Scalyr, a log-monitoring service that gives developers more insight into how their applications are performing (or why they aren’t), today announced that it has raised a $2.1 million seed round led by Susa Ventures. Other participants in this round include Bloomberg Beta, Google Ventures and Sherpalo Ventures.
That’s a pretty illustrious group of investors for what may seem like a bit of an esoteric product at first, but Scalyr founder Steve Newman previously founded Writely, which he then sold to Google and which formed the basis for Google Docs.
As Newman tells me, the original idea for Scalyr actually took form during his time at Google. Like other businesses, Google uses a variety of tools to run its services, and all of them have their own sets of tools to track the performance and to diagnose problems. “We worked with server logs and other data, but the amount of work it took to jump from tool to tool and correlate lots of different things got hard,” Newman said.
The idea behind Scalyr, then, is to get all of this data from server logs, as well as various metrics, error reports and other performance data and run it through a single tool that you can get actionable data from. Services like Splunk and Loggly offer similar log management services, but Newman says those tools make it easy to see anecdotes and it’s hard to roll that up into an overview. He also noted that he doesn’t see New Relic as a competitor either because that company’s focus tends to be on performance, while Scalyr focuses more on errors.
Log files can quickly grow very large, and analyzing them takes quite a bit of compute power. The team built a new data management engine for its service to handle all of this data.
The Scalyr team has been working on the service for about three years now. They did a silent launch two years ago but decided to keep things quiet as they worked with early customers and improved and validated the product. Now that the team has this additional funding, it’s ready for more customers, too.
Newman tells me that he is happy with the state of the core product, but the company plans to launch more connectors so developers can pull in data from more sources (today, it offers an agent developers can install on their machines, as well as support the likes of Heroku and Amazon’s RDS and CloudWatch services). Newman tells me that one of his goals is also to give users more guidance and help them figure out what kind of queries they should run to get the most out of their data.
Currently, Scalyr is a four-person team, but the company plans to use its new funds to hire a few more people.