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October 9, 2023 - 2 Min Read

Observe It – Episode #1 – A deep dive into Observability with Ben Sigelman

Join host Daniela Miao for the first episode of the Observe It podcast!

Daniela Miao



Welcome to Observe It, a podcast hosted by Daniela Miao, Co-Founder of Momento, who brings on industry leaders to discuss Observability insights. 

On the very first episode of Observe It, Daniela joins Ben Sigelman, GM at ServiceNow and Co-Founder/CEO of Lightstep, to discuss various aspects of Observability, including its history, cost optimization, data profiling, and the need for continuous innovation in the field. 

The podcast starts with Ben discussing his interest in observability when he was working at Google. He walks through how he found out about distributed tracing via Sharon Perl, and got involved in bringing Dapper to production at Google. 

Daniela and Ben discuss the concept of a single pane of glass for Observability, where users want metrics, traces, and logs all in one place. Ben mentions that while this is starting to happen, the design space for Observability is much broader, and there’s room for more innovation. 

Cost optimization in Observability becomes a significant concern, especially as data volumes grow. Ben shares an example from Google, where the majority of the collected data was never used, highlighting the importance of cost-effective practices. 

Ben also emphasizes the need for dynamic verbosity in telemetry data, allowing users to customize the level of detail they collect based on usage and requirements. Currently, data profiling often focuses on data attributes, but usage-based profiling could provide more valuable insights. 

The conversation concludes with discussing the importance of minimizing network distances between systems and their Observability providers, as this can have a significant impact on cost and performance.

Be the first to know when Daniela releases new Observe It conversations by subscribing to the channel over on YouTube!

About Ben Sigelman

Ben Sigelman is the co-creator of OpenTelemetry, a co-founder at Lightstep, and now the GM of ServiceNow’s Cloud Observability business. Ben is also known for his work leading the design and development of the Dapper tracing system and the Monarch metrics and monitoring system at Google where he worked from 2003-2012. Ben’s work and interests gravitate towards observability and the cloud-native technology ecosystem.