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Annual DevOps Industry Survey Reveals Rising Observability Challenges as Businesses Increasingly Adopt Cloud-Native Technologies, the leading cloud-native observability platform for modern DevOps teams, announced the results of the DevOps Pulse 2020, the company’s annual analysis of the key trends, points of interest, and challenges facing modern engineers. This year’s survey focused on the rise of cloud-native technology, highlighting increased adoption of technologies such as microservices, serverless, and Kubernetes, and the challenges these solutions pose for achieving observability, optimizing production monitoring, and driving visibility into application and infrastructure performance.

The DevOps Pulse was first launched in 2016 to help the DevOps community understand various trends in DevOps philosophy, tooling, and more. Each year, the survey focuses on a specific issue relevant to the field. The DevOps Pulse 2020 is the largest survey in the series’s history, with over 1,000 engineers taking part and providing their perspectives on the trending topics impacting DevOps, SREs, developers, and other IT professionals around the globe.

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“In this year’s DevOps Pulse survey we found that although cloud-native technologies are an increasingly essential part of modern architecture, they present many challenges related to monitoring and observability. These technologies add layers of complexity that can inhibit an engineer’s ability to identify performance issues quickly,” said Jonah Kowall, CTO, “On the other hand, the major change we have seen this year is that open source, driven by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and other community projects, are increasingly integrated into most cloud-native stacks. This presents a silver lining, as the new challenges are opportunities for innovation and creativity in the vibrant open source observability community.”
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Primary insights from the DevOps Pulse include:

  • The cloud is dominating the way modern teams run their infrastructure, with many using a hybrid model. 56% of respondents store more than half their infrastructure in the cloud, while 42% store 75% or more, an 8% increase from 2019.
  • Many organizations are still transitioning to the cloud-native environment. 50% of respondents have half their applications or more containerized, solidifying containers’ maturity. On that note, serverless has also matured; in just one year, adoption has grown by 33%. In contrast, edge computing and service meshes are still emerging technologies.
  • Cloud native and microservices architectures have introduced new challenges for observability. 87% of respondents report their main observability challenges lie in supporting Kubernetes, microservices, and serverless frameworks.
  • The most common difficulties running Kubernetes are monitoring and troubleshooting (44%). Other problematic areas include security (35%), networking (34%), and cluster management (30%).
  • Engineers increasingly embrace tracing to help monitor their distributed architecture. Tracing solutions have increased in popularity this year. In 2019, 19% of respondents had adopted distributed tracing solutions, but in this year’s survey, the number rose to 26%. In addition, 68% of respondents say that distributed tracing plays an important role in their observability strategy. Among those who have not yet implemented distributed tracing, 64% plan to implement it in the next two years.
  • However, a unified approach to observability is still lacking. Despite the rise in adoption of tracing solutions, only 30% of respondents combine logs, metrics and traces to correlate telemetry data and improve production monitoring and analytics.

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In addition, this year’s survey analyzed the impact of COVID-19, highlighting the challenges engineers experience because of their work from home environment, and the required security considerations. However, with COVID-19 forcing a consistent distributed work experience, nearly 40% of respondents made remote hires in new regions and countries that they otherwise would not have considered pre-pandemic.

With 40 questions pertaining to DevOps trends, monitoring, and observability, the DevOps Pulse 2020 provides a detailed report on the state of DevOps and how the industry is responding to the complexities that cloud-native technology brings to their environments. Access the executive summary of the report here to explore the results in more detail.

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