What Is An Observability Data Pipeline?

What Is An Observability Data Pipeline?

Have you ever wondered how to get your organization's data into one place so you can easily monitor and troubleshoot your systems? If so, you're not alone. This is a common challenge faced by many organizations.

The solution is an observability data pipeline. To better understand what this is and how it works, we've put together a brief overview.

What is Observability Data?

Observability refers to the ability to infer the internal state of a system from its external outputs. Logs, metrics, and traces are known as the three pillars of observability. In other words, we can use these types of data to observe a system.

This data is essential for businesses to survive in today's world. It allows them to stay on track with their development, detect and defend against cybersecurity risks, and provide a pleasant customer experience. However, the majority of this information is unused. We encounter two primary reasons for this:

  1. By nature, observability data is unpredictable and expensive because the volume of logs an application produces varies based on factors such how many people are using it or if there’s an error.
  2. In companies with organizational silos, it's typical for teams to have independent tools and processes, making it tough to exchange information. For instance, if a dev team has access to logs, but the SRE team is the only one with access to metrics, then connecting the two becomes difficult.

This information isn't new even vendors knew about this years ago and created solutions like the single pane of glass. Although these products bring in data from all three types of observability, they aren't meant to be used by everyone who needs the data.

In DevOps organizations, individuals from development, operations, and security departments all need easy access to their data. Without it, I've seen teams come up with workarounds that efficiently. These inefficiencies are no longer tolerable because real-time insights could determine between resolving an issue quickly or losing millions of dollars.

What is an Observability Data Pipeline?

An observability data pipeline is a tool or process that centralizes observability data from multiple sources, enriches it, and sends it to various destinations. This solves multiple problems, including:

  1. The need to centralize data into a single location.
  2. The ability to structure and enrich data is easier to understand and get value from.
  3. The need to send data to multiple destinations for multiple use cases. 

Flexibility at this level ensures that everyone may utilize the tools they choose and avoid vendor lock-in. The appropriate tool can also provide controls to manage spikes so that everyone in an organization can access the data they need in real-time without affecting expenditures.

The Mezmo Approach

For over five years, Mezmo (formerly Logdna) has been devoted to creating a state-of-the-art log management tool for teams fully embracing DevOps. Presently, we're in the process of developing a new pipeline product that will enable organizations to collect all their log data from diverse sources and centralize it within Mezmo. They can then parse and normalize the information here before sending it on to wherever they need it—for instance, streaming it to Mezmo Log Analysis to assist with troubleshooting and debugging or else forwarding it to a SIEM for security purposes or even onward to a data lake for compliance needs.

By moving the control point over to the pipeline, users of Mezmo can unlock more value from their log data en masse by taking advantage of many existing features they love. Here's how we make it happen:

  • We first parse, and THEN index the log data so that it can be searched immediately.
  • With features such as natural language search, Mezmo is easy for anyone to use and find what they need quickly.
  • Our intuitive user interface (UI) and robust APIs allow users to build processes quickly. Teams may use automation to extract, parse, exclude, and stream data so that everyone in the organization can access the information they require whenever they need it.
  • Mezmo's vendor-agnostic approach makes sending data to several tools easy for immediate insights.
  • We give users tools to manage expenses, such as Exclusion Rules, Usage Quotas, and Alerts of unexpected price hikes.

We started with log data since it is the foundation of the DevOps movement. We've helped thousands of developers and DevOps teams extract value from their logs to develop and maintain some of the world's most creative products. Now, we're assisting them in getting even more use out of their log data by sending it to additional locations for a more comprehensive development, security, and compliance approach.