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Software Observability Three Pillars

Here is graph representing the three pillars of Software Observability:

In this diagram:

  • Observability serves as the central node connecting to the three pillars: Logs, Metrics, and Traces.
  • Each of these pillars feeds into Problem Solving by providing different kinds of data essential for:
    • diagnosing issues
    • monitoring performance
    • tracking requests through the system
  • The insights gathered lead to System Enhancements, improving the overall performance and reliability of the system.

Here’s a list of popular tools used for software observability categorized by each of the three pillars:


  • ELK Stack (Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana): This is a widely used open-source stack that allows for powerful searching, analyzing, and visualizing of log data in real-time.
  • Splunk: Provides comprehensive tools for searching, monitoring, and analyzing machine-generated big data via a web-style interface.
  • Graylog: An open-source log management system that stores, searches, and analyzes log files in a scalable way.


  • Prometheus: An open-source monitoring system with a dimensional data model, flexible query language, and powerful alerting capability.
  • Datadog: A monitoring service for cloud-scale applications, providing monitoring of servers, databases, tools, and services, through a SaaS-based data analytics platform.
  • Grafana: An open-source platform for monitoring and observability. Grafana allows you to query, visualize, alert on, and understand your metrics no matter where they are stored.


  • Jaeger: An open-source, end-to-end distributed tracing system that helps monitor and troubleshoot microservices-based distributed systems.
  • Zipkin: Also open-source, Zipkin helps gather timing data needed to troubleshoot latency problems in service architectures.
  • New Relic: Offers a full-stack observability platform, including tracing capabilities that provide insights into your software's performance and health.

These tools are commonly integrated within the tech stacks of many organizations to provide deep insights into their applications and infrastructure, helping to maintain system health and performance.