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Cloud Native/NFV

Ex-Googlers Launch LightStep for Hybrid App Performance Management

SAN FRANCISCO -- Structure -- LightStep, founded by ex-Googlers, came out of stealth Tuesday to introduce its first product, for application performance management in environments combining microservices with legacy apps.

LightStep [x]PM provides application performance management that operates across all application components, including web and mobile clients, monolithic applications and microservices, both on-premises and in the cloud.

The product provides monitoring and troubleshooting to allow organizations to identify application bottlenecks and resolve incidents quickly, the company says.

Also on Tuesday, LightStep announced a total of $29 million funding in multiple rounds from investors including Redpoint and Sequoia.

LightStep founders Ben Sigelman, Ben Cronin and Daniel 'spoons'  Spoonhower.
LightStep founders Ben Sigelman, Ben Cronin and Daniel "spoons" Spoonhower.


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LightStep was founded in 2015 to address the challenges of enterprise application performance management created by the introduction of microservices software. Microservices makes software development faster, but increases operational complexity and dramatically increases the volume of diagnostic data, making performance management more difficult. Existing application performance management can't handle the scale, LightStep says.

"You have people running genuine mainframe applications alongside Java applications alongside microservices, all in service of the same purpose," LightStep CEO Ben Sigelman tells Enterprise Cloud News. "No company is 100% microservices. Every one of them has a previous generation monolithic core."

Using LightStep, enterprises can selectively monitor aspects of performance that matter to the business, and set off alerts or scripts for particular events. For example, one enterprise uses LightStep to create Zendesk trouble tickets within seconds of a large account experiencing performance problems.

"LightStep is something you run all the time in production. It's not something you turn on in emergencies," Sigelman says.

Initial customers include cloud communications platform Twilio, online branding service Yext, Lyft, Github, and developer-focused cloud service Digital Ocean.

Competition includes AppDynamics, which was purchased this year by Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), as well as New Relic. LightStep's competitive differentiation is that it works with heterogeneous systems, Sigelman says.

Sigelman was a senior staff engineer at Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) 2003-2012, working on large-scale systems monitoring projects -- experience he brings to bear at LightStep. He worked on the Dapper project, a distributed systems tracing infrastructure, within Google. Co-founder Daniel "spoons" Spoonhower is another Google alum, and Ben Cronin comes from Autodesk.

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— Mitch Wagner Follow me on Twitter Visit my LinkedIn profile Visit my blog Follow me on Facebook Editor, Enterprise Cloud News

harryking123 8/16/2019 | 1:24:43 AM
Re: app It is really an amazing fact that Ex-Googlers launch light set up for such hybrid application performance management. To overcome these issues can check for a solution Dart vs Javascript that would be gainful for them.
Susan Fourtané 11/28/2017 | 7:19:52 AM
Re: First steps Yes, I had thoughts in the same lines. I imagine they considered all the possibilities and odds before making the decision. Google’s employees have lots of nice benefits on top of the nice salaries. So the results of this new initiative needs to be much better than all that. Plus, they become their own boss, which is always nice.
kq4ym 11/27/2017 | 8:07:02 AM
Re: First steps While only a guess, the ex-google folks probably figure they could use their ideas and skills to reap the benefits which they would hope are greater than even the nice salaries and benefits of working as employees at Google. While it's certainly not a fool-proof plan, the gains they may reap despite the odds of success locked in the decision for them.
Susan Fourtané 11/17/2017 | 9:29:46 PM
First steps Born from a combination of Google and Autodesk’s experience I would bet that LightStep is set to have a bright future. I am curious to know why they left Google and Autodesk to create LightStep; Mitch, do you know?
mhhfive 11/14/2017 | 4:51:50 PM
Mainframe and JAVA alongside each other Wow. I didn't think too many companies ran mainframe apps alongside JAVA apps. That's interesting. I wonder what kinds of companies span that development range. Financial services? I'd guess so because they were the ones still running mainframes last time I looked.
Ariella 11/14/2017 | 11:04:13 AM
app The other two should adopt the nicknames, Knife and Fork to create a complete basic silverware setting. Anywya, this could be quite interesting. We'll have to wait to see if it takes off. 
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