ServiceNow’s Lightstep observability platform is gaining new capabilities to speed up incident resolution

ServiceNow Inc. said today. that it strengthens the capabilities of its Lightstep observability platform with the launch of Lightstep Notebooks, a new feature that enables faster, more collaborative and accurate troubleshooting.

Used by thousands of businesses around the world, ServiceNow is a workflow automation platform that optimizes productivity for information technology and operations. ServiceNow acquired Lightstep to power this automation platform in May 2021, giving DevOps engineers deeper and more systematic observability to spot problems in their IT stacks before they affect end users.

Lightstep Observability works by gathering information from raw data generated by various clients and servers. Taken together, this information can produce a ton of actionable insights. This makes it useful for companies with large application environments covering large cloud regions, as such companies rely on high reliability.

At Lightstep, DevOps teams and site reliability engineers get an early warning system that allows them to monitor critical software signals and health indicators, directly integrated into ServiceNow. So once a problem is discovered, teams can act to address it before it becomes a bottleneck or an avalanche.

That’s the idea, at least, but ServiceNow seems to have recognized that things don’t always go according to plan. It cites findings from International Data Corp.’s 2022 Site Reliability Engineering survey. showing how troubled engineers and developers are these days with troubleshooting incidents discovered by their observability platforms. It seems that a fair amount of investigation is needed to discover the root of many incidents. This means using different tools and data sources, so it can be slow to solve things.

That’s what Lightstep Notebooks is designed to address. It works by connecting diverse data sources to provide a unified and comprehensive analysis of flagged incidents across both applications and infrastructure. It is said to produce both data visualizations and a structured view of the investigative steps necessary to resolve any issues discovered. In addition, ServiceNow said, the Lightstep Notebook could help mitigate the incident.

The secret sauce is Lightstep’s Change Intelligence analysis engine, which the company said has the ability to instantly understand any changes in the health and underlying infrastructure of the applications.

Additionally, Lightstep Notebook allows teams to retain 100% of the trace data used to resolve incidents for up to three days, providing “enough time” to fix things. It also has collaboration tools, allowing engineers to share Notebook analysis with colleagues via a secure and shareable link. Finally, ServiceNow promises “reduced complexity” and easier postmortems to learn lessons and ensure incidents don’t happen again.

Damien Mathieu, a staff developer at Okta Inc., said the platform has proven to be a big hit with his colleagues. “Notebooks have allowed our team to reduce our reliance on logs, which saves us time and resources, and allows us to deliver a better customer experience through a single, unified view of telemetry data, ”he said.

Photo: ServiceNow

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