I recently joined the marketing team at Scalyr. I left my previous role last fall and took some time off. After a bit of travel, I spent the last few months exploring what I wanted to do next. In my next opportunity, I wanted a product first company and a culture that aligned with my values. Throughout my search, I met with several dozen people and companies, some casual catch-ups and others more formal interviews. I wanted to share some of the lessons I learned in my process that ultimately made me believe Scalyr was the right place for me.
We are excited to have CareerBuilder as a customer here at Scalyr. I recently sat down with Leon Chapman, Director of Cloud Operations at CareerBuilder, to learn more about their decision to use Scalyr and the impact the product is having on their teams and customer experience.
CareerBuilder chose Scalyr as their log management tool. After moving to the cloud two years ago, the team was looking to consolidate tools across their 250 person engineering organization. As a customer facing product, being able to identify issues quickly helps CareerBuilder deliver a better customer experience for the millions of people who use their products and services each day.
In particular, CareerBuilder found that when comparing Scalyr to other products, Scalyr beat the competition in:
- Ability to scale without needing to manage infrastructure
Here at Scalyr, we’re big fans of Complaint-Driven Development, which I’ll summarize as “focus engineering effort on fixing the things users actually complain about.” We especially focus on issues that generate support requests, with such success that, as CEO, I’m still able to personally handle the majority of frontline support – even as we head toward eight-digit annual revenue.
An important consideration is that support requests cost money even if they aren’t your (product’s) fault. In this post, I’ll explore five common sources of support requests relating to the first piece of Scalyr software most users touch – our log collection agent – and how we’ve sometimes had to think outside the box to address them. None of these were bugs, exactly. (We’ve had those as well, but you don’t need to read a blog post to know it’s a good idea to fix bugs.)
Arguably, none of these issues were “our fault.” But they generated a significant fraction of our support tickets. By eliminating them, we’ve reduced support costs significantly. Even more important, we’ve increased the probability that a user’s first experience with Scalyr is positive, especially for those users (a majority!) who will bounce off of a new product at the first sign of trouble, without bothering to ask for help.
“For Scalyr, it’s about speed, scale, and simplicity in log management,” is the title of 451 Research’s recent report on Scalyr. Nancy reached out to us to discuss our product a few weeks ago. We gave her a demo and spoke a number of times in detail about Scalyr. I was excited when I saw that she had decided to write about us and I’m even more excited to share the content of that report with the greater Scalyr family.
To help get the word out about Scalyr, we’re looking for people to write honest reviews of our product on GetApp and Capterra. If you take the time to write a review on one of those sites we’ll send you a $20 gift card for either Starbucks or Amazon (please see details below).
To write a review on GetApp you need to have a LinkedIn account and be willing to sign into GetApp with it, but your review can be anonymous once posted. For Capterra you need to give your email address and the name of the company where you used the product that you are reviewing, and finished reviews will include your name and company name.
We are only looking for reviews from current Scalyr customers or Scalyr trial users who have uploaded data and spent more than two hours using Scalyr. In order to qualify for the gift cards, please send the following information to email@example.com:
- a link to the review in question
- your name and the email address you use to log into scalyr
- the email address where you’d like us to send the gift card code
We’ll take honest reviews anytime, but this particular offer of a gift card when you review us expires on February 17th, 2017. All gift cards will be issued for USD $20 from the US Starbucks or US Amazon website.
Thanks in advance!
Our new UI is now the default
We flipped the switch, and our new UI is now the default. The original UI will still be available for a while, but to access it, you’ll have to click on the settings menu (upper-right corner of the window) and choose “Flip To Classic UI”.
If there’s a reason you prefer our original UI, please let us know! We’re working hard to make this an easy transition.
The log timeline chart now includes both line and bar graphs
By popular demand, we’ve superimposed the old “events per second” line graph over the bar chart. This allows you to see fine-grained spikes and changes in message frequency. Note that the Y axis is scaled for the bar chart only.
A few years ago, we set out to rebuild server and log monitoring from the ground up. Today marks a new and exciting chapter in the story. To tell it properly, let me take you back to a simpler time: the year 2005.
I had just co-founded Writely — “The Web Word Processor!” — and usage was skyrocketing. We ran the whole thing on four leased servers in Texas. It was the clunkiest setup you’d ever seen, but there were few moving parts and it wasn’t much trouble to manage.
Within a year, we were acquired by Google, merged with a spreadsheet app, renamed “Google Docs”, and relaunched on Google infrastructure. The new system was infinitely more scalable, but quite complex. We depended on a slew of independent services: load balancing, data storage, user identity, email, spell checking, and more.
Amazon has posted the talks from re:Invent on YouTube. The video from the EBS session is here. My brief presentation on “Benchmarking in the Cloud” starts at the 30:16 mark (direct link). You can download my slides here.
It was a terrific conference. The pace of development, and just plain enthusiasm and energy, around cloud services in general and AWS in particular is just amazing. I do recommend checking out some of the talks if you have time.
The video to my talk on server monitoring (“Famous Outages, and How To Not Have Them”) is now available:
Thanks to Box for providing the venue and a good crowd, and thanks to the crowd for a great response. The talk is aimed at anyone who is running a production system, large or small. The focus is on how to get good monitoring coverage for a reasonable investment in effort; spiced up with plenty of stories about real-world production outages.
I’ll be speaking briefly on the subject of Cloud Benchmarks at Amazon’s re: Invent conference, in Las Vegas this week. This will be a brief presentation during the “Using Amazon Elastic Block Store” session, 2:05 Wednesday afternoon in Venetian B. If you happen to be at the conference, come check it out — if not for my presentation, then for Scot VanDenPlas, devops lead for the noted Obama for America technology effort, who will be speaking in the same session.
We’ll be around the show on Wednesday and Thursday. If you’re going to be there and would like to chat (about server monitoring, cloud benchmarks, or anything else), drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.