Service Map Enables Honeycomb Users to Identify Complex Issues

Honeycomb announced the launch of Service Map and enhancements to its machine analysis tool, BubbleUp. These innovations set a new standard for the ease and speed with which developers can understand and debug the billions of rows of data needed to fully represent the user experience in today’s complex and unpredictable cloud applications.

Gartner® defines observability as “the characteristic of software and systems that enables them to be understood, based on their outputs, and enables questions about their behavior to be answered. Tools that facilitate software observability enable observers to collect and quickly explore high-cardinality telemetry using techniques that iteratively narrow the possible explanations for errant behavior.”

Honeycomb pioneered observability as an alternative and disruptive method to legacy Application Performance Monitoring (APM) tools by providing developers with the ability to ask any question about the state of their system and get answers within seconds. APM tools can’t do this because they either abstract away important data or separate telemetry into disparate data types that can only be explored separately. This forces developers to manually piece together what they think is happening. With Honeycomb’s unique datastore, however, developers are able to use a single UI and iterative workflow to explore the telemetry data about their systems in aggregate and all the way down to individual users and transactions.

“High-performing engineering teams come to Honeycomb because they can ask any question of their systems and get answers in seconds. But sometimes issues are so complex, it’s not clear which questions to ask,” said Christine Yen, CEO and Co-Founder of Honeycomb. “Our new Service Map and the enhancements we’ve made to BubbleUp offer quick views into your system and easy entry points to start investigating.”

Honeycomb’s new Service Map breaks through the limitations of existing Service Maps that typically only show the topology of services and their relationships, forcing developers to jump to other tools to investigate and debug. Honeycomb’s new Service Map, however, is an interactive, visual debugging tool that can be filtered by unlimited dimensions, allowing users to see and understand the relationships between all services for specific classes of users, usage scenarios, or conditions such as latency or errors. Another unique capability is how developers can seamlessly overlay subsets of traces within the Map to quickly uncover underlying issues for faster debugging. This enables users to ask more specific questions to better understand the user experience and quickly detect patterns without switching tools and losing context.

“We have hundreds of microservices, and it can be intimidating to understand the topology of the system as a whole,” said Zach McCoy, Principal Staff Engineer at Jack Henry™(Banno). “Honeycomb’s Service Map allows us to visualize our topology and helps us focus on what services are the most interconnected in our system.”

Honeycomb also made significant enhancements to BubbleUp, which helps users debug faster and more accurately by leveraging machine analysis to cycle through all of the attributes in billions of rows of telemetry to surface what is in common in problematic data compared to baseline data, which explains the context of anomalous code behavior by surfacing exactly what changed when you don’t know which fields to examine or index. This dramatically accelerates the debugging process by eliminating the time-consuming and error-prone APM workflow of jumping from metrics dashboards to individual logs and traces to guess at problematic patterns.

With Honeycomb’s latest enhancements, users can BubbleUp from more parts of Honeycomb, not just heatmaps. This means users can leverage BubbleUp’s pattern detection on specific groups of users or conditions beyond numeric values, such as users from a particular region, using specific devices or operating systems that are experiencing a particular error message – or are using a unique part of your application, such as a discount code. This ability makes debugging faster and more accurate because users can now investigate a wider range of possible causes of problems,  all from the same UI.

The new Service Map and enhancements to BubbleUp are available beginning October 26, 2022. Through December 31st, 2022, Service Map will be available to Free, Pro and Enterprise customers. After that time, it will only be available for Enterprise Customers. BubbleUp will remain available in all subscription levels of Honeycomb. To learn more about both features, check out the Honeycomb website for additional information on Service Map here and BubbleUp.

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Taylor Graham, marketing grad with an inner nature to be a perpetual researchist, currently all things IT. Personally and professionally, Taylor is one to know with her tenacity and encouraging spirit. When not working you can find her spending time with friends and family.