Eric D. Schabell: SRECon EU 2023 - Three Phases to Better Observability Outcomes (slides)

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

SRECon EU 2023 - Three Phases to Better Observability Outcomes (slides)

 "SREcon23 Europe/Middle East/Africa is a gathering of engineers who care deeply about site reliability, systems engineering, and working with complex distributed systems at scale. SREcon strives to challenge both those new to the profession as well as those who have been involved in it for decades. The conference has a culture of critical thought, deep technical insights, continuous improvement, and innovation."

This is SRECon23 EU and it was held in Dublin from 10-12 Oct this year. Having submitted a few ideas for talks, they settled on one as a lightning talk with the slot tightly defined as 16 slides, 15 seconds per slide, and a total of four minutes for the talk.

Below you'll fine the abstract for this talk and the slides I used, but without the automatic timer, so you need to count to 15 each slide and then advance yourself to see how that feels!

The lightning talks took place at the end of day tow, on Wednesday, 11 Oct from 17:45-18:45 local Dublin time. 

As for my lightning talk, I started by declaring the three pillars of observability dead! This led into the core message of the three phases of observability (o11y) being the real need in our industry. Here are the slides and they are followed by the talk abstract:

Three phases to better observability outcomes

We all want to have better business outcomes for our organizations solutions, such as faster remediation of problems, easier problem detection, greater revenue generation, happier customers, and engineering teams that can remain focused on delivering more business value. 

The problem with the popular three pillars (metrics, logs, tracing) is that you are talking about technology aspects and not about solutions. It's like talking about the tools in a mechanics toolbox used to make your convertible run again, instead of focusing on the blue smoke coming out of the exhaust, the rising engine temperature, and using that data to quickly remediate the problem by replacing the seals to prevent oil leaking in the engine. Let’s quickly tour the phases that lead to better outcomes and get our focus back on effective observability goals.

I hope you enjoyed thinking outside the box as the three pillars of observability are dead! Long live the Phases of O11y!

If you are interested in the long story version of this talk idea, see my article covering this topic in the O11y Guide series.