Pink Floyd’s 1973 album, “The Dark Side of the Moon,” was iconic, especially for its cover artwork. A single ray of white light enters the dark triangle of a prism, and on the other side, colored slices of light flash out, all against a stark black background. That image was worthy of deep contemplation while I lay on the floor listening to the music. And it’s been on my mind lately with the launch of Pure Storage’s new observability service.

Shining a Light on Observability Platforms

Observability platforms are hot right now. These platforms go beyond monitoring to give users operational visibility into their entire environment with all its scope and complexity. They look beyond individual events to system-level behavior to optimize the performance of the whole system. That capability depends on streams of real-time data from all levels of the environment.

And that’s why when I think about that iconic image from the album cover with respect to observability, I reverse it. The multiple streams of telemetry and real-time data are the slices of light as inputs instead of outputs. The data streams enter the prism of the observability platform and become a single stream of operational insight into the whole application and IT environment.  

Seeing those inputs as the colored slices of light helps me put the data stream produced by our storage systems into perspective. Storage system telemetry and information are but one of the many input slices that create visibility across the whole system. The magic comes in getting all that data into industry-standard observability platforms. 

Introducing the New Pure Observability and Monitoring Service

Pure Storage® FlashArray™ and FlashBlade® systems produce a large stream of performance telemetry. The Pure1® monitoring system provides proactive and actionable visibility into Pure arrays. Together these provide an excellent way to monitor and manage your storage. Organizations with an observability mindset, however, want more. To assist with this, we’ve introduced the Pure Observability and Monitoring Service.

Organizations are looking to get operational visibility across their whole IT stack—to get real-time data from all their systems into their observability platform to get actionable insights. To provide that data for the Pure storage environment, we’ve partnered with leading observability application vendors to integrate Pure-generated data into their tools. 

Enhancing Visibility into the IT Environment

The Pure Observability and Monitoring Service provides visibility for Pure FlashArray and FlashBlade arrays by providing an exporter function that extracts data from the Purity API and converts it to the OpenMetrics (OM) format. With this interface, storage array performance metrics are supported, scalable, and highly configurable. These output metrics are then consumable as standard input by various observability applications that recognize OM format. 

The result is a near real-time flow of storage instrumentation data into the chosen observability platform, which ensures that the storage system is included in the overall visibility of the environment. 

The Pure Observability and Monitoring Service also allows organizations to customize how they consume the storage data passed through the OpenMetrics interface. It’s possible to analyze the specific data fields, intervals, and dimensions for each metric produced by the OpenMetrics Exporter. It also provides scalability for the whole storage environment. 

Seeing in the Dark

One of the most important use cases for our new service is in dark sites. Banks and government organizations may require dark sites for security reasons. Large cloud providers may do their own management and not allow remote monitoring and management. These sites cannot have a remote connection to Pure1 or other management systems. But if the observability platform runs within the dark site boundaries, it can provide the proactive insights necessary to keep the environment running in an optimized way. The Pure Observability and Monitoring Service can install the interface within the dark site firewall. 

The Pure Observability and Monitoring Service helps ensure that the observability platform can fulfill its promise to deal with the complexity of the whole environment for faster problem resolution and proactive diagnosis of system behavior to deliver a better user experience. And there’s nothing more iconic than that.