Research Hub > Full-Stack Observability: The Evolution of Instrumentation Technology

February 21, 2023

3 min

Full-Stack Observability: The Evolution of Instrumentation Technology

In the age of providing a great customer experience, it requires a mix of networking, application performance and infrastructure.

CDW Expert CDW Expert

IT teams are managing more data noise, clouds and applications than ever before. Without the resources they need to support that complexity, this can be an extraordinary task. 


Digital transformation has led to an explosion of digital applications and business environments that span on-premises environments, private and hybrid clouds — and with it, a growing set of customer expectations. This complexity has also forced many IT teams to be more agile than ever before, now burdened with managing an IT landscape made up of more systems and data noise.

As the ever-changing landscape of business and employee services continue to evolve, providing a seamless customer experience has become more important — and more complex — than ever.

Today, it can take up to 12 positive user experiences to make up for one negative one.

With so much technology supporting these new applications and services, organizations need on-demand visibility into their IT domains — from the application through the infrastructure, to the network and security architecture — to ensure positive user experiences.

Full-stack observability (FSO) solutions are one way that enterprises can gain insight into their systems to identify potential barriers to success of their overall user experience. Featuring multi-domain visibility and actionable insights, FSO solutions are designed to help IT teams adapt, pivot and scale with business needs.

What Does Full-Stack Observability Mean?

Full-stack observability interconnects specialized tools to give IT teams a clear, 360-degree view of their network. These tools monitor and evaluate each level of the application ecosystem, from the network layers all the way through to the end application to provide feedback on application responsiveness and performance.

These tools include:

• Application analytics and monitoring

• Application performance management

• Application optimization

• Network intelligence

• Network visibility

• On-premises and cloud infrastructure optimization

The information gleaned from these tools can give IT teams real-time visibility into the entirety of available data across their organization’s complete digital experience. These insights provide the ability to contextualize data and system interactions, delivering actionable next steps to ensure an exceptional user experience.

Why is Full-Stack Observability Important Today?

As digital experiences encompass more of our everyday lives, customers’ tolerance for sub-par user experiences decline. With such little room for error, organizations must prioritize smooth and seamless user experiences across all their applications; however, those applications are just the entrance to an evolving digital landscape that grows more complex every day.

IT teams are managing more data noise, clouds and applications than ever before. Without the resources they need to support that complexity, this can be an extraordinary task. Monitoring for applications, infrastructure, security and networks in silos is no longer an effective option and can quickly prove to be beyond any given person’s capacity to scale.

These inefficiencies can cause IT teams to lose track of the several “unwatched” components of their IT stack — often leading to a poor user experience.

Full-stack observability solutions unify the tools that support and monitor the entire technology stack. By providing insights across the entire application landscape, FSO enables teams to isolate potential issues and optimize applications to deliver exceptional user experiences every time.

How Does Full-Stack Observability Work?

Full-stack observability architecture has the power to transform your business operations with integrations across your network, applications and infrastructure.

FSO combines several tools to give your organization full insight into your complete user experience, spanning:

Your network. FSO enables network visibility and troubleshooting capabilities across your network and into the cloud to ensure you’re delivering a smooth user experience — and provides actionable insights to find out exactly what to remediate when you’re not. This includes:

• Smart monitoring agents across the internet, within your sites and on endpoint devices.

• Collective intelligence to gain deeper insights into the internet’s impact on your application delivery.

• A cloud-based app providing a unified and visually correlated view of the digital experience.

• Open APIs enabling comprehensive configuration automation and integration with all your ITOM and ITSM platforms.

Your applications. FSO provides application, performance, sizing and tuning to ensure that your business-critical applications maintain speed and uptime, no matter where they run. This includes:

• Application ecosystem visibility into the components that make up your application ecosystem and see how they depend on one another.

• Intelligent insights with instant root-case analysis in real time to pinpoint the source of issues across your entire stack.

• Automated actions to optimize your application environment with technology partnerships.

Your infrastructure. By automating workloads and optimizing application resources, FSO proactively ensures performance for application experiences while minimizing cloud costs, with:

• A real-time decision engine for hybrid cloud environments.

• IT stack visibility to show you how your app and infrastructure dependencies affect your workload performance.

• AI-assisted analytics and resource recommendations to address potential problems within your infrastructure.

Visibility into every app and service can help your organization proactively identify potential issues and resolve them before they reach your customers and users. Expanded visibility will also improve mean time to resolution for most reported problems.

What’s more, FSO solutions also include business telemetry tools, allowing your organization to correlate these positive user experiences to the true impact on your business. This empowers your teams to prioritize their digital transformation initiatives and actions to focus on the customer experiences that best drive revenue streams.

FSO solutions offer a blueprint for quickly and thoroughly resolving both existing and potential connectivity or performance issues. This enhanced visibility applies to the inside and outside of your network, with the objective to keep your organization’s environment running at peak performance.

Adding Full-Stack Observability into Your Environment

With an IT landscape that’s becoming more complex every day and customer expectations growing with it, delivering exceptional digital experiences is no longer a “nice-to-have” option — it’s a necessity.

Whether your organization is considering migrating to the cloud, modernizing your network, optimizing your cloud costs or any number of other digital transformation initiatives, full-stack observability solutions can help ensure your digital experiences are helping you drive your business forward.

By providing actionable insights at every turn, optimizing your environment for cost and performance, and contextualizing data, system interdependencies and business metrics, a good FSO solution will help your organization maximize digital business revenue.

When evaluating digital transformation solutions, consider working with a partner who has vast networking expertise to help you on this journey toward full-stack observability.