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Partnering with CtrlStack: Closing the Gap Between Cause and Effect

CtrlStack is helping DevOps teams automatically trace system disruptions to their source.

By Bill Coughran

Published December 15, 2022

Anyone who’s responsible for keeping a website or app running smoothly knows the feeling: you get an alert that latency is spiking or worse, that your service is down, but what you don’t know is why. Despite high profile incidents like the recent Ticketmaster Taylor Swift debacle, most digital service performance problems are triggered not by increased demand, but by intentional changes to systems. A developer pushes new code to production or modifies a configuration file, and suddenly you’re in a race against the clock to figure out what went wrong.

Today, this troubleshooting process remains largely manual—think mass emails to the Engineering team to ask if anyone knows what changed at 11:17 a.m., or engineers constantly monitoring Slack channels for issues cropping up. Homegrown automations are usually brittle solutions at best, while most monitoring platforms are either overly sophisticated (requiring too much training to extract useful content) or overly simplistic (overwhelming users with fragmented data). The result? A full two-thirds of mean time to repair is spent simply identifying causes. It’s a painful situation for any growing company, especially given the continued adoption of microservices and the scale of complexity that comes with it.

But now, CtrlStack founder and CEO Dev Nag and his team are closing this time-consuming gap between cause and effect—with a dependency graph that tracks connections and relationships between services and can instantly trace disruptions to their source. Instead of wading through multiple metrics dashboards, DevOps teams get a unified platform that sits above it all, providing context and relevant log files to dramatically reduce the time it takes to get their systems back up and running.

As a former co-founder of the Sequoia-backed, VMware-acquired company Wavefront, Dev brings deep experience in observability to CtrlStack—but we are excited to partner with him again because of how he thinks, not just what he knows. He and his team have worked hard to gather and incorporate feedback from the market, whether it means adding a new feature or setting one aside. They are extremely thoughtful about reducing potential friction for their users, and are committed to building a platform that improves team collaboration and drives down incident response and resolution times.

The result is a product that is purpose-built to meet the challenges of operating distributed systems at scale and enables troubleshooting in real time—not minutes, hours, or days. We at Sequoia are proud to lead CtrlStack’s seed round and support them on their mission to help DevOps teams asking, “Why?” instantly get the answers they need.

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Sign-ups are open for CtrlStack’s beta, and the team is hiring now.