Sky-high observability costs or visibility gaps? This is the unfortunate trade-off many organizations have to make when it comes to determining how much telemetry data they should collect and send to their observability tools. Teams either collect more data than they need and pay the price, or they collect less and suffer visibility gaps.

Today, this all changes. I’m thrilled to share the news of an exciting new product we’ve built called Circonus Passport™, a dynamic telemetry collection and management solution that I truly believe will be the next big thing in observability.

I was CEO of Boomi when we unveiled the integration cloud back in 2009. That transformed the market, created an entirely new software category called iPaaS, and Boomi is still considered one of the most innovative and leading products in that space to this day. I think Passport has that same potential.

Most of the investment and innovation in observability to date has been post data ingestion e.g. analytics, visualizations, AI/ML, AIOps etc., while very little innovation has occurred in the data collection and agent management arena. We saw this as an opportunity for massive value creation. The vast majority of telemetry data that is ingested and written (some say as much as 90%), never actually gets read.

Companies are paying enormous subscription and storage fees for data from which they derive no value. Observability costs have steadily risen to become the second biggest line item in the IT budget behind cloud spend, and in some cases it costs more to monitor a cloud service than the cost of the service itself.

We thought it was time for a better way. Passport allows organizations to automatically adapt their telemetry collection strategies based on signals from their environments – empowering what we call precision visibility: sending only the data that is needed and only when it is needed.

Here’s an example of how it works:

CPU utilization on a server begins to spike and triggers an alert in your observability solution. Passport’s innovative rules engine receives that alert and changes the agent config file in real-time to collect more metrics, logs, and traces. When things go back to normal, Passport automatically reverts to collecting less granular data.

The benefits to engineering and IT and financial operations teams are significant:

  • Improve MTTR and performance by ensuring the right visibility at the right time.
  • Dramatically reduce observability costs by sending less data when not needed.
  • Reduce operational overhead by efficiently managing telemetry agents at scale.
  • Avoid vendor lock-in by easing the process of managing multiple agents during a migration.

Say farewell to compromise and hello to a new era of telemetry control and flexibility.

Simple, Flexible Agent Management Brings New Life to Observability Pipelines

Observability solutions rely on telemetry agents to collect and send data. The problem is that managing the configuration deployments for telemetry agents is a manual, time-consuming, and error prone process, so teams are reluctant to change them once deployed. This means that telemetry pipelines become effectively static, which leads to out-of-date collection strategies and vendor lock-in.

Passport eases the management of telemetry agents by allowing users to easily build and adapt telemetry agent config files that control data collection using its no-code/low-code designer, simplifying the task of ensuring your observability strategy reflects changes in your environment.

Its patent-pending technology converts static agents into dynamic agents through the use of lightweight agent managers that communicate with the Passport control plane. Agent managers continually poll for updated configurations and will download and trigger a reload of the supported agent when one is present.

Passport uses an innovative rules engine to receive “signals” (such as high CPU utilization) from any observability platform and then takes action based on the rules that have been established.

That could mean changing the frequency and breadth of data being collected, or it could also mean initiating an action in other platforms such as a ticketing system, workflow engine, iPaaS, or even another observability platform.

Best of all, there’s no migration effort, and teams don’t have to change any of their existing observability tools. Passport is agent-agnostic and works with both open source and commercial telemetry agents, such as OTel Collector, Fluent Bit, Telegraf, and Datadog Agent.

A New Era in Observability

We’ve spoken with several hundred engineers and IT professionals over the last year who are responsible for observability at their organizations, and the vast majority are unhappy with rising costs, surprise bills, and pricey renewals. Even with increased costs and all the sophisticated tools in the market, outages continue to rise.

This is an idea whose time has come. Passport sets your telemetry data free, puts you back in control, and eliminates the risk of vendor lock-in. The result – organizations can resolve incidents faster and 10x the value of their existing observability platforms.

If you want to learn more or join the beta program, visit

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