What is a Control System?
A Control System manages, commands, directs, or regulates the behavior of other devices or systems using control loops. Computer systems can be characterized as very complex control systems. An effective Performance Management strategy for a Control System is one that balances Observability and Controllability perfectly.
How is Observability different from Monitoring?
Formulated by R Kalman in 1960, Observability and Controllability represent two major concepts of modern Control System theory. Observability is sometimes mistaken to be a superset of Monitoring. Monitoring (or Observing) is a present participle whereas Observability is a property of the system under observation and has much bigger implications than mere monitoring of the system functions.
It goes without saying that in order to see what is going on inside the system under observation, the system must be observable. A deep introspection and understanding of the various functionalities of the system leads to better analysis and optimal performance.
The modern Performance Management solutions offered by DigitalOnUs help in making computer systems become more observable by instrumenting code to produce metrics, generate traces, collect logs and capture events.
It is mandatory for the system to be controllable so that one can perform the required actions within the given dynamic system under controlled input. Observability has to be coupled with Controllability for effective Performance Management. Merely Monitoring or Observing a system is necessary, but is not sufficient to manage its performance.
The ability to generate alerts to key stakeholders,invoke runbook remediation actions and workflows to reconfigure the system or to self-tune it based on the observations are key to managing the system’s performance.