PagerDuty Gets Millions for IT Monitoring

Startup raises $10 million to help alert IT pros -- will its efforts make a difference?

There is no shortage of IT monitoring tools in the market today, which is both a blessing and a curse.

The problem for IT administrators is how to keep track and be alerted to network, application and server related issues from a single dashboard. It's a problem that startup PagerDuty is aiming to solve. PagerDuty takes the idea of the pager alerting technology to a new level, integrating with enterprise IT monitoring tools to deliver a consolidated phone and SMS alerting system.

It's a system that is winning customers and now investor funding as well. PagerDuty today announced that it has raised $10.7 million in new funding. The company had previously raised a seed round of $1.9 million.

PagerDuty CEO and Co-Founder Alex Solomon explained to Datamation that many organizations today cobble together their own phone and SMS alerting systems to deal with IT monitoring. It's a market that he sees as being ripe for his company and he already has some big name customers, including social media darling Pinterest.

"Alerting is a feature in many monitoring tools today, but it's often just a very basic feature," Solomon said. "Monitoring tools are great at detecting problems, but alerting is often thought off as an afterthought."

The way many IT monitoring systems work today is by simply sending email or SMS alerts to a contact person. Where that system breaks down is in handling multiple systems and providing workflow for incidents.

"The problem that we solve is the people part of the equation," Solomon said. "All the issues around routing incidents to the right people and making sure those problems are solved as quickly as possible."

The PagerDuty system also includes a dashboard that lets administrators monitor and respond to incidents. The system is able to plug into multiple existing monitoring tools for servers and enterprise IT. There is also a scheduling system as part of PagerDuty that is able to route the incident calls to the right person based on time and the underlying system that is in trouble.

The entire dispatch system was built by PagerDuty using the Scala program language and leveraging the open source Apache Cassandra NoSQL database. The system also leverages at least eight different SMS gateways for optimal resiliency and the core backend systems are distributed across three different data centers.

Exit Strategy

With the new funding in hand, Solomon's goal is to continue to grow the company. His aim is to build a viable standalone company as opposed to building a company that is looking to be acquired.

"We want to be the Switzerland of the monitoring and alerting space," Solomon said. "We want to partner with every single monitoring tool out there and if we were to be acquired by a big vendor like an IBM or HP then the problem would be that we wouldn't be able to a neutral third party and we would lose that advantage."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.




Tags: IT & Network Infrastructure, IT monitoring


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