Tobias Kunze of Glasnostic tells us about observability and control for Cloud-Native Environments.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Tobias Kunze: Doing well, thank you for asking.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Glasnostic.
Tobias Kunze: I was the tech co-founder of the company that became Red Hat OpenShift and, as such, fully focused on how to optimally support the rapid development of applications. But as we were focusing on that, I quickly discovered that making applications truly successful is less about the engineering side, how you write it, the coding part: it’s about how you run it. That’s the operational side, and that’s what we focus on at Glasnostic. We provide a bump-in-the-wire observability and control solution for enterprises that are dealing with complex and dynamic application landscapes.
How does Glasnostic innovate?
Tobias Kunze: We are doing something no one else does — we offer both observability of and control over complex and rapidly evolving (dynamic) systems of applications, or what we refer to as “service landscapes.” To use an analogy, think of air traffic control: Air traffic control doesn’t concern itself with what’s happening inside any single plane. They are responsible for the airspace. And to do so, they track a universal set of signals – position, altitude, direction, and speed. Their concern is the safety and stability of the airspace, not an individual flight operation. Glasnostic works similarly: we aren’t concerned with a bug in the code somewhere deep in the stack — we observe golden signals at the highest level so that when something goes wrong, we can control it: remediate it in real-time to prevent a widespread failure.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Tobias Kunze: We’ve been doing well! We have team members here in California as well as on the East Coast and overseas, so we are accustomed to working and collaborating virtually. I wouldn’t say it has slowed us down—if at all, the wave of digital transformation in the enterprise that the pandemic has triggered has increased demand for the kind of real-time control we provide—but I’m looking forward to a more face-to-face time in 2021, both with my own team and with our customers.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Tobias Kunze: We’ve been fortunate at Glasnostic, but I’ve definitely had to mindfully develop a measure of patience and optimism in the darkest moments of this pandemic. Like everyone, we’ve had to make certain changes to our plans and timelines as a result of shutdowns and economic uncertainty. But on the whole, we were able to adapt well to the challenges of 2020, and thus we’re in a great position to make strides with Glasnostic in 2021!
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and Glasnostic in the future?
Tobias Kunze: We definitely felt the stress, but as I mentioned, by the nature of what we do—helping enterprises control the chaos—we were able to adapt better than others, for which we are grateful. On a personal level, as simple as it is, I often find that just taking time out during the day to head outside for a quick walk allows me to clear my mind and come back with a renewed focus on the tasks at hand. Taking time out during the busy day and experiencing the moment, as mundane as it may be, is a perfect antidote to stress. I don’t look forward to doing dishes, but when I do, I love doing them. That’s the simple secret! As to the future of Glasnostic, an exercise I enjoy at the end of each year is looking at the trends that emerged and coming up with predictions for the year ahead. Where are we headed, and how does Glasnostic fit into that picture? How are we innovating to stay ahead of the trends?
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Tobias Kunze: While there are a lot of other companies that focus on monitoring and observability, Glasnostic is really the only solution that is focused on control. That’s what really sets us apart: we have the high-level observability, the visibility over everything going on in these complex cloud-native environments, but we take it that crucial step further by taking control: by proactively creating predictability in the architecture and by reactively remediating disruptive and unpredictable behaviors before they spiral out of control and result in costly downtime. That’s the big missing capability in our industry today that keeps operations teams from truly managing the digital experience.
Your final thoughts?
Tobias Kunze: I’d say that I feel very fortunate to be working with a young and hungry team that’s been just dedicated to that vision of up-leveling what we can do operationally today to truly master cloud-native service landscapes, even in the midst of this pandemic and all of the challenges that have come along with it. I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish up to this point and very optimistic, and excited to share what we have planned for the year ahead.