Additional Metrics

Additional metrics can likewise be recorded by monitoring. Among the possible values are, for instance, response times, the frequency of certain errors, or the number of calls. These values are usually specific for a microservice so that they do not necessarily have to be offered by all microservices. An alarm can be triggered when certain thresholds are reached. Such thresholds are different for each microservice.

Nevertheless, a uniform interface for accessing the values is sensible when all microservices are supposed to use the same monitoring tool. Uniformity can reduce expenditure tremendously in this area.

Stakeholders

There are different stakeholders for the information from monitoring:

  • Operations wants to be informed about problems in a timely manner to enable a smooth operation of the microservice. In case of acute problems or failures it wants to get an alarm—at any time of day or night—via different means like a pager or SMS. Detailed information is only necessary when the error has to be analyzed more closely—often together with the developers. Operations is interested not only in observing the values from the microservice itself, but also in monitoring values of the operating system, the hardware, or the network.
  • Developers mostly focus on information from the application. They want to understand how the application functions in production and how it is utilized by the users. From this information they deduce optimizations, especially at the technical level. Therefore, they need very specific information. If the application is, for instance, too slow in responding to a certain type of call, the system has to be optimized for this type of call. To do so it is necessary to obtain as much information as possible about exactly this type of call. Other calls are not as interesting. Developers evaluate this information in detail. They might even be interested in analyzing calls of just one specific user or a circle of users.
  • • The business stakeholders are interested in the business success and the resulting business numbers. Such information can be provided by the application specifically for the business stakeholders. The business stakeholders then generate statistics based on this information and therefore prepare business decisions. On the other hand, they are usually not interested in technical details.

The different stakeholders are not only interested in different values but also analyze them differently. Standardizing the data format is sensible to support different tools and enables all stakeholders to access all data.

Stakeholders and Their Monitoring Data

Figure 11.2 Stakeholders and Their Monitoring Data

Figure 11.2 shows an overview of a possible monitoring of a microservice- based system. The microservice offers the data via a uniform interface. Operations uses monitoring to surveil for instance threshold values. Development utilizes a detailed monitoring to understand processes within the application. Finally, the business stakeholders look at the business data. The individual stakeholders might use more or less similar approaches: The stakeholders can, for instance, use the same monitoring software with different dashboards or entirely different software.

 
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