Log monitoring company Scalyr this week launched an open community, deemed LogRunners, for individuals in the observability space. The community is designed to help developers, architects, site reliability engineers, and DevOps and CloudOps professionals identify, solve, and prevent challenges in this market.
While observability has quite a few definitions, it broadly refers to capabilities — such as logs, metrics, and traces — that help with testing, understanding, and debugging systems and architectures. For LogRunners this will also include Kubernetes, distributed tracing, and logging.
“As we move into technologies like microservices and IoT, we see that developers in DevOps quite often are geographically separated and the separation itself means that there’s not a clear set of conversations or exchanges of information,” said Dave McAllister, community manager and evangelist at Scalyr.
McAllister noted that there is a gap in current developer communities on how to solve broken systems, applications, and code within emerging technologies. On the other hand, “it’s very easy to find places, for instance, how emerging technologies like Kubernetes impact DevOps to the deployment status,” said McAllister.
LogRunners seeks to fill this gap. The group currently has a little more than 90 members, some Scalyr employees and customers, and some other external “influencers” in the observability space, he said.
The inspiration for the name LogRunners comes from a bird, the Australian Logrunner to be specific, which McAllister says “is uniquely adapted” to forage and search. So the bird represents how the community will “uniquely forage and search for the WTF moments,” he said. Or, in non-text slang, to help developers determine root case and solve challenges (both common and unusual) faster in their environments.
The bird’s foraging is also meant to represent the foraging of logs that Scalyr does in its normal work.
Among the tenants of the group are ideation, or creating new concepts and ideas for code and integrations within observability; sharing information and offering support for problem-solving; identifying observability trends to act as a compass for the marketplace; creating a general knowledge base for observability; and humor.
“Any community out there has to have a certain level of humor to it,” said McAllister. For LogRunner, this is a collection of cartoons, or memes, that are related to the space. “It is one of the more interesting and active sections in any forum.”
Currently, LogRunner has a number of threads that include discussions on orchestration, distributed tracing, logs, power queries, and APIs.
The company will also have a GitHub repository for the Scalyr community, for members to submit code with open source licenses attached. “Whoever provides that code is the person who controls the code base inside of that,” said McAllister.
Before joining Scalyr in April 2017, in part to help build this community, McAllister gained experience in the open source world. At Adobe, serving as open source director, he helped build and release Flex, an open software development kit (SDK) project, and PhoneGap, an open mobile application development framework, both of which are now a part of the Apache Foundation. PhoneGap is now known as Cordoba within Apache. And at Red Hat, he ran the GlusterFS community, a scalable network filesystem for data-intensive tasks.
Scalyr named a new CEO earlier this year. Former Cisco SVP Christine Heckart took over from co-founder Steve Newman, who became the company’s chairman. Their leadership, and a pool of new talent, is meant to help Scalyr continue to grow and expand its capabilities and products.