As wider adoption of DevOps methodologies continues to foster demand for new tooling to help streamline evolving workflows, at least one vendor is attempting to address the growing need for related monitoring capabilities.
Librato, a San Francisco-based provider of Amazon AWS applications performance monitoring (APM) services, claims that it is finding favor among the rapidly expanding DevOps community driven by its ability to inject critical visibility into the engineering lifecycle.
Acquired by Austin, Texas-based SolarWinds in January for a lofty $40 million and renamed Librato SolarWinds Cloud, the company is touting its recent adoption by well-known providers such as Slack for monitoring of DevOps-centric applications performance and health metrics.
“At its core, DevOps is destroying conventional wisdom around ritualized processes and the need to perform them, mostly in the domain of scale,” said Dave Josephsen, Developer Evangelist at Librato. “By attempting to include monitoring as a key element of the development lifecycle, this has created a whole new range of challenges, and opportunities.”
By providing a centralized Web interface and open API to help create visibility into critical applications engineering requirements, Librato maintains that it is creating the tooling necessary to empower integrated development and deployment processes, such as continuous change control.
“There are a lot of disparate tools for monitoring individual engineering tasks, but there hasn’t been any practical way to bubble up that data for efficient monitoring,” Josephsen said. “Within the context of DevOps, change control is a ritual that we’ve abandoned as we’ve embraced test driven development and automated away the human element, so there’s a distinct need for monitoring of feedback and metrics.”
For example, cloud-based productivity messaging specialists Slack are using the Librato “StatsD” lightweight daemon process to stream business and app-health metrics regarding PHP applications into the monitoring platform. Slack also leverages Librato to chart data regarding connect, query and fetch latencies for its server clusters, and to monitor internal metrics about overall system health.
“Having those graphs side-by-side lets us clearly see and compare the effects of network latency on one of our new services, and that’s very cool,” Richard Crowley, director of operations at Slack, wrote in a recent testimonial posted to the Librato Solarwinds blog.
Industry experts agree that broader adoption of DevOps strategies will continue to drive demand for relevant monitoring tools, with solutions such as Librato seeking to deliver “modern stack architecture for looking at the modern stack.”
“I think that APM is always interesting because it’s always new,” said James Governor, industry analyst with RedMonk. “The pace with which we’re building new architectures to deliver services to end users is increasing all the time, and with every new wave of technology, we tend to get new and associated models of APM tooling.”
Librato is taking advantage of the need for a system that brings together the elements necessary for cloud native monitoring, and in an agentless manner different from other competing tools such as New Relic, the analyst noted.
However, whether or not the platform is able to break down traditional engineering siloes to enable more efficient DevOps management, as Librato officials claim, remains to be seen, he said.
“Each wave of technology has promised to do this, to remove the inherent finger pointing, and each has always made the same claim to break down organizational firewalls,” Governor said. “DevOps hasn’t boiled the ocean in this manner yet, but there are some unique opportunities; unlike previous waves, where automation was intended to replace humans, this is now about augmenting people, and we are seeing that teams are choosing new tools from which developers can truly derive value.”