Dynamic Observability at Scale with Live Logger

Today we’re delighted to welcome to the show Shahar Fogel, co-Founder and CEO of Rookout, a company that provides secure and fast data access by equipping engineering teams with solid solutions that allow them to understand their code and increase productivity, velocity, and efficiency.

In this interview episode, we talked about the advantages of Live Logger and Dynamic Observability tools for modern enterprises, the updates and tech announcements during the upcoming KubCon event, and innovations driven by customers’ needs.

Watch&Listen to the full episode here.

Shahar Fogel

Co-Founder&CEO at Rookout

I heard about a new product called ‘Live Logger’. Can you talk about why you built it?

We released our Live Logger solution a few months ago, and it’s become an essential part of our entire Observability suite. The Live Logger enables the developers to turn off and on the verbosity level to debug mode or info mode when needed. You can filter the data types and logs coming in by username, session name, URL, or whatever is contextual to your investigation. You can switch it on, get the logs you already have in your production environments entirely on the fly, and then switch it off. It doesn’t affect cost; it doesn’t affect performance. Live Logger enables you to shed light on what engineering/ops teams already have in place. 

I’ve seen Rookout talk a lot about “Dynamic Observability” recently. Can you tell our audience what this means and how it’s different from traditional Observability?

There’re many excellent players in the market, but their notion is static – you have to pre-think and pre-define everything you do. It’s a paradox because if you’re pre-thinking where all the bugs are, most likely, you’ll fix them beforehand. Unfortunately, bugs occur where you didn’t think they would be.

With Rookout’s Dynamic Observability, you don’t have to rewrite code or redeploy; with a click of a button, you can understand the context, get the data you need, all on the fly. You can remove logs or keep them running dynamically. 

Most of our clients have existing observability solutions, but they also leverage the Rookout tools to complement and enable their applications to be dynamic and save tremendous amounts of time and effort in understanding and debugging production environments.

KubeCon is happening this month, and Kubernetes is a prevalent technology. Are Rookout customers using it?

Kubernetes adoption is extensive, and it’s on the rise. At Rookout, we’re looking at the trends and understand that enterprises are moving towards distributed applications and the whole distributed environments. We support these trends by developing practical tools because this is where the main pains of the companies are. 

Kubernetes gave enterprises many opportunities to be more agile, flexible, better support their customers. Unfortunately, these tools have been built mainly for DevOps while engineers kept working with the existing toolset, IDs and logs that are not enough for efficient application troubleshooting.

You have to understand the traces; which version is running on that machine? How is it behaving? How is it communicating between different Kubernetes pods? Understanding is the most significant chunk of usage and workout in these environments. Not only in Kubernetes production environments but also in pre-production and staging. To answer these questions and solve many dependencies, companies use Rookout in closer environments to understand faster, get the data with a click of a button and move on. 

Do you have anything new that you are announcing at the event to help Kubernetes users?

One of the announcements is a new feature within the platform for cloud-native debug sessions. We’re getting the visual understanding of your entire cluster around Kubernetes, around your pods, what’s happening in your cluster in relation to the application and the code by giving you the visual experience of diving into a specific pod. That feature helps you understand the source of requests and all the specifics of how the data is behaving. 

The second announcement is the support of Golang, which is very significant for CNCF. Modern enterprises are increasingly developing cloud-native applications, and this language is being used more and more. We’ll release the supporting tool for Golang in the KubCon event, and hopefully, lots of engineers will gain much value from us.

How does the innovation look like at Rookout?

At Rookout, we listen to the industry trends and the competition. Our clients are the ultimate drivers of innovations with their challenges and pain points and how they deal with their software development life cycle. Taking these three together, we’re building a roadmap to innovate and deliver new products to give engineering teams dynamic observability, enable them with the data they need a click of a button in various aspects of the software development lifecycle.

What challenges do you see in increasing Rookout product adoption?

The challenge is in market education. People are used to pre-defining their logs with static observability tools and often don’t know that dynamic observability tools exist. So, when we get to a client and do a demo, there’s that eureka moment because suddenly, you can solve so many issues and support your tech stack with a mature tool. Thus, I believe it’s just a matter of time until dynamic observability becomes the new standard. 

What’s your unique value proposition in comparison to your competitors? 

We need to educate the market by explaining why our tools are better than the existing methods applied by many companies. We need to show how they can use us to get to the root cause faster, save 80% of their debugging time, be more agile, and increase their engineering teams’ productivity and velocity. 

The second point is the big observability players. Today, we’re not competing with them, and we’re working collaboratively with App Dynamics, Data Dog, New Relic, and others in providing a solution with solid capabilities to their clients.

Shahar, this was such a great conversation! Thank you for the mission, the approach, and the customer-centricity!

Stay tuned for more great interviews coming your way!