Reimagining applications with Full-Stack Observability

BrandPost By Cisco
Sep 03, 20237 mins
Cisco Systems
business meeting
Credit: Delmaine Donson

Software applications underpin every aspect of an organisation: how it operates internally and how it interacts with customers and business partners. Today, these applications are growing in number, complexity and in the ways they interact with each other. At the same time the demands placed on applications are growing and changing ever more rapidly.

Established practices of software development and adaptation are inadequate to meet these challenges. What is needed is a reimagining of applications: exploring and adopting new ways to improve user experience, features and functionality, performance, security and integration, and interoperability.

However, what cannot be seen cannot be reimagined. Full-stack observability (FSO) is necessary. This involves capturing, analysing and visualising data from every layer of the technology stack — applications, infrastructure and user interactions—  to gain a better understanding of how applications behave in different environments and under various conditions.

Cisco Full-Stack Observability (FSO) delivers visibility and telemetry from every networking domain, every cloud, the applications, the code, and everything in between.

It uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to consume the various data elements in real time, figure out dynamically how to troubleshoot and get to the root cause of a problem faster and more accurately. Cisco FSO is a key enabler for reimagining applications. Here’s how.

FSO Use Cases

Here are seven ways in which Cisco FSO can provide the insights essential to maximising IT efficiency and the insights to enable applications to be reimagined.

Hybrid Application Monitoring

With traditional domain-centric monitoring tools it is difficult to map application dependencies, identify the root causes of issues impacting performance and prioritise issues according to business impact. Cisco FSO allows application performance to be correlated with user experience and business results, enabling proactive, prioritised management and remediation of issues.

Modern Application Monitoring

Many businesses today rely on cloud-native applications which are often microservice-based and distributed. Application performance can be degraded by infrastructure-related issues that are difficult to troubleshoot because they span cloud environments. Cisco FSO empowers development teams to monitor and optimise performance of cloud-native applications hosted on, and spanning across, public or private clouds.

Customer digital experience monitoring

User experience is often impacted by issues in external services, such as third-party Internet services or their own devices into which IT teams have limited visibility, hampering their ability to detect and remediate problems. Cisco Customer Digital Experience Monitoring brings together Cisco application observability and network intelligence capabilities to uncover application and network dependencies that were previously invisible.

Application Dependency Monitoring

Application performance relies on the successful interaction of distributed components, often via APIs. With traditional tools, IT teams have little visibility and no control over these components. Cisco Application Dependency Monitoring provides visibility beyond the enterprise into external networks, services, and dependencies, including Internet and cloud provider networks, APIs, and third-party services.

Hybrid Cost Optimisation

Cloud services in distributed application environments are often overprovisioned to ensure adequate application performance, and on-premises infrastructure is often scaled to handle peak application load estimates, and under-utilised most of the time. Cisco Hybrid Cost Optimisation enables costs to be reduced by matching public cloud usage to needs and increasing utilisation of on-premises assets.

Application resource optimisation

Applications’ resource requirements depend on utilisation. Lack of visibility into these impedes the ability of infrastructure and application teams to collaborate effectively to optimise user experience. Cisco Application Resource Optimisation improves application performance by taking the guesswork out of resource allocations for workloads, on-premises and in the public cloud.

Application Security

IT and security teams need shared visibility and insight into the scope of security incidents and their impacts on applications, end users, and the business overall.

Cisco FSO enables incidents to be prioritised and applications to be protected with real-time security visibility enables policies to be enforced, blocks attacks, and delivers rapid visibility into exploits.

FSO in Action

Here is how three leading organisations have leveraged Cisco Full-Stack Observability for increased efficiency and optimal customer service.

Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean International is one of the world’s largest cruise operators, sailing from more than 60 countries on six continents. To provide the best possible guest experience technology teams need continuous visibility into how the business is functioning, and how any performance issues affect guests.

It has deployed Cisco Full-Stack Observability with Cisco AppDynamics and Cisco ThousandEyes to gain visibility into its services and user experiences, enabling it to be proactive rather than reactive and identify and remediate issues before any customer impact.

Cisco ThousandEyes provides a 360-degree view of a hybrid digital ecosystem—across cloud, SaaS and the Internet—by combining Internet and WAN visibility, browser synthetics, end-user monitoring and Internet insights.

Royal Caribbean’s Director of IT Service Management, Alice McElroy, says full-stack observability has lifted developer productivity by almost 100 percent.

First Abu Dhabi Bank

First Abu Dhabi Bank is the largest bank in the United Arab Emirates. It provides corporate, investment and personal banking services and has a presence on five continents. To move its client-centric strategy forward, the bank performed an audit to determine what IT needed to do to break down data silos and gain more control over the customer experience.

The bank started by replacing its existing monitoring tools with Cisco AppDynamics, an application performance monitoring solution and a component of Cisco FSO. This delivered many quick insights. It also added another FSO component, Cisco ThousandEyes to its technology stack to provide comprehensive monitoring of end users’ digital experience.

AppDynamics integrates with third-party tools to take data out of—or bring data into—the system. It enables the bank to understand the root causes of performance issues and triage them at source rather than simply patching them at the surface. Today the bank uses AppDynamics to monitor 180 applications. It has enabled the bank to reduce incidents and improved availability.


Carhartt is a US based workwear company, founded in 1889. Today it is a global brand, still owned by descendants of its founder. It relies on SAP to manage all aspects of its operations, everything from sewing the workwear to operating its distribution centres and maintaining its 24/7 global ecommerce site. Ninety six percent of its applications are in the cloud.

The company uses Cisco FSO to monitor all critical applications and eliminate downtime: any glitch in its distribution site or disruption of its ecommerce site would have significant financial impact and created a bad customer experience.

See More, Solve More. Watch Cisco FSO Platform overview video and learn more about Observability.