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Applying Lessons Learned from Baking Pizza to Kubernetes Observability
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Baking a delicious pizza in a wood-fired oven requires a combination of skill, experience and the right tools. The same is true for achieving optimal observability in a Kubernetes environment.
In this post, we'll explore some of the lessons learned from baking pizza in a wood-fired oven and apply them to the world of Kubernetes observability.
1. The right tools make all the difference
Honestly, it all starts with the right tools to achieve the perfect crispy crust and toppings. The same is true for achieving optimal observability in a Kubernetes environment. You need the right tools to monitor and troubleshoot your Kubernetes clusters and applications.
StackState is a powerful observability platform that provides you with the tools you need to gain deep visibility into your Kubernetes environment. The solution collects all types of data that combined together will provide you with real answers.
2. Experience is key
When baking a pizza in a wood-fired oven, experience is key. You need to know how to manage the fire, the temperature and the timing to achieve the perfect crust and toppings. The same is true for achieving optimal observability in a Kubernetes environment. You need to have experience with the tools and techniques that are used to monitor and troubleshoot Kubernetes clusters and applications.
StackState has various practices included so whenever data is collected, StackState automatically applies different policies on top. StackState enables you to increase monitoring coverage of your environment, even without deep knowledge of observability.
3. Continuous observability is essential
Has this ever happened to you? For a single moment you did not look into the oven, and guess what...the pizza is completely burned. When baking a pizza in a wood-fired oven, you need to continuously monitor the temperature and timing to achieve the perfect crisp for your crust and toppings. The same is true for achieving optimal observability in a Kubernetes environment. A system needs to be continuously observed, and you can’t do this manually.
So having the right alerts as well as having good integrations with notification tools like OpsGenie or PagerDuty is of the essence. With StackState this is easy to set up, so you can continuously observe, quickly identify and resolve any issues.
4. The ability to quickly troubleshoot and resolve issues is critical
Often unexpected things will happen. When baking a pizza in a wood-fired oven, you need to be able to quickly troubleshoot and resolve any issues that arise. Think about a drop or increase in temperature or one side of the pizza that is cooking too fast. If some of your toppings start to burn, you need to take immediate action. If you are focused on Kubernetes, speed is of the essence, simply because your customers rely on you to get their job done. Every disruption is one too many.
At StackState we believe in guided remediation, leading every software engineer through a series of steps that will lead to a fast solution.
5. Building a culture of continuous improvement
If you think you can bake a great pizza after just a couple of tries, you’re wrong. Ask our CEO – he tried at a company event and even after five times it was still hard to get it right. When baking a pizza in a wood-fired oven, it's important to build a culture of quality and continuous improvement. As an SRE, you’re used to this as well: the culture of continuous improvement is important to increase reliability and reduce toil. It's important to build a culture of continuous observability in which everyone is focused on monitoring and troubleshooting their Kubernetes clusters and applications.
StackState can help you build this culture of continuous improvement. Every time an issue happens, our solution provides the ability to rewind the story, enabling you to see over time how the issue arose. You can also easily see how it got solved, both temporarily (the quick remediation) and permanently (the real solution, to avoid this happening again). This is perfect input for a postmortem.
6. Having the right ingredients is important
When baking a pizza, it's important to have the right ingredients, as they influence texture, taste and the look of the pizza. Without quality ingredients, the pizza will not taste as good. The same is true for achieving optimal observability in a Kubernetes environment. You need to have the right data and metrics to gain deep visibility into your Kubernetes environment.
Where many tools just take a single dataset, StackState collects metrics, logs, events, trace and change data to ensure that you have the information you need to make informed decisions that improve performance and availability. In addition, StackState always serves you the data in the right context. For example, if you’re looking at a pod, our tool gathers all the relevant metrics, events and logs in a single screen.
Don’t forget to enjoy the end result!
But don't forget, it's not just about the technical aspects of baking a pizza or achieving optimal observability, it's also about the fun and enjoyment of it all. Just like the satisfaction of biting into a perfectly baked pizza, the peace of mind that comes with knowing your Kubernetes environment is running smoothly and efficiently is an added bonus. So take the time to savor the experience and enjoy the end result of your hard work!
Note: The author is a semi-professional pizza chef who has a passion for crafting the perfect pizza. With a beautiful Portuguese pizza oven nestled in his backyard, he spends every summer weekend whipping up delicious pies for groups of up to 40 people. It's not just a hobby, it's an art form, and it takes a great deal of skill and precision to consistently deliver mouth-watering pizzas to so many satisfied guests.
4 min read