Emma Swan
by on February 16, 2023

Whenever something goes wrong with an application, it surely impacts customers and, ultimately, impacts the business. For this reason, it is up to teams to find the root cause of problems and quickly resolves them. That’s where monitoring and observability come into play.

Monitoring and observability are two remarkable ways to help identify the underlying cause of problems. Actually, monitoring lets you know when something is wrong while observability can tell you what’s happening and how to fix it.

To better understand the difference between observability vs monitoring, let’s look at how each works and the roles they play today within software development.

Observability and Monitoring Definition

Observability is merely the ability to understand a complex system’s internal state based on external outputs. When a system is observable, users can be able to identify the root cause of performance problem by simply looking at the data it produces without the need for additional testing or coding.

Monitoring, on the other hand, is the task of assessing the health of a system by collecting and analyzing aggregate data from IT systems based on predefined set of metrics and logs. When it comes to DevOps, monitoring measures the health of the application, such as creating a rule alerting when the app is nearing 100% disk usage, helping prevent downtime.

Observability Vs Monitoring: How It Works

When it comes to observability vs monitoring, the differences is mostly based on identifying the problems you know will happen and having a way to anticipate the problems that might happen. Actually, basic monitoring entails reactive and observability is proactive. Either way, both use the same type of telemetry, known as the three pillars of observability i.e., Logs, Metrics and Traces.

The Bottom Line

Understanding the differences between observability vs monitoring is essential if you are to effectively handle them without feeling the two. Keep in mind the above guide only serves to let you know some of the things that contribute to the differences of observability vs monitoring. For this reason, be sure to go out of your way to uncover more about these two.

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