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What is Observability?


Every few years, the industry creates a new set of terms that end up creating endless debate on what they mean. One top of mind term is “observability.” Recently Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) surveyed 400 IT/Networking professionals, providing data that helps us dive into the subject. In this blog we look just at the responses from Network Operations professionals. 

Monitoring and Observability 

Clearly respondents understand observability to mean more than monitoring, however, more respondents (65%) associate monitoring with observability than any other term in the survey. For decades, monitoring has been an essential part of Network Operations, so it is no surprise that this functionality would be an assumed component of newer tooling. 

Other Observability Associations 

55% of respondents associated Security with observability, 47% multiple data types, actionable insights 36%, and answers to questions 36%. The number of respondents that identified multiple data types may also indicate the growing problem of tool proliferation and the need for tool consolidation and synthesis of insights across current silos. 

The ability to answer “any question” is a capability often touted by vendors. There is some traction of this idea with practitioners, but there is also a gap.

Not Associated with Observability 

AIOps / Machine Learning was not associated with Observability by 82% of respondents. 75% did not associate NetDevOps, 73% did not associate predictions, and only 31% associated automation. While many vendors are integrating AI/ML into their messaging, there does appear to be a difference in perception between Observability and AIOps platforms. 


It is not surprising that monitoring remains top of mind for Network Operations professionals as monitoring has been a staple for so long. The need to gain insights from more than one data type is of clear importance. Lastly, there are significant differences between Observability and AIOps in the minds of Network Practitioners. 

Note: Augtera Networks did not sponsor this research. 


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