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Full-Cycle Observability With Instana and Lightrun

By Thomas Fisher posted Wed June 29, 2022 11:51 AM

[Originally posted on]

Full-Cycle Observability With Instana and Lightrun

We are excited to announce that Lightrun had partnered with Instana to enrich existing telemetry with real-time, code-level observability data and provide full-cycle Observability.

Understanding everything that happens inside a production environment is a notoriously difficult task.

Instana’s solution helps developers and DevOps become aware of problems quickly – problems that are rooted in both infrastructure-level information and application-level information. Lightrun, on the other hand, enables practitioners to drill deeper into line-by-line, debugger-grade information from your production systems – enriching the existing information Instana delivers.

When application problems occur in production, it’s important to gain immediate access to information regarding the “full lay of the land”, including all the relevant components that could have been the root cause. There’s a term that refers to that level of comprehension of an application: Observability.

Observability is a property of an application system. An observable system enables DevOps to answer any question about it from outside the system. Observability is a great determining factor in whether we can troubleshoot tough bugs quickly and whether our system is considered reliable. Fast issue resolution (usually measured as MTTR – mean time to resolve) is a great indicator for reliability.

However, Observability is not just “one thing” – there isn’t a single button you can push to get all the information you want. In fact, when tackling tough issues we often rely on various types of telemetry data to clarify what is actually happening under the hood. We can divide this data, broadly, into two levels of granularity: Infrastructure-level information and application-level information.

The integration between Instana and Lightrun allows us to create full-cycle observability, which in practice looks like this:

  1. We’ll first use Instana to understand how the machine running our application or our application itself is feeling, and identify various issues (like performance degradations).
  2. Then, Developers and DevOps can use Lightrun from the IDE (Integrated Development Environment) to add real-time, on-demand logs, metrics and traces to the running application – without stopping the application or shipping new code.
  3. The information provided by Lightrun automatically makes its way to Instana and can be consumed right next to information provided by Instana – closing the aforementioned cycle.

These capabilities are important for Development, DevOps, and SRE practitioners for maintaining application performance and reliability.

For DevOps teams, it helps them instantly review live application environment problems that require triage and optimize the procedures for delivering issue remediation.

For SRE teams, it helps them rapidly identify and repair issues that impact application operations, scaling and reliability.

Developers can debug application code, from their IDE, in production, test, and development without stopping the application or installing updates. This can significantly reduce issue MTTR.

Combining these two tools to effectively tag-team the problem is a good idea, and will provide enough visibility into the running application to solve many critical production issues.

Check out this information about how to use Instana with Lightrun.

Try out Instana with a guided tour in our Play With environment.

#Release Announcement