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This is the product direction for Monitor.
The Monitor stage, from Observability to ITSM, empowers Application Ops or SREs, to improve reliability of their deployed software and their DevOps processes by providing actionable feedback and efficient ways to operate and collaborate.
The Monitor stage is made up two groups including:
The Monitor stage directly competes in several markets defined within our Ops Section, including Observability, IT Service Management (ITSM), and Incident Management.
The Observability market is large. Companies, from SMBs to enterprises recognize the need to operate with real-time insights into the health and performance of their application and infrastructure. As a result, Observability continues to expand. The market contains everything from well established market leaders, it includes a healthy ecosystem of open-source tools, and it also has an active and vibrant group of new entrants attempting to capture a slice of the market by leaning into new strategies.
Successful vendors, such as market leader Datadog are leveraging a platform strategy to expand their markets (for example, see DataDog's acquisition of Undefined Labs to expand beyond production applications to provide code insights during development, or their expansion to incident management in 2020). Competition among market leaders today is also geared toward making the whole stack observable for enterprises.
ITSM, or IT Service Management has long by around. It is about how IT teams manage the end-to-end delivery of IT services to both internal and external customers. It is a large umbrella category that includes sub-categories such as service desk, IT asset management, Incident Management, Knowledge Management, and more.
ITSM, in some ways, has been eclipsed by DevOps in the public eye. The two are not mutually exclusive, there are also shared goals with both concepts primarily concerned with enabling alignment and efficiency to deliver business value. However, DevOps, with its adjacency to the cloud and modern practices, has certainly gained more clout in recent days. Fundamental to the ways businesses operate today in the cloud, we see more and more established ITSM vendors enter what may be considered the DevOps market in order to fuel growth.
Observability, driven by the explosion of cloud computing and microservice architecture over the past decade, has become essential to enterprises and smaller companies alike. However, the following problems exist:
We intend to offer the table-stakes offering in Observability, while differentiating on the market opportunity listed above.
Feedback, from the learnings you get from incidents, to understanding where the improvements area are in your DevOps processes, to alerts in your monitoring system, to requests you receive from customers, are necessary ingredients to building a better product and building the product more efficiently. We are focused on providing feedback both to how you use GitLab, how you can improve, and how your applications you build with GitLab are doing.
ITSM vendors are branching more and more into DevOps. DevOps vendors are also starting to dabble in traditional ITSM areas. Customers continue to want to decrease the number of vendors for their operations and business processes. We want to start to seriously solve adjacent IT problems using GitLab.
The Monitor stage generally share the following target personas:
Runbooks are a collection of documented procedures that explain how to carry out a particular process, be it starting, stopping, debugging, or troubleshooting a particular system. Executable runbooks allow operators to execute pre-written code blocks or database queries against a given environment.
GitLab collects and displays performance metrics for deployed apps, leveraging Prometheus. Developers can determine the impact of a merge and keep an eye on their production systems, without leaving GitLab. This category is at the "minimal" level of maturity.
Track incidents within GitLab, providing a consolidated location to understand the who, what, when, and where of the incident. Define service level objectives and error budgets, to achieve the desired balance of velocity and stability. This category is at the "viable" level of maturity.
Track on-call responsibilities within your team by creating rotating schedules for responders. This category is at the "minimal" level of maturity.
GitLab makes it easy to view the logs distributed across multiple pods and services using log aggregation with Elastic Stack. Once Elastic Stack is enabled, you can view your aggregated Kubernetes logs across multiple services and infrastructure, go back in time, conduct infinite scroll, and search through your application logs from within the GitLab UI itself. This category is planned, but not yet available.
Tracing provides insight into the performance and health of a deployed application, tracking each function or microservice which handles a given request. This makes it easy to understand the end-to-end flow of a request, regardless of whether you are using a monolithic or distributed system. This category is planned, but not yet available.
Error tracking allows developers to easily discover and view the errors that their application may be generating. By surfacing error information where the code is being developed, efficiency and awareness can be increased. This category is at the "minimal" level of maturity.
Continuous verification is the process of querying external system(s) and using information from the response to make decision(s) to improve the development and deployment process. This category is at the "minimal" level of maturity.
Connect your team using GitLab issues, to external parties directly via email for feedback and support, with no additional tools required. This category is at the "viable" level of maturity.