Monitor all aspects of your operation with Librato Metrics

Monitor all aspects of your operation with Librato MetricsWhat is the name of your business and URL?

The name of the web application we created is “Metrics” and the URL to its website is https://metrics.librato.com/. The name of our company is Librato.

A brief synopsis of the website / application:

Metrics is a web-based service for monitoring metrics that are important for an organization to deliver and maintain a service with the quality its customers expect. It accepts any type of time series data sent via its API and takes care of redundant storage, visualization and alerting. Users can create dashboards and easily correlate metrics from different sources, such as existing open source or commercial monitoring tools, sensor networks, and tools that collect custom metrics for their operation. Delivered as a service, Metrics can be deployed in minutes without up-front investments.

Why did you start this company?

We started Librato to help companies with monitoring and managing the performance and resource consumption of their applications through our “Silverline” Application Resource Management service. In working with our Silverline customers, we found that they greatly appreciated the storage, visualization and alerting component of the service. In fact, many of them asked us if we could make this part of Silverline available for other data they were monitoring. As we researched the topic in more detail, we became convinced that there is a new “Measure Everything” principle for on-line businesses that caused our customers to ask this question. As more businesses deliver services on the Internet, it becomes imperative that they are able to respond instantly to any unforeseen event that may disrupt their service. This means that the data that can alert them of unusual events must be collected on a continuous basis and that the data required to find and fix the root cause of any problems has to be available when they need it. It is not acceptable that customer complaints are the first signal of trouble, and there is no time to try and find details that have not already been collected.

It became clear to us that there is an important need for a time-series data management platform that can handle metrics from a wide variety of sources, and decided to develop Metrics.

How could you effectively use these tools?

Metrics is a general purpose platform for storing, visualizing and acting on time-series data, which means that it can be used for a variety of applications and use cases. We’ll briefly describe some of the most prominent ones below.

  • Cloud and Data Center Resource Monitoring and Control

Many companies use a combination of open source, commercial, and custom built tools to monitor and manage their IT infrastructure. The challenge with this approach is that they have to learn and operate a variety of different tools and look at multiple screens to try an correlate data from different sources. Metrics provides a unified environment for storing, visualizing, analyzing and acting on the data that is being monitored. It can show data originating from different sources in the same dashboard and even the same graphs, and it can overlay graphs from different periods to help analyze what changed. It also provides a uniform event handling system for reacting to events based on pre-set values of monitored data. We support a number of popular open source collection agents “out of the box”, and customers can easily create collectors for any other data they want to monitor through our RESTful API.

  • Sensor-based Monitoring and Control

Companies that deploy sensor networks for monitoring environmental parameters (temperature, humidity, light, wind, levels of chemicals, vibration, etc.) and control of devices can use Metrics to store, visualize, analyze and act on the data collected from the sensors. Sensor networks can be deployed in buildings, on farms, for monitoring pollution levels, etc.

  • Dashboard for SaaS and PaaS services

Companies delivering web-based applications that need to provide their customers with information about their use of the service can use Metrics for storing and visualizing any time-series data they want to share with their users. They can integrate Metrics at 3 levels, depending on their needs: (i) they can use the data stored by Metrics to create their own visualizations, (ii) they can embed our instruments into their own dashboards, or (iii) they can use our dashboards.

Why would a small business, entrepreneur, freelancer, etc use your product?

As mentioned earlier, one of the new rule for on-line businesses is “Measure Everything”. This rule also applies to small business and individual entrepreneurs that deliver web-based services. However, they generally do not have the expertise and cannot afford to build the necessary infrastructure. As a SaaS platform with a 30-day free trial and a very favorable pay-per-use and pay-as-you go pricing model, Metrics allows small businesses and individual entrepreneurs to adopt the “Measure Everything” principle without up-front investments or long-term commitments.

Who is your competition, and what do you do better?

Our closest competitors are ScoutApp, Server Density, StatsMix and Circonus. We differentiate ourselves from our competitors in several ways:

1. Embeddable platform

Metrics was built from the ground up with an “API first” approach, allowing customers and partners to easily integrate and embed it’s features at whatever level best fits their needs: data repository, instruments or complete “white label” dashboards. They can programmatically create user accounts and transparently sign their users onto the Metrics service, further contributing to a seamless experience. This flexibility also makes it possible to use Metrics for a wide variety of applications, be it monitoring of cloud or data center infrastructures or sensor networks in farms, buildings, factories, etc.

2.High resolution data feeds

Most of our competitors support minimum sampling intervals of 1 minute or higher. In environments where it is important to respond quickly to events and identify the root cause of problems using historic data, higher sampling frequencies can mean the difference between unhappy and happy users, and reduce the effort and time to resolution of response time or service interruption issues. That is why metrics supports sampling intervals as low as 1 second.

3.Business model and pricing

Most of our competitors are focused on monitoring data in IT environments and charge their customers per server. Prices tend to be at a level that discourages broad adoption and monitoring of large numbers of metrics. As mentioned before, Metrics is a generic time-series data platform that can handle data from any type of source and our business model supports that flexibility by simply charging our users based on the number of measurements they send us ($0.20 per 100,000 measurements). Pricing is also significantly below that of our competitors, enabling customers to monitor all metrics that are important to their operation without racking up expenses that significantly exceed the cost they would incur for a home-grown monitoring infrastructure.

4.Ease of Use

Our users spend a significant part of their time monitoring and managing their operations. We believe that providing them with tools that are visually pleasing and intuitive in their use not only contributes to the quality of our user’s working life but also effectiveness with which they can do their jobs.

A short bio of your company

Librato started its life as “Evergrid”, a company that spun out of Virginia Tech University to productize and sell products for managing workloads in High Performance Computing and enterprise data-centers. In 2009 the company decided to switch to a SaaS deployment and business model, followed by the launch of its Silverline Application Resource Management service in Q4 of 2010. The idea to develop Metrics resulted from strong positive feedback received from our Silverline customers on the storage and visualization capabilities of Silverline. Metrics Beta testing started in Q2 of 2011 and we launched the service in December of 2011.

Do you offer free online or offline tools?

We offer a 30 day free trial, after which we charge users at a rate of $0.20 per 100,000 measurements. We charge on a monthly basis for the number of measurements sent during the month. There are no minimum fees.

Are there different pricing levels?

We charge a flat fee per measurement and have a volume discount schedule for customers consuming more than $400/mo in services. We also have a flexible pre-payment arrangement that allows customers to earn further discounts. For more details visit our pricing page: https://metrics.librato.com/pricing

Do you have a blog that keeps users updated?

Yes, you can find it at http://blog.librato.com/. We use the blog to keep our users updated on the company and our products and share our thoughts about relevant developments in the industry and the market.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or ? Provide exact URL of each

Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Librato/197240823633950

Twitter:https://twitter.com/#!/librato

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/373662

YouTube — Do you have a YouTube video URL that you can share with us, and allow us to publish with your story?

Not on YouTube, but here’s a link to a video on Vimeo:

Introduction to Metrics from Librato on Vimeo.

Monitor all aspects of your operation with Librato MetricsNumber of current users? Estimated yearly growth?

During the Beta period about 200 users opened a Metrics account, a good fraction of them with an interest in using a white label version for their customer base. Since we officially launched the service early December 2011, all of these are still in their free trial period, but based on the early interest we expect to sign up hundreds of paying customers during 2012 and over one thousand in 2013.

How do you see your company in the next 2-5 years (more products or services?)

We look at Metrics as a platform for applications, in the same way database management systems are platforms for applications. Our goal with Metrics is to establish it as a de-facto standard platform for applications that need to manage time-series data. To accomplish this we’ll make the service available through our web site and work with partners who use the platform to deliver monitoring and visualization services to their customers.

In the IT space we will build a community and ecosystem around Metrics with tools and applications that customers can use to monitor and manage their cloud and data center infrastructures. In other markets we’ll work with partners who use Metrics as a platform for solutions they provide to their customers.

How many employees do you currently have working with you and/or freelance contractors?

We have about 10 people working with us.

What other web based products would you recommend to entrepreneurs, business owners, or freelancers?

Web based products we use ourselves include Campfire, Github, Google Analytics, Google AWS, Google Docs, Google Hangout, GoToMeeting, Highrise, Kissmetrics, Librato Silverline, LinkedIn, PaperTrail, Skype, and Totango.

 

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One Response to “Monitor all aspects of your operation with Librato Metrics”

  1. Carl says:

    Great information to know. When you start a business, it is very important to be able to measure your results.

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