My neighbor is the CEO of a startup in the observibility space. Before forming his own company he worked at Google and Facebook using their homegrown observability tools and then went into a successful start up where part of his job was choosing the engineering and cloud infrastructure tools the company used including their observability tools. I’m being deliberately vague about the name of the company he is the CEO at as well as the startup he worked at.
His company used NEWR. He said their tools were pretty good but their sales and support were a disaster. THeir company experienced really rapid growth so they quickly outgrew the contract that they signed with NEWR. NEWR never notified his company that their use had exceeded what they paid for. Instead NEWR THREW AWAY all their data that exceeded their contract. He said they looked at multiple other solutions and ended up switching to DDOG. They paid DDOG the equivalent of 5 engineering salaries but he said they would have needed to pay 10x that number of people to roll their own solution. He also said DDOG had a better solution than NEWR. He said that even those DDOG is expensive they offer an incredible ROI.
I asked why not ESTC, he said that ESTC is basically almost equivalent to rolling your own solution. Their codebase requires a huge amount of work, lots of engineering, breaks often and is too much of a hassle. He was very dismissive of them.
He had a few other comments that I found very interesting. Observibility is a hard problem as the workloads it is being applied to becomes more and more heterogeneous. The industry becomes more complex year by year and nobody has won yet. Of all the generalizable solutions he said DDOG is currently the best that he has used but still pales in comparison to the homegrown solutions at the big companies like google and facebook but he said that DDOG is solving a way harder problem because their solutions has to work across many different scenarios where facebook and google have much more defined workloads. He thinks the observibility space is still wide open.
We ran out of time but at the end i asked him about cloudflare, fsly, and AWS.
Cloudflare -great products and marketing, doesn’t have the reputation for a great engineering culture.
FSLY - great engineering culture.
AWS - Has one name but it is made up of hundreds of businesses that don’t talk to each other, sometimes compete with each other and don’t necessarily work well together. Some solutions are really good, some are really bad.
I hope everyone is staying safe between the fires, pandemics, hurricanes and general 2020 craziness. Stay safe and be kind to each other!