Off the Beaten Path: Moving Observability Focus from Your Service to Your Customer

Monday, October 28, 2019 - 4:45 pm5:30 pm

Mohit Suley, Microsoft


Observability systems are usually designed to answer two broad questions: "Is my service doing OK?" and "Is my business doing OK?" There is a third perspective that often doesn't get enough attention (unless it's clearly linked to the first two): "Is my Customer Experience OK?"

Customer Experience is a part of Site Reliability for us. While SLOs are a great way of measuring service, we realized they didn't paint a representative picture of how our customers felt while engaging with our product. In other words, we wanted to humanize the numbers we see.

This talk explains our motivations for stepping out of our metrics-centered "comfort zone" and the journey that ensued: developing a habit of engaging face-to-face with some of our customers, figuring out ways to experience what they did, open-sourcing a high-scale tool to capture this data, setting up broader direct-to-team channels of communication from customers, and re-thinking performance metrics.

Mohit Suley, Microsoft

Mohit is an Engineer on Bing's Live Site Engineering team. Designing systems to proactively improve availability and route around problems is a core mission of the team. In his spare time he loves long walks, tinkers with hardware, and chases his goal of reading more books than Bill Gates.

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@conference {240886,
author = {Mohit Suley},
title = {Off the Beaten Path: Moving Observability Focus from Your Service to Your Customer},
year = {2019},
address = {Portland, OR},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = oct

Presentation Video