Observability pillar

Enterprise systems are frequently complex and multi-functional. In order to run at a high level of availability or service, and to ensure that any issues can be effectively dealt with, they must be well-understood and transparently observable for engineering and IT staff. To effectively manage and operate these enterprise systems, the staff and responsible teams must have access to information about how the system is running, the operational status of the system, applications, and supporting services. Observability is a commonly used IT term to describe the availability of information about the internal workings of a system, such as the compute usage of a database cluster, the storage input/output metrics for a provider, or the number of requests and activity across different apps or services.

Well-architected systems take observability seriously, by defining and capturing telemetry for ArcGIS components. These systems also ensure that applications, workflows, and custom components incorporate observability as a key non-functional requirement, whether by reporting regularly on status, logging activities in a consistent way, or providing the API methods to allow an external process to query and monitor status and progress.

Importance of observability

The importance of observability supports two related goals of system operations - that the system maintains a steady state that is consistent and stable, and that when issues appear, that supporting teams can quickly respond to the issues and make informed, effective changes to restore the system to an expected state. Observability enables this by providing ready access to consistent, detailed information about system operations, so that any different reporting can be identified, assessed, and acted upon by the supporting teams.

Observability of ArcGIS software

Many ArcGIS software components include tools or patterns that support observability, including logging, direct monitoring, and reporting on status, usage or performance. ArcGIS Enterprise components provide extensive logging, ArcGIS Online usage reporting allows administrative users to regularly report on usage and activities, and ArcGIS Pro includes both a Diagnostic Monitor and a Performance Assessment Tool for assisting with troubleshooting and monitoring of workflows.