When people are paying attention to a startup because of its customers, you know that startup is doing something right. This is why Chronosphere – which at two-years-young counts companies like DoorDash among its rapidly growing customer base – is making antennas go up. Having worked for the past decade with customers in the DevOps ecosystem, I can say it’s rare for startups in a competitive space like observability to boast customers that are household names.
That customer-magic doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and I am a curious person. So I spent nine months getting to know Chronosphere to better understand what the company is about; why customers are signing on so fast and so quickly realizing the value of their investment; and whether I needed to be part of what seemed to be an amazing journey.
In the process, I learned about how the company is solving a major challenge for companies that are near-and-dear to me, and how the right people are in place to get the job done. Follow along as I share what I’ve learned about how Chronosphere is meeting cloud-native observability requirements for customers, and what convinced me to become one of the latest Chronospherians.
Leadership and customer-centric culture
It’s hard to put into words how critical leadership is to a company’s success, especially in the early days. Getting to know Chronosphere’s co-founders, Martin Mao (CEO) and Rob Skillington (CTO), was a key factor in my decision to join Chronosphere.
Martin and Rob had already solved the observability problem at hyperscale company, Uber, prior to starting Chronosphere in 2019. As observability team leaders, they had witnessed first-hand the challenges of running large-scale observability. When the market couldn’t offer a solution for the scale and reliability challenges they faced, they solved their own problem by building a solution that catered to the massive scale they needed.
Today, that solution lives on as Chronosphere’s purpose-built, cloud-native observability platform, which is solving observability challenges for well-known customers, such as Doordash, Genius Sports, Tecton, PlanetScale, Cudo, and Abnormal Security.
Learning Chronosphere’s origin story, and how the company has such a deep understanding of its customers’ needs, gave me a high degree of confidence in the technical calibre, pedigree, and capability of the engineering foundation at Chronosphere.
Scale and reliability matter
Microservices generate metrics data an order of magnitude more than legacy environments, creating the need for a new approach to observability. Incumbent monitoring solutions were built for monolithic applications, well before the advent of today’s modern cloud-native architecture, and are no match for the microservices ecosystem. Even legacy APM (application performance monitoring) vendors – many of which have tried to keep up with cloud-native through technology acquisition – cannot support observability demands at scale.
When several millions of data points are generated per second, the observability system needs to smartly process, store, and analyze in real-time. In the new world of microservices, this key objective can fail with the scale. This is where stress-tested and market-proven solutions like Chronosphere play a key role.
Customers need a purpose-built, cloud-native observability platform
Part of my role as a customer success leader is to talk to SaaS customers all day, every day. I listen to the concerns of IT executives across enterprises of all sizes, big and small, and I see how we can help. For the past two years – since the pandemic began and cloud-native adoption accelerated at lightning speed – the conversation has consistently revolved around a common topic: adoption of microservices architectures on container-based infrastructures and the challenges that come with it.
I’ve seen first-hand what customers face when moving to Kubernetes and a cloud-native architecture, and then race to roll out new applications. They are suddenly deploying tens of thousands of microservices and generating tons of metrics. They need to quickly know when something’s wrong, how bad it is, and to be able to figure out what the root cause is.
Chronosphere’s purpose-built, cloud-native observability platform tackles the observability problem end-to-end in a way legacy solutions cannot.
Customers want to control what they store
As mentioned above, cloud-native environments generate a lot of observability data. Indexing, querying, and storing all of this data becomes both expensive and time consuming for organizations as they scale.
Unfortunately, the majority of the observability vendors in the ecosystem lack the ability for customers to tame this massive data growth. This granularity of control needs to be an intelligent system where customers can decide which data is kept at different resolutions and retained for custom periods of time. This leads enterprises to spend exponentially more with the current observability solutions as they transform into the microservices world.
Chronosphere puts control in the hands of the customers, giving them complete control over metric retention, resolution, and aggregation based on the environment or team. The Chronosphere control plane allows customers to roll-up, aggregate, drop, or relabel incoming metrics with certain labels before they are retained. This helps companies meet their key observability objectives by spending less, and realizing values faster.
Being an avid and maniacal advocate of customer value realization, this stood out as a key differentiator to me.
Customer-centric culture, great product delivery, company momentum
There is no better validation to a company’s value propositions than watching customers realize their challenges are being quickly solved and hearing them talking about their successful experiences.
Chronosphere’s momentum is palpable as well. Less than a year ago, we shared the news that Chronosphere’s multi-million dollar ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue) had grown by 9x and that we were doing 6- and 7-figure deals. Shortly after, we announced our $200 million Series C funding round and that we had achieved unicorn status. We’ve also grown to more than 100 employees from just a handful in less than two years.
Now, we are embarking on a new year and we are still growing fast. This means we are looking for exceptional people to join the customer success team and to be part of this ‘once in a career time’ success journey at Chronosphere. If I’ve convinced you to join Team Chronosphere, you can find more about open roles here.