“Getting to the root cause of an issue isn’t always easy. In fact, it can be next to impossible without high-resolution, low-granularity data. When IT teams are trying to triangulate an issue, they need to have every metric at a per-second frequency available to them in real-time,” says Costa Tsaousis, CEO, Netdata, in an exclusive Hotseat interview with EnterpriseTalk.
ET Bureau: What, according to you, are the current challenges faced by IT teams while monitoring their IT infrastructure?
Costa Tsaousis: IT teams have always had to meet the challenges of limited resources, budgets, and expertise. Now, however, the infrastructure they manage is more complex than ever, driven by a changing technology landscape that often includes both a greater number of deployments and devices to manage, along with different environments spanning on-premises servers to edge computing.
Unfortunately, IT infrastructure monitoring solutions often only increase that complexity. Many require IT teams to be monitoring experts to even begin the planning process. After heavy investments of time, money, and expertise, they can still fall short when it comes to troubleshooting complex performance issues. Often, these limitations are fundamental: many solutions limit the number and frequency of metrics, giving the IT teams only a birds’ eye view of what’s happening across all systems and applications of enterprises.
Instead, teams need monitoring and troubleshooting solutions that just work out of the box, giving them immediate feedback on the health and performance of their infrastructure without needing to resort to the command line.
ET Bureau: How can IT extract the granular information from a large set of monitoring metrics and leverage it to make informed decisions?
Costa Tsaousis: Getting to the root cause of an issue isn’t always easy. In fact, it can be next to impossible without high-resolution, low-granularity data. When IT teams are trying to triangulate an issue, they need to have every metric at a per-second frequency available to them in real-time.
Even better, they need to be able to explore intelligently correlated metrics to get a better understanding of what might be driving the incident. Just as importantly, IT teams need to be able to share their findings in real-time, bringing together relevant data and people in one place to reduce the time to resolution.
ET Bureau: How does your organization help enterprises to get critical insights on the performance of their IT infrastructure?
Costa Tsaousis: Netdata is a bit different from other monitoring solutions thanks to its distributed data architecture. The lightweight Netdata Agent can be permanently installed on any system that needs to be monitored, from tiny IoT devices to ephemeral containers. It can then stream metadata to Netdata Cloud, a single pane of glass that gives the team complete insight into the health and performance of an enterprise’s entire infrastructure.
Because of this architecture, Netdata is infinitely scalable and has no limitations when it comes to the number or frequency of metrics IT teams can collect and visualize in real-time -– an absolute necessity for troubleshooting.
ET Bureau: How can technologies such as AI, ML and IoT can help enterprises to enhance their IT infrastructure?
Costa Tsaousis: There’s been a lot of industry buzz around AIOps, but for the most part, it’s still just hype. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are tools in a developer’s toolset, not an end in and of themselves.
The promise is in using AI/ML to help intelligently automate tasks that have been difficult, time-consuming, or cumbersome in the past. For example, correlating relevant metrics when an incident or anomaly is detected. Rather than having to analyze hundreds of charts looking for correlated events, they can help detect them algorithmically and surface relevant information to the user in a way that is easier to understand and faster to act upon, thus driving down resolution time when every minute counts.
ET Bureau: What trends do you see will transform the health monitoring systems of IT infrastructure?
Costa Tsaousis: I believe that IT infrastructure monitoring is ripe for disruption. It is too costly and complex for many organizations to put it into the hands of the people who would benefit from it the most: developers, SREs, DevOps engineers, and sysadmins. I founded Netdata with the idea that monitoring and troubleshooting should be easy, effective, and available for everyone.
Costa Tsaousis is the founder and CEO of Netdata, an innovative real-time performance monitoring solution for Linux infrastructures of all sizes. Before Netdata, Costa worked for 25 years in the online IT services industry, assisting disruptors like Viva.gr, Viva Wallet, and Hellas Online become challengers using technology. Costa is also the primary developer behind FireHOL, a “firewall for humans” that builds secure, stateful firewalls from easy-to-understand, human-readable configurations.