using real-time user data. With RUM, you can track how third-party app performance affects user experience and your team can track metrics that matter. RUM monitors service quality, alerts DevOps and SRE teams to critical issues, and helps teams understand how performance affects user behavior and conversions.
3. Staying stuck in your journey
Respondents to the recent State of DevOps Report by Puppet said, despite being many years into their DevOps process, they still felt at the beginning of their journey and wondered why they hadn’t made more progress. Perhaps you and your team can relate.
There is a path to maturity for all DevOps teams, which the Puppet report outlines. Those in the earliest stages are still building the foundation and deciding how to flesh out their technology stack. The middle stages focus on standardizing the tech stack, removing variables, and refining DevOps practices. Mature DevOps teams master automation and self-service functionality.
If you feel stuck in your journey, the first step may be to discover where you are and then map a path and monitoring strategy to aid progress towards the next stage you want to achieve.
4. Discounting culture change
Culture change may be one reason why your team feels stuck on its journey. DevOps will never progress if it stays stuck within one department. It requires culture change across an organization, monitoring technology to drive that change, and C-suite champions to enable and encourage success. Those champions understand the importance of aligning DevOps goals to business goals and of choosing early projects that have a measurable business impact on end users.
Shifting to an SRE mindset often creates another cultural hurdle. The natural outgrowth of DevOps was the integration of software engineering and operations. As software engineers began to understand the urgency of applying engineering principles to operations tasks the two become entwined. Business leaders now need to help spread the word when teams experience success, offer encouragement to DevOps and SRE teams to share insights and teach others, and foster an environment that encourages smart risk-taking and removes the fear of failure.
5. Ignoring what developers need to succeed
One benefit of DevOps should be shifting development teams away from maintenance and busy work and towards innovation and creative problem-solving. When businesses choose to follow DevOps practices, this is what they envision—a development team finely tuned to align business goals with end-user needs.
Developers want to spend time coding and creating. To realize that vision, they need the right culture (fostered by C-suite champions), the right tools (that monitor the entire service delivery chain), and the widest set of user information (from real-time RUM to synthetic monitoring) to set the stage for true innovation.
Don’t be blindsided by your blind spots. A transformation of your technology and culture requires a transformation of your monitoring strategy. Catchpoint helps you create a smart monitoring strategy and gain a complete view of your end users’ experience.