Nobl9 today added a free tool for analyzing service level objectives (SLOs) to its platform to enable DevOps team to more accurately set reliability goals.
Brian Singer, chief product officer for Nobl9, said Service Level Analyzer collects metrics and observability data from more than 24 DevOps tools and platforms that can then be used to create an SLO via a single click.
Included as part of the free tier of the Nobl9 service, Service Level Analyzer also enables DevOps teams to more easily update SLOs as error budgets and error budget burn rates change over time based on actual incidents that have occurred, added Singer.
DevOps teams can also perform “what-if” analysis to test out the impact of different targets and thresholds on error budgets, he added. That capability ultimately reduces costs because DevOps teams become less likely to overprovision resources to ensure application performance and resiliency, noted Singer. In effect, Service Level Analyzer is providing DevOps teams with an observability tool that spans the entire software development life cycle, said Singer.
Nobl9 is trying to spur greater adoption of SLOs by making available an open source SLO specification that defines a common interface for constructing SLOs across a DevOps workflow. SLOs, of course, are not a new idea. They have been employed as a metric to track the performance of IT services for decades. However, as more microservices-based applications are built and deployed, it’s becoming more challenging to maintain SLOs across applications because they have many more dependencies than legacy monolithic applications.
Ultimately, each DevOps team needs to provide some sort of objective benchmark that assesses their overall effectiveness at delivering application services. SLO-as-code is intended to make it simpler to gather the metrics that confirm whether service levels are being achieved. As organizations become more dependent on software to drive digital processes, those SLOs are then tracked across everything from financial services to supply chains.
In general, DevOps teams are more comfortable with the SLO concept, said Singer. The biggest challenge is making them simpler to implement, he added. The Service Level Analyzer lowers the bar for implementing an SLO by making historical data stored in DevOps tools and platforms more accessible, noted Singer. Rather than having to manually collect that data and then normalize it in an external repository, Nobl9’s Service Level Analyzer automates that process on behalf of a DevOps team using actual data versus relying on less precise statistical analysis, said Singer.
As IT environments become more distributed, the number of dependencies that exist across application environments only continues to expand. IT teams can spend weeks trying to discover the root cause of issues that are negatively impacting application performance, only to discover that, for example, calls to an application performance interface (API) are being rerouted in a way that significantly increases latency. Tools that enable DevOps teams to more easily understand the relationships between all the services that make up an application environment are more crucial than ever.