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Community Blog Key Metrics to Track in DevOps (Part 2)

Key Metrics to Track in DevOps (Part 2)

In this article, we'll discuss which metrics are the most important for you to follow based on your DevOps practice.

By Shantanu Kaushik

In the first part of this series, we talked about how the metrics like deployment size, frequency, and deployment time are important. We also discussed how the defect escape rate is a very important factor to count if you are aiming for the perfect sync of velocity, quality, and performance from your DevOps implementation. Keeping with the pace of the first article, let's continue forward and address some more important metrics that you must keep a check on to further ensure the three DevOps virtues.

Before we proceed, just a quick reminder, Alibaba Cloud offers a DevOps Engineer certification course that is a very useful tool. You can take the course to improve your understanding of DevOps and related practices.

In this article, we will be referencing several Alibaba products, such as the Simple Application server, Elastic Compute Service (ECS), Kubernetes, and IAC Terraform.

Customer Complaints and Feedback

Customers are one of the best metrics to check on. You can find the best feedback and things that you should work on. The open-world and real-world application behavior and faults are submitted by the customers. Keep a close eye on this metric to record bugs, faults, and ultimately make your DevOps implementation better.

Availability Metrics

Application availability is what the whole system depends on. An outage is the most problematic scenario for any DevOps based deployment. In this case, the Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment needs to go through a rapid adaptation phase. You need to keep a close check to monitor downtime, except for maintenance. If your downtime exceeds the anticipated levels, firm and quick actions need to be taken to ensure that you get your deployment back on track as soon as possible. In this case, you need to record the traffic stats and changes in server load, and you can refer to the Alibaba Cloud Monitor and the SLB logs.

Automatic Testing Pass Records

To increase the deployment frequency, you need to implement systems like automatic testing or continuous testing at pre-production and production levels. DevOps highly relies on automation. If it is done right, it makes your total DevOps scenario highly efficient. Make sure to record how many automated tests your code passes and how well the overall implementation cycle performs. Pass percentage, failure records, and reasons need to be addressed. This will ensure that your server and resources are managed and used properly. Ultimately you will have a well-defined and regulated structure for your DevOps cycle.

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A DevOps implementation cycle from start to finish

Deployments That Have Failed

Reversing a failed deployment is always a nightmare. Developers are presented with a situation that calls for going back to the whiteboard to detect, retrace, and correct the issue that caused a failed deployment. Planning for this will help you when the situation calls for it. DevOps and tools like Object Storage Service (OSS) presents us with automated backup options when linked with Apsara DB.

Application Usage, Load, and Performance

Monitoring traffic and how your application responds to different traffic load situations is a great metric to follow. If you discover very low traffic statistics or a sudden spike in traffic, this is a reason to look into the application code and figure out what is causing the spikes. This condition could be due to one or more of your microservices failing or causing a malfunction. This could also be due to some latency or timeout issues with the service. Make sure that your DevOps implementation is working properly.

Performance should be monitored during all of the different levels of your DevOps practice. If the performance of a microservice or the whole containerized application shows fluctuations at a massive scale, it could indicate or induce a bigger problem.

Continuous Integration and Deployment requires a close check on performance. You should use the container service to make sure that your system is not showing any slowdowns. If your application is already released, checking for performance and slowdowns is highly recommended. You can use this Kanban to check for any other issues that might be shown.

Backlog In Progress (2) Peer Review (2) Testing (2) Completed Blocked
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1 1 1 1
1 1 1
1 1 1
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Fast Track/Defect AA

Visual Representation of Kanban

Mean Time to Detect & Mean Time to Recover

Alibaba Cloud Monitor is a superb tool to monitor exactly what is happening with your deployment. DevOps is made of a system that gets optimized and attains an overall maturity. If your system is going through the changing phase, you have to check and maintain the time taken to detect all of the issues. Containerized application as a collection of microservices has multiple services making up a bigger application. This requires automated and continuous testing methods.

When you detect an issue, you should be well equipped to tackle it at the earliest stage. Keeping your code ready and tackling any outage is among the most extraneous tasks that you will handle. The total time from detection to recovery can be minimized by using the cloud monitor. This will enable you to detect any issues quickly.

Data Flow

The amount of data and information exchange within your DevOps deployment has to be recorded with the same priority as any other metric. How efficiently your system handles this data and information exchange is also a good metric to consider when trying to improve performance. This ensures a properly scalable system.

Availability of ECS instances and provisioning them if-and-when needed is the key to controlling data flow. Any back-end resource has to be kept in check. Over usage without need is something that has to be avoided.

Conclusion

The ultimate goal is to upgrade your DevOps implementation and taking it towards maturity. All of these metrics will help you maintain a smooth and efficient DevOps practice. Velocity, Performance, and Quality are the keys to healthy DevOps implementation. Follow these top metrics while deploying via Alibaba Cloud. These metrics can help you maintain a better and efficient system.

The views expressed herein are for reference only and don't necessarily represent the official views of Alibaba Cloud.

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