One common thread among emerging enterprise technologies is that early adopters can quickly find themselves flying blind, stuck with monitoring tools that weren’t built with that tech in mind. Serverless development looks like it might turn into one of those technologies, and Seattle’s IOpipe has raised $2.5 million to build out a monitoring tool for developers using serverless techniques.
The seed round was funded by Madrona Venture Group, NEA, Underscore VC, and others. IOpipe, founded by CEO Adam Johnson and CTO Erica Windisch, is a graduate of the New York TechStars incubator and while its eight employees are currently spread throughout the U.S., it plans to grow in Seattle, Johnson said.
Serverless is an exciting concept: yes, servers are still involved, but the technique gets its name from the fact that software developers don’t have to worry about provisioning infrastructure as demand for their app changes. Instead, they write functions, or triggers, that can execute responses to changes based on pre-determined criteria much faster than developers can respond manually.
Perhaps the most exciting feature of serverless technology is how much money it can save cloud users. Serverless functions can be executed in fractions of a second, which means users are only billed for those fractions of seconds of computing time as opposed to minutes or hours in standard cloud pricing units.
But you can’t put such a technology at the heart of your development process unless you can understand what’s going on, which is where IOpipe wants to come in. The company’s product works exclusively (for now) with Amazon Web Services’ Lambda serverless product, and Lambda users can install IOpipe as a window into their Lambda serverless environments that monitoring tools built before serverless started to gain traction can’t see, Johnson said.
Because they are simpler, fewer things tend to go wrong with serverless apps, but developers are best positioned to understand why something has gone wrong in response to a glitch with a third-party service, for example, Johnson said.
“The developer is the one that’s going to know that the best” assuming they have the right tools to discover the problem, he said. “We’re moving to a world where developers are increasingly responsible for their apps.”
Before starting IOpipe, Johnson and Windisch met in Korea eight years ago on a big public cloud deployment project while working for separate companies, and stayed in touch. Windisch was an early Docker employee and established the first security team at the container company, while Johnson’s background is in software-defined networking.
(Editor’s Note: This post was updated to correct the spelling of Erica Windisch’s last name.)