SolarWinds has announced that it is introducing an inside out view into cloud environments to help DevOps professionals gain unmatched visibility across the internal aspects of cloud environments — metrics, traces, and logs, plus an external view of the user experience. The enhanced functionality within SolarWinds’ products Pingdom®, AppOptics™, Papertrail™, and Loggly® can be used individually to provide visibility into cloud-based infrastructure and application performance or used together as a DevOps toolkit to maintain 360-degree visibility into cloud monitoring.

“Today’s recognized ‘pillars of observability’ combine metrics, traces, and logs to enable DevOps teams to monitor system and application performance. But, these capabilities provide only limited insights into application performance because they ignore the user’s experience — a critical measure of application performance,” said Christoph Pfister, executive vice president of products, SolarWinds. “Understanding if a system is slow or unavailable from an end user’s perspective is crucial in today’s digital world even if the metrics are good and there are no alerts. Bringing user experience, metrics, traces, and logs together with an easy-to-use, complementary toolkit provides DevOps teams with unmatched visibility into their environment, so they can seamlessly follow an alert or issue from one product into another to resolve issues quickly and get back to focusing on the more proactive elements of their job.”

For example, if support gets a call that a web application is not letting users log in, a DevOps team can open the Pingdom (user experience) dashboard to see the login page has turned red and when the outage began. Jumping over to the metrics views in AppOptics (metrics), the DevOps team sees it’s not a problem with the website response time, therefore not a performance issue, but in the detail view they notice the HTTP status codes are red. Next, the DevOps team uses AppOptics (traces) to trace one of the failed requests and discovers the web application was trying to make a connection to a backend service, but there was an issue with the DNS entry. The DevOps team then jumps over to Papertrail (logs) or Loggly (logs) to see the log data. Here they can filter down to the application host and view when the outage started, discovering the service was stopped. With this insight, the DevOps team can quickly restart the service and get the web application up and running.

Altogether, the combined functionality of Pingdom, AppOptics, Papertrail, and Loggly brings together real user monitoring, synthetic user monitoring, web and application performance metrics, distributed tracing, event aggregation, and log management to help proactively identify bottlenecks and accelerate troubleshooting.

“As the digital transformation continues to change users’ expectations and needs within applications, the roles and capabilities of monitoring and management needs to evolve,” said Edwin Yuen, senior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group. “SolarWinds’ enhanced integration of their SaaS-based offerings brings together critical areas of end user experience and application performance monitoring, creating a unified experience that addresses today’s modern applications and users.”

Inside Out View with SolarWinds

  • User experience – The Pingdom solution provides Real User Monitoring (RUM), which collects performance data from actual users, and uptime and synthetic monitoring, which proactively monitors critical user flows to help ensure optimal user experience.
  • Metrics – The AppOptics solution provides monitoring for customer metrics as well as metrics associated with infrastructure monitoring, and an analytics platform, connecting infrastructure and applications to business metrics designed to quickly visualize and predict system behavior and trigger alerts.
  • Traces – AppOptics delivers distributed transaction tracing of today’s cloud native applications, which follows the end-to-end path of a request to help identify bottlenecks and to better understand upstream and downstream implications.
  • Logs – The Loggly solution provides log analysis and monitoring designed to understand system behavior and help identify unusual activity. Papertrail offers cloud-based log aggregation and management designed to streamline troubleshooting and debugging of applications in development and in production. 

"The combination of internal and external monitoring, APM, and centralized logging provided by the SolarWinds portfolio for DevOps allows our engineering teams to rapidly deploy applications globally and safely operate them throughout the entire product lifecycle," said Chris Stevens, chief technology officer, Traxo.

The combined functionality is the latest milestone for the SolarWinds product portfolio for DevOps, as it continues to deliver easy-to-use yet powerful cloud monitoring solutions to help solve specific pain points as standalone products or as a set of solutions for broader, more complex use cases. Deployed individually or together, the products are designed to take less time to get up and running, with less work to maintain — while remaining affordable.