Is Monitoring Burning Out Your DevOps Teams?

Modern companies are swiftly adopting various DevOps methodologies to bring both development and operations teams to work together. DevOps teams work collaboratively to meet several business requirements including faster software code development, continuous integration, infrastructure support, and continuous monitoring.

“By creating a better fit between the team and the work, DevOps professionals may grapple with burnout”.

Continuous Monitoring is one of the primary responsibilities of a DevOps Engineer to ensure everything is up and running 24/7. Not only it is a dedicated full-time responsibility but also a tiring activity to continuously perform for a DevOps Engineer. Still, Continuous Monitoring is a crucial process for every business as it ensures every service, application, and system is working fine!

Why DevOps Teams Must Perform Continuous Monitoring?

In 2017, Amazon lost $150M due to an unfortunate system outage of four hours. What was the cause? Like Amazon, this can happen to any company, leading to huge losses and end-user dissatisfaction. But, taking proactive and calculated precautions can minimize the impact of a system outage!

Continuous Monitoring by a DevOps Developer is the best-followed industry practice for achieving higher system uptime. Here are the key areas that Continuous Monitoring covers:

1. Infrastructure monitoring

The DevOps Engineers manage and maintain the back-end IT infrastructure, including server performance monitoring, compute hardware maintenance, data center maintenance, and storage regulation. The popular infrastructure monitoring tools are ManageEngine, Solarwinds, and Prometheus.

2. Application performance monitoring

Application or software performance monitoring ensures continuous application runtime with improved performance. DevOps Engineers continuously track application security and logs to monitor overall application performance. Popular tools for application monitoring include DataDog, Splunk, and Uptrends.

3. Network monitoring

DevOps teams track the network interfaces, routers, network groups, and firewalls as a part of the Network Monitoring activity. This helps identify network faults and optimize private/public network functionality. The DevOps Engineers can use a dynamic network monitoring system like Spiceworks and Wireshark for continuous network monitoring.

4. Continuous backups

Continuous application & system data backups ensure zero data loss and top-notch system security. For that, the DevOps Engineers continuously review server backups, application backups, and system backups.

“Monitoring as a DevOps Practice is Essential – It Prevents Downtimes & Improves Business Processes”

Now, it’s clear why Continuous Monitoring is a must, it’s time to discover how DevOps is burning with the implementation of Continuous Monitoring.

Why Do DevOps Teams Burn Out?

According to recent studies by Puppet Labs, adopting a DevOps culture with Continuous Monitoring can lead to the increasing phenomenon of DevOps Burnout among companies. DevOps Engineers are given a broader range of responsibilities, resulting in them overworking under high work pressure. Various reasons are causing DevOps Burnout with Continuous Monitoring culture.

1. Developers Lack Knowledge About Operations

Most DevOps teams have developers who have expertise in front-end development, full-stack development, web/mobile app development, API development, or programming-based infrastructure development. Naturally, most DevOps Developers lack knowledge about how to handle various operational workflows.

Operations Teams’ work is completely different from Developers. Without the knowledge of agile methodologies to handle business operations, it’s difficult to perform Continuous Monitoring. As a result, DevOps Developers burn out while trying to keep multitasking like Operational Teams in Agile Projects.

2. Fast-Changing Monitoring Requirements

An ideal DevOps monitoring system should seamlessly integrate into the business workflow and be compatible with several tools DevOps teams leverage. The monitoring system must cover various aspects of Development & Operations including:

  • CI/CD pipeline integration
  • Cloud infrastructure maintenance
  • Sour-code version control
  • Application development tools
  • Real-time data processing
  • Robust security controls

However, in real-case scenarios, the requirements of an ideal DevOps monitoring system change based on the project requirements. As the business predominately focuses on making the most of the investment in monitoring tools, DevOps Engineers fail to keep up with the fast-changing business dynamics. Even being highly skilled doesn’t help them meet business expectations, resulting in burnout faster.

3. Dependency on Traditional Waterfall Method

Yes, DevOps intends to eliminate the traditional waterfall method of code development. Still, DevOps teams burnouts occur since today’s workplace culture is still not free from the traditional framework completely.

Previously, developers spent weeks after weeks writing code before handing it over to the Operations Teams. Now, developers require to work on Continuous Development so that the QA team can perform Continuous Testing. Even though this makes the product development move to production faster, the DevOps Engineers receive an additional workload to monitor the end-to-end Continuous Code Integration. In addition, they provide code-level assistance from development through the testing process.

4. Dealing With Overlapping and Conflicting Data

The main problem with Continuous Monitoring is that the software developer ends up details with large volumes of data, generated through monitoring & logging systems. Even though there are various data handling tools, DevOps Engineers often deal with conflicting and overlapping data.

Dealing with conflicting data makes the process to identify software defects harder for DevOps Engineers. It is no surprise that DevOps Engineers fail to detect vulnerabilities or system defects on time, leading to unexpected production downtime.

What Can Be Done now? (H2)

Before DevOps Engineers crumble under stress and burn down their productivity, it’s important to bring rapid organizational changes with greater responsibility. Here are a few tips to avoid sudden burndown of DevOps teams:

  • Agile training among teams to educate developers about business operations.
  • Utilize tools like Scrum to bring all teams to work together for the same set of product goals.
  • Shift a load of continuous monitoring from one professional to another.
  • Work on automating the end-to-end monitoring process to reduce developers’ burnout.
  • Encourage research and innovation to utilize better monitoring based on the requirements.

At the end of the day, it is the DevOps Developers’ responsibility to maintain 100% system and application uptime with Continuous Monitoring. Hence, the company management must ensure that everything is functioning sufficiently and every DevOps professional is not burning out.

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Co-Founder & Director, Business Management
BDCC Global is a leading DevOps research company. We believe in sharing knowledge and increasing awareness, and to contribute to this cause, we try to include all the latest changes, news, and fresh content from the DevOps world into our blogs.

About BDCC

BDCC Global is a leading DevOps research company. We believe in sharing knowledge and increasing awareness, and to contribute to this cause, we try to include all the latest changes, news, and fresh content from the DevOps world into our blogs.