What Needs to Be in a Real-Time DevOps Visibility Solution

Devops is a philosophy
Joshua Platt

By Joshua Platt

May 16, 2019

If you've been following our blog series, you know that some of our survey respondents are able to find a way to produce the DevOps visibility they need. However, the cost of producing such visibility is high. It takes valuable resources away from their job, it often creates reports that are difficult to understand, and teams struggle with stale data. Such challenges drive a desire for a powerful, automated solution.

We asked our respondents (senior DevOps managers) what they would like to see in such a solution. Here are the six most sought-after product features:

Integrate with DevOps Tools Used

This makes a lot of sense when you consider the sheer number of DevOps tools the average DevOps manager uses (Splunk, Git, Chef, etc.). Integrating a reporting solution into one of your most central apps (such as Jira) puts your visibility functionality at your fingertips.

Data Source Agnostic

This is another reaction to the diverse ecosystem of tools DevOps managers must navigate. Answers to critical questions often require data from multiple disparate tools and a solution that can pull and combine data from multiple sources is optimal.

Ability to Drill Down To Source Data

When providing visibility into DevOps, there is a need to balance how much information to present. At a high level, it is important to streamline what is shown to make it easier to spot high-level trends. Yet, once one identifies a problem there is a need to see the underlying detail to understand what is causing the problem.

Real-Time Reporting

DevOps moves fast, and visibility based on stale data is next to useless.

Easy to Comprehend

Much of what DevOps does involves complex information. What matter is how things are related and interconnected. You need to be able to see relationships, sequences, hierarchies. Spreadsheets or tables are poor substitutes for the purpose-built diagrams that have evolved for these disciplines.

Easy to comprehend DevOps

Self-Service

Reports are best if managers who need information can just hit a button and get what they want without involving DevOps team members. There are two factors at play here. First, providing self-service means managers get the visibility they need faster. Second, self-service means DevOps teams don't have to divert attention from pressing development issues.

The SmartDraw DevOps Visibility Survey found that providing real-time DevOps visibility is one of the top three goals mentioned by DevOps managers. Further, we found that even within organizations who have found a way to provide DevOps visibility there is a desire to find a robust, automated tool that would help. In this post we've drilled down on precisely what DevOps managers want in such a tool.