Refining Systems Data without Losing Fidelity

Thursday, 3 October, 2019 - 14:0014:45

Liz Fong-Jones,


It is not feasible to run an observability infrastructure that is the same size as your production infrastructure. Past a certain scale, the cost to collect, process, and save every log entry, every event, and every trace that your systems generate dramatically outweighs the benefits. If your SLO is 99.95%, then you'll be naively collecting 2,000 times as much data about requests that satisfied your SLI than those that burnt error budget. How do you scale back the flood of data without losing the crucial information your engineering team needs to troubleshoot and understand your system's production behaviors?

Statistics can come to our rescue, enabling us to gather accurate, specific, and error-bounded data on our services' top-level performance and inner workings. We can keep the context of the anomalous data flows and cases in our supported services while not allowing the volume of ordinary data to drown it out.

Liz Fong-Jones,

Liz is a developer advocate, labor and ethics organizer, and Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) with 15+ years of experience. She is an advocate at for the SRE and Observability communities, and previously was an SRE working on products ranging from the Google Cloud Load Balancer to Google Flights.

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@conference {239535,
author = {Liz Fong-Jones},
title = {Refining Systems Data without Losing Fidelity},
year = {2019},
address = {Dublin},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = oct

Presentation Video