Know What’s Normal: Historical Layers
by Arya Asemanfar
and Brandon Gonzalez
and Kay Ousterhout
In April, we released real-time latency histograms and explained why performance is a shape, not a number. These latency histograms change the game when it comes to characterizing performance and identifying worrisome behaviors, but these behaviors immediately beg new questions: "Is this normal? Did something change? If so, when?"
Historical layers allow you to compare the up-to-the-second latency histogram against the performance shape from an hour, a day, and a week ago. When you interactively filter the latency histogram to restrict its focus on a specific service, operation, and/or collection of tags, the historical layers will also reflect the specified query criteria. Now with just a glance, you can determine whether performance behavior has improved or degraded for any aspect of your application (and when that change occurred).
Historical layers quickly show when performance has improved or degraded for any aspect of your application.
We chose the different time intervals deliberately to cover a wide range of scenarios and to account for common cyclical performance variations. This new capability is designed for firefighting time-sensitive issues, investigating latency spikes to isolate root cause, and for validating whether application changes are exhibiting the expected outcome over time. Historical layers make it easy to spot even the most subtle and harmful performance regressions.
LightStep [x]PM captures and stores the data and statistics required to produce these historical layers through its unique Satellites. In contrast to traditional time-series data, this information is available automatically and doesn’t require any additional configuration or preparation. You can also filter using high-cardinality tags – so you can view this level of detail for virtually any aspect of your application: from specific services or product versions to individual customers.
We’re extremely proud of these new capabilities and encouraged by the enthusiastic feedback we’ve received from our early beta customers, but we’re certainly not stopping here! In the coming months, we’ll be delivering more unique capabilities that will complement historical layers to make high-fidelity performance management and monitoring even more intuitive and insightful for our customers.
Are you adopting microservices? Contact us to learn more and see exactly how LightStep [x]PM works.