Pixie Labs Raises $9.15 Million to Build a Kubernetes Observability Plartform

Oct. 5, 2020, 4:20 p.m. in Monitoring and Observability

Topline

Pixie Labs Inc. raised $9.15 million from GV, Alphabet Inc.'s venture capital arm and Benchmark, to build a Kubernetes observability platform.

With this investment, Pixie Labs will be doubling down in scaling their community efforts to accelerate the democratization of machine data.
With this investment, Pixie Labs will be doubling down in scaling their community efforts to accelerate the democratization of machine data.
Key Facts
  1. 1

    Pixie Labs' founders Zain Asgar (CEO), an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University who was an engineering lead for Google AI, and Ishan Mukherjee (CPO), who led Apple's Siri Knowledge Graph product team and was an early Amazon Robotics engineer started Pixie Labs to empower developers with time-saving tools by intelligently augmenting their workflows.

  2. 2

    The product's public beta starts today and will be showcased at Pixie Demo Hour on October 8.

  3. 3

    As Pixie runs entirely inside a developer's own Kubernetes platform, development teams can extend their established in-house or managed SaaS monitoring footprints to get instant and automatic visibility inside their very own production environments.

  4. 4

    Pixie runs entirely inside Kubernetes as a distributed machine data system without customer data being transferred outside

  5. 5

    Pixie leverages novel technologies like eBPF .

  6. 6

    To use Pixie, developers run community contributed, team-specific, or custom scripts and follow a code-based approach to observability.

More

The platform creators stated they both were frustrated by how manual and inefficient it was to set-up, manage, and use existing systems to monitor distributed software applications and that the decade-old monitoring and observability platforms require months of painstaking set-up and hours of manual data wrangling to troubleshoot when core business driving applications are on fire. They envisioned "a magical developer experience" where they can get the data they need without having to change code or move data outside their environments.

Ishan Mukherjee, co-founder, and CPO of Pixie Labs said that developers are superheroes without the data superpowers they need and that they are building Pixie to fill that gap. Ishan states that Pixie’s adoption in real production environments from fast-growing startups to internet-scale companies is starting to validate their focus on delivering a consumer-grade experience to developers which respect and optimizes for their time.

Pixie's modules and architecture (Image courtesy: pixielabs.ai) Pixie's modules and architecture (Image courtesy: pixielabs.ai)

Pixie’s developer experience and customer adoption are driven by three fundamental technical breakthroughs:

  • No-Instrumentation Data Collection: Pixie leverages novel technologies like eBPF to automatically collect baseline data (metrics, traces, logs, and events) for the application, Kubernetes, OS, and network layers. For last-mile custom data, developers can dynamically collect logs using eBPF or ingest existing telemetry.
  • Script-based Analysis: Developers and operators use Pixie by running community contributed, team-specific, or custom scripts from Pixie’s native debugging interfaces (web, mobile, terminal) or from integrations with established monitoring platforms. This code-based approach enables efficient analysis, collaboration, and automation.
  • Kubernetes Native Edge Compute: Pixie runs entirely inside Kubernetes as a distributed machine data system without customer data being transferred outside. This novel architecture provides customers a secure, cost-effective, and scalable way to access unlimited data, deploy AI/ML models at source, and set up streaming telemetry pipelines.

Pixie Community is a free-forever developer tool, and it can be used for multiple use cases:

  • Monitoring Service Health
  • Monitoring Infra Health
  • Monitoring Database Health
  • Tracing Network Requests
  • Debugging Production Code
  • Monitoring Canary Builds

Pixie currently provides observability for your Kubernetes cluster, other orchestration frameworks like Docker Swarm, Nomad, and Mesos are not on the roadmap of the company. The Pixie Edge Module and the Pixie Command Module run on Linux nodes only.

All layers of software—application code, deployment infrastructure, network, OS, etc.—now expose APIs that allow us to treat infrastructure as data. Pixie helps us move to a world where we can freely access this data and focus on building data-driven workflows to observe, troubleshoot, secure and manage our applications.
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Kelsey Hightower
Advisor to Pixie Labs


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