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The Rise of Observability
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Database Observability Ensures Your Never-Ending Cloud Migration Will Be Successful

For businesses that want to keep pace with rapid digital transformation, a successful cloud migration requires a deep understanding of and visibility into databases.

The shift to the cloud is the biggest story in modern computing. The cloud provides efficiency, flexibility, and scalability in ways traditional computing cannot. However, the very term "shift to the cloud" is a bit of a misnomer. The reality is that cloud migration is not a one-way street.

This is because cloud migration is a simplistic term for a complex concept. We know that, yes, companies will constantly be moving data and workloads to the cloud. But they also will move data and workloads back on-prem or from a public cloud to a private cloud or from one hyperscaler to another. For this reason, cloud migration is never done. 

There is also no one-size-fits-all solution for cloud migration, so you need careful planning and a purposeful approach to how – and what – you move to the cloud. For example, it is critical to understand application dependencies and interoperability, determine technical feasibility, assess on-prem vs. cloud performance and cost, consider compliance and regulation, and more. 

The Data in Cloud Migration

When contemplating how to approach cloud migration and deciding what to keep on-prem, what to move to a private cloud, and what to move to a public cloud, an organization's data must also be a critical consideration. This is because nearly everything a modern business does from a digital perspective requires data. And thus, databases account for the bulk of any business's cloud spending. 

To make sure you get all of the benefits of the cloud, while maximizing value, it's important to ensure your databases are optimized for performance and cost. Database workloads require significant computing power and tend to be memory intensive. For these reasons, it is critical to better understand your databases to make the best decisions about where they should live. But, unfortunately, this is easier said than done. 

Databases represent the most difficult ecosystems to observe, tune, manage, and scale. Not only are there different types of databases that serve different purposes, but they are also populated by different types of data, adding to their complexity. The implications of not having visibility into your databases can be anywhere from a costly annoyance to a significant issue that causes business service disruption. For example, most application performance issues, between 70% and 88%, are rooted in the database. 

Databases have largely been seen as a black box for most organizations. You know what goes into it. And you know what comes out and how long that took. But the complexities that occur within the black box of the database are harder to discern. This is a significant problem for companies developing their cloud migration strategies.

Database Observability

This is where database observability comes into play and serves as an x-ray machine for your databases. To get a look inside the black box and understand the root cause of any issues and optimize your databases before, during, and after migration to the cloud. 

Database observability can help you get the complete mapping and capture the baseline details of your database environment. Database troubleshooting, root cause analysis, and remediation demand full-stack observability due to the numerous resources engaged by a database, database instance, and/or database server. Using this baseline information can make the cloud migration process smoother, save costs and help better manage resources.

With these baseline performance insights in hand, companies can also decide which cloud environment is best suited for a given database workload. Different cloud providers each have their strengths and weaknesses. Database observability provides a necessary understanding of the behavior of various applications and systems to decide which cloud provider is best suited for any particular database workload. 

Database observability also plays a key role in the final step of the cloud migration process: the transfer itself. During this phase of moving data from one environment to another, monitoring and comparing the performance of the databases against the baseline numbers you established in the pre-migration phase is critical. Observability solutions help a company identify any issues or discrepancies that may arise during the transfer and resolve them, minimizing disruption and preventing delays. 

Of course, the need for database optimization doesn't end after the migration phase. Observability helps validate performance by comparing it to a baseline. Understanding service levels gives leaders peace of mind that the transition has been successful. Suppose it does identify hiccups in the new environment. In that case, observability makes it easier to identify the root cause of issues so that the problems can be addressed and resolved quickly, or the company can decide whether a different environment is needed. Observability can also aid in deciding whether to scale up or down the new cloud infrastructure based on any new business requirements that may arise. 

"The shift to the cloud" is an important step for any company that wants to keep pace with the rapid digital transformation all industries face. Moving to the cloud successfully requires a deep understanding of and visibility into databases. Database observability provides the necessary view of what's happening inside their most imperceptible and valuable systems. This ensures that your never-ending cloud journey can be navigated successfully. 

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