Guest: William Collins (LinkedIn)
Company: Alkira (Twitter)
Show: TFiR: T3M

Alkira provides simple, secure cloud networking-as-a-service. The vision is to provide a network that can take companies to and across clouds and provide end-to-end visibility and governance.

In this episode of TFiR: T3M, Alkira Principal Cloud Architect William Collins shares his insights on observability and how Alkira helps companies accelerate their journey to the cloud, within the cloud, and across multi-cloud environments.

On Observability:

  • The role of observability is to provide a system health check (is it up, down, or degradative) and to identify causation of performance degradation or something goes down.
  • Culture has to change with technology. A lot of times, the folks who are validating organizational changes are not technical, so they don’t understand networking or its individual components.
  • CI/CD pipelines, automation, and DevOps feed into observability. Once you deploy your observability infrastructure, the operations teams are going to be measured on how quickly they can triage a problem, how they escalate (internally or calling the vendor), and if they fully understand the problem and its impact.
  • Organizations have to create a full-fledged observability strategy involving the different layers (cloud platform at the foundational services level, visibility needs for the network, security, for data teams, for Kubernetes and the service mesh landscape, etc.).

How Alkira helps companies:

  • It provides visibility to what companies have, including internet gateways that they don’t know about, shadow IT, VMs of public IPs, possible data exfiltration points, etc.
  • It provides a health check of the components that are connected to the network.
  • It provides rich telemetry, not just taking everything from the network but understanding what is actually valuable to the company.
  • It provides best-of-breed integrations with observability platforms.
  • It has an open API that companies can leverage, pull, and use data as they see fit.

Advice for companies looking to start their observability journey:

  • Set your operations teams up for success. Factor into your observability strategy their skill sets, the number of IT teams, and the budget for training or more hiring.
  • Pick and choose vendors and platforms that fit your culture and your staff.
  • The leaner the staff and budget, especially in this market that we’re in, look at platforms that abstract burdens and minimize the touch points.
  • Gone are the days of logging everything, compressing, and rotating historical data. You need to have access to the right data that tells you what you need to know.

This summary was written by Camille Gregory.

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