Lumigo finds itself in the middle of one of the biggest waves in infrastructure deployment today, serverless. This is no accident, the company was started about a year ago with the mission of providing a serverless intelligence platform.
The founders are ex-Checkpoint folks who saw the need for a best practices based platform to help deploy serverless payloads (apps) across different public cloud providers including AWS Lamdba, Azure and Google Cloud.
In this DevOps Chat we spoke with Aviad Mor, CTO, co-founder of Lumigo about the company and the serverless market. As usual, the streaming audio is immediately below, followed by the transcript of our conversation.
Alan Shimel: Hey, everyone, this is Alan Shimel, DevOps.com, Security Boulevard, Container Journal and you’re listening to another DevOps Chat. Today’s guest on DevOps Chat is Aviad Mor, who’s the CTO/Co-founder of a company called Lumigo?
Aviad Mor: Right, right.
Shimel: Okay. Aviad, welcome!
Mor: Hi, Alan. I’m very excited to be here on your podcast today.
Shimel: We’re excited to have you here. So, Aviad, let’s start off with this. I don’t think a lot of people—and maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think a lot of people in our audience are quite familiar with Lumigo yet. Give us the background. What’s the company about?
Mor: Okay, sure. I’d be very happy to. So, Lumigo is a startup. We were founded about a year ago, and we’re in the serverless domain. We’re a company that’s focusing on serverless monitoring and troubleshooting, and what we’re doing is, we’re giving customers the ability to see their system, understand what’s happening, and in general, allow them to adopt serverless.
Shimel: Absolutely. And of course, you know, serverless is really one of the hot—I mean, it’s a buzz word and it’s overhyped and everything else, but it really is one of the hot technologies for, you know, next gen infrastructure as we continue to move away from just pure Infrastructure as a Service to Platform as a Service and now serverless to host your distributed applications.
I think—you know, Aviad, we live in a bubble where we say serverless, people know what we’re talking about, right?
Shimel: But we sometimes need to remember that—forget non-IT people. They think serverless and they must think it’s some kinda black magic. But even people who maybe aren’t up on cloud architecture and some of the latest containerization and application hosting, they’re not 100 percent sure what serverless is.
For many people, it’s almost synonymous, now, with Lambda, right, with AWS’ Lambda platform.
Mor: Right, right.
Shimel: You know, I’m sure—go ahead.
Mor: Right. So, Lambda, I think, is—it’s in the heart of serverless. AWS, when they announced Lambda about four or five years ago, that was the beginning of the serverless movement. And what Lambda is, is a function as a service. It’s fast. And that allows us to see—it allows the users to run their compute, run specific parts of their code without having to take care of any server, any container. They just write their code, upload it to the cloud provider, and decide what’s the trigger for that code.
Mor: So, they can run it without any issues, without having to install anything, without having to update when there’s any security issues. But I want to say something—I think that Lambda and Function as a Service, that’s more of the technical part. I think that, in many ways, serverless is a way of thinking. Because serverless goes with the whole ecosystem around it. You have a database which is serverless and API gateways and, for example, file storage which is also serverless. And that’s important, because when you want to build a full architecture in the cloud, a full application, you can’t only use functions. You need to use all of those different parts together and you now can have a full architecture, which is composed of only things that you did not install, okay?
Mor: So, I think the main part of serverless is that the servers are somebody else’s problem. For example, AWS or Google or Microsoft, whichever cloud you’re running on.
Shimel: Sure. Absolutely, and that is the piece of it, right? Where, with cloud, the infrastructure was someone else’s—so, you’re talking to someone who was in the hosting and infrastructure business in the dot com days, right? And we used to sell what we call power, ping, and pipe, right? And then, with cloud, you didn’t have to—you didn’t sell power, ping, and pipe. You provided that, people didn’t really care, and they just built on top of the hypervisor.
Now, we’re seeing, they don’t even care all the way even through the OS at some point, right? They’re just putting it on—they’re just uploading their application.
You know, we mentioned AWS Lambda, but you also mentioned Microsoft and Google cloud, and though I think AWS, like in much of cloud, is probably the leading player—not probably, is the leading player in serverless—you know, Microsoft and Google have some very fine offerings as well.
Mor: Right, right.
Shimel: I wonder what you’re seeing in the market. So, you deal with it much more than I.
Mor: Right. So, you know, when we’re looking at our customers, we see that AWS is the clear leader. I think the numbers are somewhere around 60 or 70 percent in serverless. But Google and Microsoft Azure, they’re giving a real fight. And they keep on putting forward innovation and they’re giving sometimes even things that you don’t have in AWS.
Mor: So, it’s easier for them to add the serverless in the same cloud.
Shimel: Let me ask you a question—what about serverless not in the cloud? If you wanna call it provide serverless, on prem serverless—are you seeing anything with that?
Mor: Right, yes. So, we are seeing that. Very little, I must say. Usually, it’s open source—so, you have, for example, OpenWhisk and others. We see that usually in places where they can’t run in the public cloud.
So, just a simple example of that would be the defense forces where they don’t want to run on the public cloud, they run them themselves. But usually, it is in the public, because I think the main thing in serverless is having somebody else taking care of everything for you.
So, at the end of the day, if you’re still building the infrastructure and running open source, it’s great, but you’re still very much aware of how many servers you have, how to scale them, and any issues that you need to update manually.
So, I think the public cloud here is a clear leader.
Shimel: Sure. Okay enough about serverless. Well, we’re gonna talk more about serverless, but let’s now talk a little bit about Lumigo, right, and what it is you guys do for people who are hosting apps in a serverless environment.
I looked at it, and to me, a little bit of APN for serverless, if you will. But there’s also sort of a pre-deployment best practices approach to—so you can check before you deploy. Are you using best practices? Is this the right way to do it? And then, post-deployment monitoring and alerting as well. Fair?
Mor: Yes. So, I think that in general, you got it. I think that APN won’t be completely wrong. But we do have, in serverless, new challenges, right? It’s a new technology, it offers amazing things, but at the end of the day, it’s new, and it has its own challenges.
And one of the major challenges is that serverless is distributed by its very nature. So, when you go serverless, you have a lot of different parts, microservices, and each one of them, it’s very easy to deploy and see exactly how it’s doing. But if you’re, for example, the DevOps, who is in charge of this operation, you want to see how the whole system is working together. You want to see how they’re all connected.
And that’s becoming very hard in the serverless world, and that’s why you need something like Lumigo to map everything for you, to show you a visualization of your environment, and that way you can see where you have issues where you’re spending a lot of money, maybe, that’s one point that we’ll talk about. And like you said, you were completely right—sometimes you can catch these things before you deploy them. Serverless comes with a lot of small things, skill sets that I think developers will have over time. But right now, we can help them save money and save time just by looking at the Lambdas right before they deploy them and tell them how they can make it better.
Shimel: Fair enough. So, what about—you know, I just can’t help but think, not everyone’s gonna move their entire infrastructure to serverless, right? So, for the foreseeable future, you’re gonna have sort of a hybrid, the same way we do with cloud, frankly, right? It’s a hybrid cloud environment, you have hybrid applications environment. Some of my applications might be in a serverless environment, some aren’t in a serverless environment, et cetera.
How do—you know, real world examples, companies have both—what do they, how do they, can Lumigo help them across the board, or does Lumigo them integrate into something else, or do we just need different tools and different views into the different ways we’re hosting our applications.
Mor: Alan, I think that’s a great question. We started out focusing on serverless because we saw that’s where the greatest pain point is. But the more we’re seeing customers using serverless, some of them are, let’s call it, pure environments of only serverless. But it’s also very common to have them both, to have a hybrid environment where you have both, for example, Kubernetes and serverless.
So, now, we’re starting to look at containers and Kubernetes and see how they’re all working together. So, now if, for example, you have a Lambda that has a failure in it, you can see the exact chain of events that led to that failure, and it doesn’t matter if what called that Lambda was another Lambda or maybe a container, it doesn’t matter. You can see and go through all of those different calls and fix and find the root cause as quickly as possible.
Shimel: Excellent. Aviad, as I mentioned to you, the time goes quick. This is another area I wanted to hit on, and that’s your personal journey. You know, whenever I’m lucky enough to have a co-founder or a CTO kind of person on the show, I always like—because there’s people out there listening that are just starting in their careers or they wanna get into this, or maybe they’ve worked in companies, but they aspire or dream to start their own, to found a company.
Give your audience a little bit about your personal background and how you got here.
Mor: [Laughter] Well, sure, sure. I’ve worked most of my career in Checkpoint, which is a big company, and actually in Israel, it’s one of the biggest cyber security—actually, in the whole world, it’s one of the biggest cyber security companies.
And after many years there, I decided to make the move. I have to admit, on one hand, it was always a dream to do that, always a dream to do something of my own, something small. On the other hand, it wasn’t easy, and I got the opportunity to do it with ________, who wasn’t only a colleague, he was also a very, very good friend, which, we knew that we would have to work together.
But I’ll give you an example of one of the issues. People, you know, came up to me and said, “Best of luck, but you know, you’re too old. You’re already 38, you have a wife and three daughters. You won’t be able to do this. This is only a young player’s game.”
Mor: But, you know, it’s like—it’s a burning desire. You know that you have to do this, and after I got into it, first of all, of course, I got my family’s blessing, because without that, without my wife doing that, it wouldn’t be possible.
And then I also was very happy to see that the experience that I already gained does have some meaning. It’s not only the fact that you’re [Laughter] I’m saying old, like they called me, but it does have meaning that you have experience and you know how to work with customers and work in a big enterprise. And at the end of the day, it’s a great combination.
So, now, when I look at it, it’s very hard work. I don’t see my daughters as much as I would want to, but I know it’s one of the best decisions I made in my life. And I can tell you that one of the most exciting things is to see in production, in customers’ production, something that Erez and myself envisioned, and it was on a PowerPoint, like, a year ago. And now it’s running and helping actual customers? That’s a great feeling, it truly is.
Shimel: I know, it’s very fulfilling—look, I’ve been there. And you wanna know the truth, 38 is not that old for a startup. Because, through startup to startup, I’m trying to think back. I started my first company—I was maybe 33, actually, 34. But I do think that you need a certain amount of experience, right?
Now, there are some people who tell you that working in a culture like Checkpoint, as big as it is, is still rather entrepreneurial, right, versus working in IBM or one of these really big companies. And so—and also, the whole Israeli tech scene. It’s a startup country, and I think that kinda helps, too.
But, you know, you mentioned something that I think people don’t give founders enough credit for, which is—it’s not easy, and you spend a lot of nights away from your family and a lot of hard hours and weekends and business trips and, you know, doing what you gotta do. Where, a lot of people who work at jobs, at the end of the day, they go home with a clear head, right? And so, it is that.
Last topic I want to hit before we—because we are, we’re probably in overtime right now, Aviad, but I want you to talk about the role of Kubernetes in serverless. I’m going to KubeCon after we finish this podcast, and you know, they seem to be linked, but not linked, right? [Laughter] What’s your take on that?
Mor: Mm-hmm. I think that, at the end, they’re linked in two ways. I think that we have to remember, although the cloud provider is the one doing it, but serverless functions are running on containers, right? So, they’re probably running on Kubernetes or something similar to it. That’s at the infrastructure level, although you, as a developer, really don’t care about that.
But the other part, I think that as serverless grows, and we are seeing it growing, it won’t replace Kubernetes. It will be alongside of it, and I think that the future technology stack will be a combination of serverless things like Kubernetes and SaaS, right? All of those together will give each and every company the best solution they can get.
Shimel: Excellent. Aviad Mor, CTO, Co-founder, Lumigo—thanks for being our guest on this DevOps Chat.
Mor: Alan, thank you so much. It was a real pleasure.
Shimel: Alrighty. This is Alan Shimel for MediaOps, DevOps.com, Security Boulevard, Container Journal—you’ve just listened to another DevOps Chat. Have a great day, everyone.