Cisco AppDynamics Tracks Major Cloud-Native Shift

A global survey found that nearly half (49%) of organizations’ innovation initiatives are being delivered with cloud-native technologies, with that percentage expected to increase to 58% in the next five years.

The survey, conducted by Cisco AppDynamics, polled 1,140 IT professionals working for organizations with more than $500 million in revenue. The survey also found more than three-quarters (78%) of respondents are now collecting metrics, events, logs and traces across hybrid cloud computing environments at rates that make manual monitoring impossible. A full 83% said the adoption of cloud-native technologies is leading to increased complexity within their IT department.

As a result, the survey notes 85% of respondents now view observability as a strategic priority for their organization, with more than half reporting that their organization is already exploring its options.

Cloud-native applications generate a lot more observability data than traditional monolithic applications. As organizations build and deploy them, existing legacy approaches to monitoring don’t typically scale to meet the challenge.

As IT environments become more hybrid, organizations identified other significant challenges, including expanding attack surfaces (42%), visibility gaps into application performance (41%), aligning cloud costs to performance (39%) and increased complexity caused by microservices and containers (36%).

That issue is also contributing to significant amounts of churn within organizations. The survey found well over a third (36%) of respondents reported that silos and ineffective collaboration are already resulting in IT talent leaving their organization, with 46% predicting that churn will increase if silos persist.

Gregg Ostrowski, executive CTO for Cisco AppDynamics, said the only way to effectively reduce that churn rate is to provide IT teams with the tools required to prevent the issue that, over time, stresses their IT teams. Observability platforms will play a crucial role in enabling organizations to achieve that goal by unifying logs, metrics and traces in a way that makes it simpler to launch queries to identify the root cause of an issue, he added.

It’s still early days as far as the adoption of observability platforms is concerned, but it’s apparent that as application environments become more complex, the plethora of monitoring tools that IT teams rely on today will need to be augmented. Monitoring tools are designed to track a set of pre-determined metrics rather than providing the tools required to correlate and analyze IT events and dependencies.

The rate at which DevOps teams will embrace observability will naturally vary, but the biggest obstacle might not be the platforms themselves. Rather, the issue is understanding what queries to craft to enable an IT team to identify the root cause of an issue before there is a major disruption.

In the long term, it’s expected that machine learning algorithms will leverage the data collected by observability platforms to identify those issues automatically. In the meantime, the level of expertise required to successfully manage hybrid IT environments remains high.

The challenge, of course, is a full 92% of survey respondents said hybrid cloud computing is here to stay. In many cases, those algorithms can’t arrive soon enough, given all the places where multiple classes of application workloads are deployed.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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