Nearly every network administrator has been on night duty when their pager buzzes or they get a smartphone alert of a network issue, one they’ve fixed a hundred times before, yet still forcing them to get out of bed to deal with it. YC backed startup, Neptune.io wants to change that by providing automated fixes for common networking problems, allowing those on-call admins to sleep just a bit better and only wake up for more serious issues.
Co-founder Kiran Gollu reports he used to work at Amazon Web Services, and he knows a thing or two about being woken several times a night because he’s had to deal with this very issue. “If the disk is full or a process breaks, you have to get out of bed and take a half hour or 45 minutes to fix it,” Gollu explained. “I worked at Amazon for five years. I was waking up and fixing these problems, and it was frustrating to do these things.”
It’s one of the big reasons he and his co-founder Satish Talluri, came up with this product, which he says slots nicely between monitoring tools like New Relic and AppDynamics and alerting tools like PagerDuty. NewRelic and AppDyamics are watching for problems. PagerDuty is compiling alerts and sending them to the appropriate administrator on call.
Where Neptune.io comes in is it offers those administrators a couple of options for fixing the issue including scripts that automate fixing several common problems. For example, if the disk is full, it cleans out logs or archives old files. If memory utilization is too high, it would initiate a thread dump.
Gollu says the script can be written in any language depending on the needs of the customer. “That way, we could run any shell command. If users are concerned about security, they could restrict the permissions on what commands neptune can run,” he explained
Neptune can also provide an email alert with some suggested ways of resolving the problem. So for example, let’s say the disk is full. Your monitoring tool will let you know this, but won’t give you any context or help in fixing it, forcing you to dig into it and find some large files you could offload. Neptune.io offers suggestions to save you time.
He pointed out that many of the bigger players like Netflix, Google and Facebook create these types of repair scripts themselves in-house, but don’t share them publicly. Meanwhile the monitoring tool companies offer some scripting, but he says it’s more basic than what Neptune.io is offering because it’s their total focus.
For now, AWS is their primary market target and for starters they are looking at medium-sized businesses with 50-100 servers and one engineer working on the AWS installation. They eventually hope to expand that to other cloud infrastructure products and larger installations.
They also plan to connect to the monitoring ecosystem so they are talking to monitoring and alerting tool companies, so IT pros can have a monitoring system that works smoothly together.
Gollu reports that they have been around since November and became a part of the YC incubator this summer. They are live with their product and they have paying customers. He also says they are self-financing through savings. They hope to do more formal fundraising in the fall.
They are live on the Neptune.io website and he reports they have paying customers today as part of a pilot program.IMAGE BY Flickr USER Adrian Clark UNDER CC BY ND-2.0 LICENSE