Disrupting the Status Quo

As a hobbyist programmer and full-time operations geek, I’ve been involved in my share of odd software projects. More often than not I’ve had to explain the purpose of the thing, answering numerous questions about the why, what or whowuzzit. I can say without any reservation that Circonus is that rare venture that breaks through the trappings of application design and me-too engineering principles to become something truly revolutionary. To use the product is to highlight Circonus’ strengths. User reactions tell the story.

Bryan Allen, chief server wrangler over at Pobox, has been one of our earliest and most active Beta participants. These folks have been doing email services for longer than I’ve been using it. In a field this competitive, there is zero room for slack, and they know it. Bryan is a very sharp guy, so we were very pleased to read his thoughts on Circonus.

Monitoring, trending and fault analysis are tedious. So much so, most shops get them wrong, or don’t bother at all. Circonus is already poised to be a disruptive player; making the tedious easy, fast and accurate.

I was grateful to meet Bryan in person during my visit to Philly for PostgreSQL Conference, U.S. 2010. I’ve learned that Pobox and OmniTI share a number of common technical interests and philosophies, so it should come as no large surprise that they’d see some value in our efforts.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have the team at 37signals. They are an established leader in web design and SaaS solutions. Their specific forte is with simple (yet powerful) productivity services like Basecamp, Backpack, Campfire and Highrise. Heck, they created Ruby on Rails. If anyone knows good web applications, you better believe they do. We were fortunate to have Mark Imbriaco, Operations Manager for 37signals, run Circonus through the paces during our Beta program.

Circonus’ trending functions are incredibly powerful. The ability to consolidate metrics across a variety of services into a single graph makes it much easier to spot bottlenecks in one area that may correlate to performance problems in another. It’s a graph nerd’s paradise!

I’ll have to take Mark’s word on the last part. Many geeks’ idea of paradise lies somewhere on a beach with a frosty beverage and a strong wireless signal. But if you’re like Mark, and you need something to monitor your systems, you probably owe it to yourself to add Circonus to your shopping list.

There’s one word that I’ve heard repeated a few times from users, that Circonus is disruptive. Occasionally you’ll hear the word banted about to describe a new social media outlet or computing device. It’s usually associated with a revolutionary technology. There’s nothing new about monitoring, trending or fault detection. But there is something refreshingly insightful about the synergy of monitoring services on a single unified metric collection.

Enjoy the Revolution.

Introducing Circonus

Great ideas always begin with a catalyst. They can ignite in a flash of brilliance, or grow slowly like an ember hidden in the ashes of failure. Inspiration comes from different places, and is only ever cultivated into success with the right combination of talent, timing and fortitude.

And sometimes it just happens because you get fed up with inferior products.

The beginnings of Circonus land somewhere in-between. Created by the engineers at OmniTI, we’ve been dealing with the pains of performance monitoring and trending in highly scalable environments for years. We’ve tried various combinations of Open Source and COTS software packages, all of which left us with a sour taste and wanting for more.

Over the last couple of years, our team of highly skilled engineers, led by OmniTI’s own Theo Schlossnagle, have been crafting and refining a truly convergent monitoring platform. Circonus started off as the Reconnoiter project, attempting to address the disconnect between existing monitoring and trending solutions.

Circonus is currently in a closed beta, receiving valuable feedback from customers and partners. We expect to launch publicly in April 2010. In the meantime, we’ll use this blog as an outlet to discuss the upcoming release and divulge all the cool stuff in the pipeline. I hope you visit here often to find out what we’re working on.