Elastic{ON} 2018 Monitoring Survey

Kelsey Hanger | Monday March 19 2018

Moogsoft surveyed attendees at Elastic{ON} 2018 about the IT monitoring challenges they face & the tools they’re using to solve them.

Elastic{ON} 2018 Monitoring Survey

Elastic, the creator of Elasticsearch and the Elastic Stack (this includes Logstash), hosted its Elastic{ON} conference in San Francisco earlier this month, and they rolled out a bunch of new features, among the coolest being:

  1. Elastic APM, an extension of Elastic’s product stack into application performance.
  2. Logstash Azure Monitoring Module, a new way to monitor Microsoft Azure infrastructure and services with the Elastic Stack.

As we like to do, the Moogsoft team took this opportunity to conduct one of our monitoring surveys. Read on to learn about the current state of monitoring ecosystems of Elastic users…

Tweet Section

It should come as no surprise that the #1 monitoring tool of Elastic{ON} 2018 was Logstash  with 89.74% of those surveyed saying that they use this log management tool.

Key Findings

  • The top three monitoring tools were Logstash, Nagios, and SolarWinds / Riverbed (which tied for third place).
  • The top three monitoring challenges were alert noise, time-to-detect and restore, and alert correlation across tools.
  • The average level of alert volume per month most commonly cited by survey respondents was in the hundreds.
  • The average number of P1 / SEV-1 incidents per month cited by most of the attendees we surveyed was 3 – 5 per month.
  • On a scale of 1 – 10 — 1 being the most reactive, and 10 being the most proactive — most respondents scored their companies at 9.

Top Monitoring Challenges

When asked what their top monitoring challenges were, over 50% of those surveyed admitted that they’re struggling with alert noise. Since 68.1% of respondents also said they were using five (or fewer) monitoring tools, does this mean that those five tools are just firing off alerts without offering any real insight into the real problems?

PS: Some people we spoke with at Elastic{ON} said they just need a tool or the time to “fix it all.” Don’t we all!

At Elastic{ON}, attendees just want a tool to

Alert noise is obviously a very real problem for these companies  the same pool of people also admitted that their companies were experiencing 3 – 5 P1 / SEV-1 incidents every single month! Yikes!

Not only are their operators burdened by too many alerts, but this problem has also started to affect these companies’ bottom lines. In the world of ITOps, downtime needs to be avoided at all costs, but it can’t be if operators aren’t able to find the critical alerts before it’s too late.

But here’s the funny part: Elastic{ON} attendees are overly optimistic.

When asked, on scale of 1-10 — 1 being the most reactive, 10 being the most proactive — 43.7% said their company is extremely proactive (9/10) when it comes to alert / event management.

Why do Elastic{ON} attendees think that they’re an extremely proactive bunch when they suffer from 3 – 5 P1 incidents every month? It’s interesting to note that this is the exact same answer that attendees at the last Atlassian show gave us. Maybe Elastic and Atlassian users are  glass-half-full type people?

Elastic{ON} 2018 Monitoring Survey

68.8% of our survey respondents said that they don’t have an Event Manager. It’s also interesting to note that all legacy vendors had representation on the show floor at Elastic{ON}. At such a progressive conference, why are companies still using CA, BMC, HP and IBM? Maybe this has something to do with their alert noise problem.

38.8% of the participants we surveyed said that their application performance monitor of choice is AppDynamics. AppD has lead the APM pack for the past four monitoring surveys we’ve conducted (Elastic{On}, Atlassian, VMworldCisco Live).

I’ll be interested to see how Elastic APM fares in the coming Monitoring Surveys…will this open-source APM tool start to encroach on AppD’s territory?

SolarWinds is usually a top NPM tool, so these results are nothing new. But I do love to see a little competition, so congrats to Riverbed for tying for most used Network Monitoring tool.

Nagios is still dominating the infrastructure monitoring tooling ecosystem, with over 80.7% of the respondents saying that they use it. With the exception of Cisco Live, Nagios has been the dominating monitoring tool in every single 2017 & 2018 Moogsoft monitoring survey to date.

This should come as no surprise given the show, but almost 90% of Elastic{ON} folks we talked to said that they use Logstash as their log management tool. (Note: This is the first time we’ve seen Splunk in second place, and it’s a distant second.)

We’ve got another tie for the #1 most used synthetic monitoring tool! This time it’s Catchpoint, Keynote, and Pingdom.

68.5% of respondents still use email to notify the right teams of an incident. Since alert noise is their #1 problem, can you imagine these people’s inboxes?!

Jira thoroughly beat out ServiceNow as the #1 ticketing tool in this edition of the survey.

72.9% of attendees say that they use Slack for internal communication. It’s always a hotly contested battle between Skype and Slack, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Skype takes the #1 spot in the next survey.

Java continues to hold the top spot in our language poll, with 70% of attendees writing in that language.

Elastic{ON} 2018 Conclusion

“One of the beautiful things about open source is the fact that there is no cost for you to download and experience the products that we build,” said Elastic CEO Shay Banon during the conference’s opening keynote. And we agree: Open-source tools are a great addition to the modern monitoring ecosystem.

From this show’s survey results, it’s clear that companies are still struggling with things like alert noise, mean-time-to-detect and -restore, and alert correlation across their tools. Thanks to open source tool like Elastic, companies big and small can start to find affordable and flexible solutions to their problems.

I just hope that Elastic comes out with an open source tool that can “fix it all,” because I know we all need a little bit of that in our lives!

Watch out for the SREcon18 Monitoring Survey, coming soon!

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Kelsey Hanger

About the Author

Kelsey Hanger is a Product Marketing Manager at Moogsoft. When she isn’t writing blogs about AIOps or conducting Monitoring Surveys, she loves finding unique eats in and around SF and traveling to the parts unknown, whether that be a speakeasy in Oakland or the ruins of Monte Albán in Oaxaca, México. Feel free to tweet her @KelsHanger or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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