Lightrun today announced it has made its namesake debugging tools available for applications deployed in on-premises IT environments that, for one reason or another, can’t be deployed on a cloud platform.
lan Peleg, CEO of Lightrun, said Lightrun is unique in that software teams can capture live production data from software installed on their customers’ sites via a set of command line interfaces (CLIs). That approach eliminates the need for the end customer to set up a separate environment to troubleshot an application, said Peleg.
Instead, software teams can troubleshoot their software without requiring on-site visits by support engineers or even a phone call, Peleg said.
Lightrun makes it possible to add logs, virtual “breakpoints” and metrics while an application is running. Those capabilities are critical because many applications are not fully instrumented. Lightrun makes it simpler to triage issues by adding a missing log line, instrumenting a new metric or taking a snapshot of an application as it runs in a production environment. Those capabilities make it possible to find bottlenecks and errors without requiring the application to stop running.
The performance impacts of Lightrun range from tens to hundreds of microseconds per invocation to minimize overhead, Peleg said.
In general, Peleg said, debugging applications is becoming more challenging. Monolithic applications continue to grow in size while emerging microservices-based applications have dependencies that make them challenging to debug. Many organizations are employing application performance management (APM) platforms and other observability tools to try and address these issues. However, those platforms require IT teams to continuously collect data, and even then there is no guarantee the insights needed to troubleshoot an application will be surfaced. Lightrun, conversely, makes it possible for developers to troubleshoot an application and capture the metrics needed in real-time. That data can then be shared with an APM platform to make it easier to address similar issues if required, Peleg said.
As developers become more accountable for application performance, many of them are not going to want to employ the same tools and processes that IT operations teams have historically relied on. Lightrun provides a lighter-weight approach to troubleshooting applications, within the context of a DevOps workflow, that doesn’t require as much overhead, said Peleg.
Although observability is a core DevOps principle, many organizations have been unable to achieve it in a meaningful way. There is no shortage of tools for monitoring IT environments, but correlating all the data those tools generate is problematic. It’s not uncommon for organizations to spend weeks trying to identify the source of an issue that only takes a few minutes to fix. Now that developers are assuming more responsibility for managing the entire lifecycle of an application it is likely different approaches to achieving observability will be considered.
In the meantime, as the number of applications deployed in production environments continues to increase, different approaches to debugging software will be required. Otherwise, at the current rate of deployment, it won’t be long before developers find themselves spending most of their time debugging existing applications, versus actually writing new code.