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VMblog Expert Interview: Ilan Peleg Discusses The Newly Launched Lightrun Cloud, a Free Debugger for Developer-Native Observability

Lightrun interview 

Software is becoming more complicated as distributed systems, serverless and similar technologies become more prevalent and diverse.  Debugging is an essential step for development teams to ensure that everything works together and there are no software issues.  To learn more about the latest in debugging, VMblog caught up with Ilan Peleg, co-founder and CEO of Lightrun, the continuous debugging and observability company, on the release of the free, self-service version of its popular debugging solution for developers, Lightrun Cloud.

VMblog: We last spoke to you when the company announced a number of integrations in December 2020.  Tell us a little bit about Lightrun Cloud, the new product being introduced.

Ilan Peleg: Lightrun Cloud is a major milestone in our journey to truly shift left observability. By becoming a completely self-serve platform, we're closer than ever to the developer - allowing for personal, local experimentation with the new concept of real-time observability. By meeting developers where they feel most at home - in their IDEs, their CLIs and their existing monitoring and observability stacks, we're trying to break the MTTR equivalent of the 4-minute mile: cutting feedback loops and slashing long root cause analysis processes with state of the art technology. 

VMblog: How does a SaaS offering help developers, and is there a certain developer or environment that it works best for?

Peleg: The beauty of Lightrun lies in the layer of abstraction we choose to work in. By being an ultra-granular, code-level observability tool and providing the completely self-serve, developer-friendly Lightrun Cloud, we're enabling developers to do a "full cycle" themselves:

  • Installing and configuring Lightrun across different environments - both local and production ones
  • Adding real-time information inside the IDE or the CLI
  • Watching the new available information inside the same interface or in one of our integrations

By offering a hosted (SaaS) version of our solution, we're keeping developers focused on breaking apart tough production issues and shedding light on the production black boxes, instead of spending time on costly configuration and instrumentation tasks.

VMblog: How does Lightrun Cloud work with IntelliJ?

Peleg: Our IntelliJ plugin works seamlessly with Lightrun Cloud to enable the addition of real-time, code-level information to production applications. A developer can add all available Lightrun Actions (logs, metrics and traces) right inside their IDE - and then watch the information roll in without ever leaving the interface.

By using Lightrun's various IDE-native views, like the Lightrun Console and the Lightrun Snapshots Tab, developers can gain deep, valuable insights into running production applications without expensive context switches. Lightrun Cloud enables developers to forego costly configuration time and use Lightrun with running applications across all major clouds and popular deployment schemes.  

VMblog: How does Lightrun Cloud invert the model of other performance monitoring tools (APM), like New Relic, and Splunk?

Peleg: The current trend in monitoring is "log everything, analyze later" - resulting in heaps of logged and monitored data that developers and DevOps need to plow through when looking for the relevant information.

Using Lightrun Cloud, developers can instead only ask the relevant questions - and get information directly inside the IDE or CLI. By removing the need for log storage and analysis, and honing in on the exact, granular information required for understanding the state of their production applications, developers can truly focus on figuring out what's going on instead of dealing with filtering and sorting for the needle in the haystack. 

VMblog: Lightrun Cloud looks as if it can streamline the development process significantly, and not only in the debugging front.  How does Lightrun Cloud help developers in other ways?

Peleg: There's an enormous amount of operational work involved with understanding how a change might affect all aspects of a production system. Developers working in fast-moving environments are often not  sure how a specific feature or a specific configuration change will behave with real data, real infrastructure, and real-world interactions between different components.

Lightrun Cloud reduces the amount of time and work it takes to see code-level information from production systems - including code-level information developers did not log or instrumented metrics for during development. By doing so, it allows developers to ask truly tough questions and get accurate, granular, and immediate answers - in a safe and easy way. 

VMblog: What do you think developers will experience most in 2021?

Peleg: We are seeing a number of innovations in development, specifically by moving observability "left" or earlier in the software development lifecycle. We expect this to continue as by shifting left, organizations are able to break down information silos and allow for speedy incident resolution. 

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Published Wednesday, April 07, 2021 7:36 AM by David Marshall
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