Scalyr was started to solve a problem that its founders fully understood — juggling a handful of monitoring tools to gain operational visibility might just be impossible. Today, the company announced a new phase of growth. Scalyr hired former Cisco SVP Christine Heckart to take over as CEO from co-founder Steve Newman, who will now act as the chairman.
According to a blog post announcing Heckart’s hire, Newman is stepping down because as Scalyr grows, “it was time for a division of labor.” Heckart will be primarily tasked with growing the commercial side of the business, and Newman will focus on the technology and product growth.
The 7-year-old log monitoring and management company was founded by two former Google developers who were building technology that would fit under a number of Google applications such as Google Docs and Google Drive.
“It was a very complicated system, such as many other people are building these days, and we were spending an enormous amount of our time wrestling with service quality issues,” said Newman. “And the tools that we had to help with those investigations were not helping, were not able to help keep up with the scale of data that we were working with and the complexity of the system.” Newman estimated that internally, the team he was on at Google was juggling 17 different tools, each giving visibility into just one piece of the greater puzzle.
When Newman and fellow Scalyr co-founder and current CTO Steve Czerwinski left Google, they wanted to reduce the fragmentation that too often slows down developer teams. “Our original concept was to create a tool, a single tool, that can give you a broader picture,” Newman said. However, as they began work on the concept they realized that teams also needed a tool that could scale quickly and help give insight and answers in real-time.
Today, Scalyr offers a fully-managed software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that provides log management to enterprises. The platform, and its data management architecture, was built from scratch using proprietary software and runs on the company’s central backend. It collects data from customers using its lightweight agent that is deployed as a piece of software on customers’ systems and sends data back to Scalyr.
It can monitor from a range of environments and systems including servers, containers, cloud, and on-premises. The technology provides provides log aggregation, system metrics, and server monitoring on any infrastructure.
Adding New Capabilities
The ability to monitor containers and microservices is something that Scalyr has recently been moving into. In November, it updated its platform to monitor and troubleshoot issues in Kubernetes and Amazon Web Services (AWS) CloudWatch environments. The platform also has the ability to monitor Docker environments and other microservices and container architectures.
“That’s a lot of our new focus,” said Newman. “We need to be wherever our customers are and the truth is a lot of people are obviously moving to those environments.”
Scalyr is also working on bringing distributed tracing into its product. It is currently in the process of demoing this and plans to launch the feature early this year. “The idea here is that logs are generated by individual servers and applications and can tell you what happens in that one place, but so much of what happens now is interconnected,” he said.
By implementing distributed tracing into its log management platform, Scalyr will be able to connect the dots between all the services running for an organization, giving a more holistic view of the customers’ systems.