A Deep Dive with Lightrun – “Real- Time and Reliable Debugging”
Blog Series | Part 2 | Value Creation Founder’s Series
As the second installment in the Value Creation Founder’s Series, I sat down with Ilan Peleg, Co-Founder and CEO of Lightrun, a developer-native observability platform that is dramatically changing the workflow in organizations. Lightrun just raised a $23M round A led by Glilot Capital and Insight Partners to shift observability left and give real-time production code visibility to developer teams.
Ilan and I discussed how Lightrun enables real-time debugging from deployment to production. He shared with me the intricacies of the platform and how Lightrun saves its customers hundreds of debugging hours and redeployment cycles. We delved into how COVID accelerated the Shift Left movement within the DevOps world and its necessity within organizations.
Some key takeaways:
- DevOps fosters an environment that moves both velocity and responsibility back to the developer, working to eliminate a siloed work environment and create agile project management.
- The developer’s mindset can shift from putting out fires to preventing them.
Let’s dive in.
There are multiple elements that contribute to a successful DevOps environment. One of those areas is tooling. At Glilot, we understand that building a strong tech stack is essential to this organizational shift, especially as DevOps roles become more and more integral within organizations. It’s about understanding where and how to integrate responsibilities earlier on in the software development lifecycle. What better way to understand the world of DevOps than to do a deep dive with a Shift Left Observability master…
Q: What makes Lightrun’s approach unique?
Our platform allows developers to add logs, traces and metrics in real time to their application while it’s running in production. What does that mean? The ability to test new features and gain a real code-level understanding of how your app will perform in certain situations. It not only provides companies with a snapshot that allows them to locate issues but also lets them see into the future to prevent issues from happening, giving them accessibility to live code. Now, developers can debug on the fly and allow testing for the “what if” scenario.
Q: How can an enterprise leverage Lightrun?
Any tool that exists that can lift working silos and allow for better communication, faster issue resolution or incident solution is definitely something that companies are looking at much more. Remote debugging is something that developers now have the option to do and is at the forefront of R&D teams. We are moving towards that motion of work to prevent siloes to maintain quick incident resolutions and feedback loops, allowing developers to do what they do best: work on their code. By eliminating a need to debug locally, issues that used to take 1-2 weeks to mitigate now take on average less than an hour to solve. Our aim is to empower developers with a true Shift-Left observability platform.
Q: The word remote took on a whole new meaning this year, how did COVID affect developers?
Great question. Say you have a Service-Level Agreement (SLA) with a bank or an insurance company. If I have a bug in my deployment process and something goes down at my customer’s site, I don’t have access without Lightrun. However, I need to fix that bug within 24 hours. Before COVID, I could go to a local site and fix the issue on-premise. But when the world went remote, I lost the ability to start sifting through their backend formation which translates to a loss in customer loyalty.
With remote access, developers can start looking for the problem, add logs in real time and start simulating what happens in production, create a solution and ship that to be redeployed in order to fix the bug.
Q: Tell me more about how Lightrun is helping its customers.
We have amazing case studies with companies like Sisense, Start.io, WhiteSource and Taboola who all benefited from better customer experience and satisfaction due to better MTTR. The case study with Taboola, the online marketing tech giant, is particularly interesting. Taboola has integrated Lightrun and is being used daily by their developers to not only remote debug, locate issues and fix them but also to aid them in quicker production times, slashing 260 developer debugging hours per month (which has only increased since the initial release of our case study.)
Q: What challenge was Taboola facing?
Taboola has a dynamic production environment with many features in development. This means their developers are pushing a large number of changes on a daily basis. Taboola’s servers receive millions of queries per second (QPS), making no room for developer downtime. Each minute of downtime equals thousands of dollars in lost revenue, so they needed a solution that would guarantee continuous quality, reliability and security. Lightrun has become a natural extension of their progressive delivery pipeline, allowing them to verify new features in production.
Q: How did Lightrun help them mitigate this and support Taboola’s customers?
Taboola needed a solution that would allow them to ensure their code would be released without a single glitch. In using our platform, we helped Taboola shorten its development process by skipping iterative development cycles, which turned an entire day’s work into an hour. Some of the features we helped them utilize included real-time, on-demand metrics which help developers measure how long it actually takes a piece of code to execute, or feature flagging and progressive delivery that enables safe testing in production, without affecting the customer base.
The bottom line here is that Taboola is able to deploy new features into production, decrease MTTR and improve the overall productivity of its developers all through streamlining their processes using Lightrun.
DevOps is clearly here to stay with enterprises shifting left across all industries. What started as a philosophy has catapulted to a reorganization of enterprises that is placing the focus back on the people, processes and technologies that bring daily value to the customer.
Thanks to Ilan for sharing how Lightrun is playing a part in powering this movement and, as always, stay tuned for the next installment of the Value Creation Founder’s Series to read more about what our founders are doing to change the way we interact with technology.