CIO Influence
5G Technology Data Center and Co-location Featured Guest Authors

Data Observability: The Key to Optimizing 5G Networks in 2023 and Beyond

Data Observability: The Key to Optimizing 5G Networks in 2023 and Beyond

If you were to create a word cloud of all the terms put to chief information officers in the past year, “observability” would loom large. Data observability refers to the ability to monitor and understand how data flows through a system in real-time. It involves understanding the relationships between different data points, identifying patterns and trends, and ensuring that data is accurate and consistent. For businesses operating in 2023, data observability can mean the difference between success and failure. 

Recommended: World Password Day: Password advice for CIOs

Yet, as with all buzz terms, there’s some confusion about what constitutes “observability” as a feature. Some software providers have been accused of hijacking the term to describe basic features, such as data logging or automated alerts. The truth is, observability is far more involved when it comes to applications, infrastructure, data, and networking, and we’re going to be hearing a lot more about it in 2023 and beyond. 

Wait, what exactly is observability?

The term “observability” actually comes from control theory in systems engineering. It’s a measure of how well you can infer the internal state of a system by examining its outputs. In the current context, observability refers to a software solution that generates outputs in the form of logs, traces, and metrics to provide a global, real-time view of contemporary network ecosystems. This includes data about on-premises and cloud infrastructure elements, applications and APIs, containers, microservices, databases, users, devices, and more. This global data foundation is then used to feed advanced machine learning and AI analytics to automate and enhance network and security operations.

Security is a significant factor here. According to Ponemon, two-thirds (63%) of security analysts call out lack of visibility into the network and infrastructure as a key stressor, and only 31% can access a fully accurate, continuously updated report of every application and code library in real-time. As we speed toward cloud-native architectures, the need for observability will only increase – not only in terms of security but in terms of uncovering inefficiencies and optimizing networks more effectively. That need is now being recognized.

According to Enea’s latest market analysis figures, as of December 2022, there has been $3.91 billion worth of venture capital investment into observability technology – and this is just the beginning. 

Why is data observability trending now? 

Observability sounds useful, so why is it only now beginning to surface as a vital technology? The answer is simple – the cloud. In the past few years, our working methods have dramatically shifted. The pandemic changed the workplace dynamic, and networks had to evolve to keep up. Cloud-native architectures with opaque clusters, pods, containers, and microservices are the anatomy of these redefined networks – both in enterprise and telecoms. That means traditional monitoring and management tools that were developed for physical and more conventional virtual environments will no longer cut it.

Observability puts us “in sync” with modern networks, and that’s going to be vital when it comes to 5G. 

Why does observability matter to mobile operators? 

5G architecture is a new set of disaggregated network functions that can be deployed in a cloud-native, microservices-based architecture. This offers tremendous advantages in terms of adaptability, agility, security, and performance, but it requires a new visibility framework to support 5G operational and analytical functions. Put simply, 5G networks will be generating vast amounts of data at unprecedented speeds to a vast array of devices and “edge” functions – that data will need to be monitored and managed in real-time if efficiencies are to be found. 

That’s why, in 2023 and beyond, we’re likely to see mobile operators seriously consider how observability functions can give them a window into their operations. By getting eyes on fine-grained data, they will be able to more effectively automate and manage their cloud-centric networks, focusing on performance, security, quality of service (QoS), and a more streamlined use of resources. 

You can’t optimize or monetize what you can’t see. Observability is the tool that will ultimately allow operators to pull back the curtain and make more informed decisions on how to run their evolving networks.

[To share your insights with us, please write to]

Related posts

Tachyum Closes DDR5 Timing at over 6400MT/s Providing Massive Bandwidth for Prodigy Chip

CIO Influence News Desk

Palo Alto Networks 5G-Native Security Now Available on Microsoft Azure Private Multi-Access Edge Compute

CIO Influence News Desk

Nokia And AT&T accelerate U.S C-Band Rollout With First Commercial Equipment Call

CIO Influence News Desk