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Level Up Visibility and Flexibility to Increase (Business) Velocity


Posted by Tej Redkar, Chief Product Officer at LogicMonitor
Jul 25, 2019

The title of this post is wordy, but there is meaning and intent behind it. If you attended LogicMonitor’s user conference recently in Austin, TX, then ‘Level Up’ will resonate; it was the name and theme of our event. And the terms  ‘visibility’, ‘flexibility’ and ‘velocity’ were used to organize 24 breakout sessions into tracks to help users learn how to extend visibility beyond IT Infrastructure into business-critical services and systems, solve problems more efficiently (flexibility), and innovate faster (velocity). In the opening keynote, we announced and demonstrated powerful new developments for the LogicMonitor platform. These announcements tie into flexibility, visibility, and velocity too. Let’s get into them here.

Visibility 

With LogicMonitor, users gain visibility into the health of business systems quickly, ensuring food stays at safe temperatures, spinning wheels don’t interrupt your favorite streaming shows, and travel reservations go through in seconds. Here are some innovations we demonstrated and announced that increase visibility:

Topology

Topology mapping provides dynamic visualization of networks and devices, allowing users to understand the dependencies between resources and troubleshoot issues more quickly. It also lays the foundation for LogicMonitor AIOps capabilities. LogicMonitor’s topology mapping uses a number of discovery protocols to automatically identify relationships between monitored resources. For example, Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) and Cisco’s Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP) are used to dynamically generate network topology maps that show dependencies and data flows among the many resources (e.g. switches, hosts, firewalls, routers, and other network components) in your environment.

Example of LogicMonitor dynamic topology map

Kubernetes Monitoring

Containerizing applications speeds deployment and make application scaling and portability easier. But because containers are ephemeral, it’s challenging to monitor the health and performance of applications and microservices in container environments and manage container resources efficiently. Available now, LogicMonitor’s Kubernetes monitoring is agentless so there’s no need to install an agent on every node. Applications are automatically detected and monitored based on best practices using LogicMonitor’s extensive library of monitoring templates. Data is automatically collected for Kubernetes nodes, pods, containers, services, and master components (e.g.scheduler, api-server, controller-manager). Cluster resources are automatically added into and removed from monitoring by an application running in the cluster, so you don’t have to worry about keeping monitoring up to date. Pre-configured alert thresholds provide meaningful alerts out of the box. This means that you’ll get instant visibility into your containerized applications without the hassle of editing configuration files, having to rely on matching container image names, or manually configuring monitoring. Additionally, LogicMonitor retains this granular performance data for up to two years. Combined, these benefits enable LogicMonitor to monitor your Kubernetes clusters more easily (and with fewer tools and processes) than alternative solutions.


Topology map of Kubernetes Cluster

Dynamic Service Monitoring

LM Service Insight, available now, enables you to get valuable insight into the health of your business-critical services and applications. With LM Service Insight, you can group together instances across one or more monitored resources (e.g. devices, cloud resources, containers) into a logical ‘service’, aggregate service-level indicators across these instances to obtain service-level data, and monitor, visualize and alert on that service-level data. Dynamic service monitoring and alerting can help you reduce alert noise, troubleshoot faster, identify long term performance trends, and keep your team informed regarding the overall health of your business-critical services. For example, you can use LM Service Insight to monitor an application running across many containers, where an individual, ephemeral, containerized application instance is not necessarily indicative of overall application performance.

LogicMonitor customer Q2 Holdings uses LM Service Insight to visualize and report on the performance of HashiCorp Nomad clusters and better anticipate additional capacity. They are able to track when a node class is using too much memory or other resources and receive an immediate alert without having to wait for the node or the device itself to issue an alert.

Dashboard showing the status of a banking service (represented in the top row);
with the status of supporting applications and resources shown below.

UX/UI Update

In order to offer our users a more seamless, intuitive and attractive user interface, LogicMonitor’s new UI will help streamline workflows, reduce clicks and include a number of new features designed to increase efficiency for ITOPS teams. In addition to rolling out new features including advanced search capabilities, the UI refresh will provide users a faster, more responsive interface and address a large range of user pain-points. The first roll-out of the updated interface will be the alerts page coming in just a few months.

New LogicMonitor alerts page

Flexibility 

We believe monitoring should do more than visualize IT and DevOps info—it should open up new ways for businesses to grow. When our users can avoid problems before they happen, users can move their focus from maintenance to innovation. Flexibility helps achieve this, including the ability to customize monitoring for each unique environment. Under the umbrella of flexibility, we announced:

LM Exchange

Customers often customize monitoring for their specific needs using LogicMonitor monitoring templates to support new devices, technologies, and resources. LM Exchange will allow LogicMonitor users to search and browse all LogicModules (DataSources, EventSources, PropertySources, etc)—whether created by customers, partners, developers, or LogicMonitor—in one, centralized repository. Users won’t have to post on or search community forums to find or share content; they can use the same interface to update official modules and manage privately published Exchange modules. Every publicly-shared module from the community goes through a security and content review by LogicMonitor before it is made available, so you can be assured that the code has been vetted and tested. With LM Exchange's ‘safe import’ functionality, even a highly-customized official LM LogicModule can be updated in just a few clicks. Users can select which of their custom changes they'd like to keep upon update; there’s no need to keep track of clones or manually copy changes over. There's also a bulk import option, so if you've been dreading pulling in our updates for those 50 LogicModules you tweaked the ‘AppliesTo’, fear not. Just select them in the list and choose to preserve AppliesTo. Interested in participating in the beta? Email [email protected] to join.

Concept of LM Exchange repository (will be extended to capture LogicModules, dashboards, and more)

Velocity 

LogicMonitor is a truly unified monitoring platform that can be deployed to comprehensively monitor the health of services and infrastructure on-prem, in remote data centers and in public clouds in minutes. When we use the term ‘velocity’, we’re referring to the many ways LogicMonitor features shorten the meantime to detection (MTTD) and resolution (MTTR). With today’s complex infrastructure, it’s not always feasible to triage, troubleshoot, and analyze a problem in the timeframe required by a service-level agreement (SLA). The sheer volume of data collected makes it impossible to process these issues visually. Our goal is to enable customers to see what’s coming before it happens, understand their risks and anticipate their needs. Here’s how LM is enabling users to accelerate their operational efficiency and innovation:

LM Intelligence

LM Intelligence—LogicMonitor’s AIOps solution—will continuously monitor system data for correlations and signals to extract relationships and patterns, predict future outcomes, and serve as an early warning system to prevent serious issues. It continuously analyzes your platform-wide monitoring data, learning from it to provide deeper insight. It helps you shift from a reactive mode to proactively manage your infrastructure and cut through the noise to more efficiently identify issues. It provides all the data necessary to quickly address and prevent disruptions. At Level Up, we announced the following features of LM intelligence:

Anomaly detection and visualization enables you to identify data that does not conform to expected or usual patterns. By employing advanced machine learning algorithms LogicMonitor establishes expected data patterns for datapoints so that data falling outside of these patterns can be easily identified. This provides another avenue of visual representation and insight into resource behavior, allowing users to potentially catch issues before they escalate into more severe events.

Example of LogicMonitor anomaly detection visualization (available now)


Anomaly visualization available in LogicMonitor v121.
Anomaly alerting available in Q3 / Q4 2019.
Contact your LogicMonitor Customer Success Manager to join the beta.

Alert dependency
: When a key device fails (e.g. a firewall), it can have a negative impact on other dependent devices or even complete environments. When that happens, an alert storm occurs (alert is triggered for the firewall issue as well as alerts for all devices associated with the firewall). This is a serious problem for ITOps because it creates a need to sift through dozens or hundreds of alerts to determine the root cause of the issue. Alert dependency solves this problem. Using the relationships automatically discovered by topology mapping, alert dependency will add metadata to an alert to prevent notifications for dependent alerts. It will only route alerts deemed as root or originating-cause alerts for an incident. Example: alerts for dependent devices that are alerting because they are behind a core switch that has gone down and is also in alert would be marked as dependent alerts. The additional dependency data allows users to view dependent alerts in LogicMonitor and decide whether to disable routing notifications for those alerts. This will help reduce alert noise and prevent alert storms when an alert dependency incident occurs. Available in Q4, contact your Customer Success Manager to join the beta. 


Wrapping it up

With an average content rating of 4.53 (on a scale of 1-5 where 5 is excellent) and an average speaker rating of 4.68 across Level Up breakout sessions, survey results and user feedback tell us we’re on the right track. With these features and more coming, we’re focused on helping users turn sight into vision. If you aren’t already using LogicMonitor, request a free trial here.

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