Groundcover aims to improve observability and monitoring with eBPF and microservices

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More and more organizations are digitally transforming and migrating their workloads to the cloud. However, successfully building applications in the cloud requires a comprehensive view of development pipelines, workflows to deployment, and more. A major challenge that development teams have faced over the years is how to effectively detect and resolve issues that arise along their production pipelines, resulting in an increased need for application performance monitoring ( APM) more agile. That’s why observability and monitoring are critical to application development, management, and performance.

The problem, however, is that many IT teams still rely on traditional monitoring tools that are often slow and not nimble. It is this problem that the Israeli startup Groundcover wants to solve by combining eBPF (Extended Berkeley Packet Filter) and a microservices architecture. Groundcover claims it redefines traditional application monitoring by giving IT teams access to monitor and fix issues in their application pipelines in record time.

Yechezkel Rabinovich, CTO and co-founder of Groundcover, told VentureBeat that Groundcover approaches application monitoring from a new angle, using an eBPF-based agent and distributed computing to improve application observability.

Groundcover’s approach to observability

eBPF is a technology designed to run sandboxed programs in the Linux kernel without having to manipulate kernel behavior or load kernel modules. Basically, it lets you run sandboxed programs using your operating system. With the ability to make the Linux kernel programmable, developers have a wide range of tools to make their jobs easier.

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Given the complexity of software monitoring, it has become essential to redesign the process, resulting in an architectural bridge between eBPF and microservices, which provide a more refined application monitoring process.

eBPF became a staple of the Linux kernel in 2014 as an extension of the original Berkeley Packet Filter, which was introduced in 1993. Nearly three decades later, it has evolved to cover more use cases in more areas. a dozen projects. With Kubernetes playing an important role in managing individual application containers today, the approach to monitoring and observability must change to reflect today’s realities.

Groundcover’s promise is to deliver a new approach that helps developers up their Kubernetes observability game with eBPF. Rabinovich said Groundcover’s solution could instantly identify bleeding issues in production and troubleshoot them quickly, all without any code changes.

Evolve with an ever-changing application monitoring industry

Highlighting changes in the industry and the need for organizations to evolve accordingly, Rabinovich said organizations that depend on a traditional observability strategy for distributed applications end up facing what he likes to call “the trade-off on cost depth”.

“You can observe quickly and cheaply. Or you can observe in depth, but at a high cost in terms of time and effort. You can’t have it all,” said Rabinovich, who added that Groundcover gives developers a better playing field. With the Groundcover solution, he said, instead of collecting and analyzing all available data or sample them randomly, developers can sample them intelligently by identifying the most interesting data directly at the source, then select only that data to send to their observability platform. .

“They can also translate data into granular, actionable metrics so it’s ready for analysis as soon as it hits your observability portal,” Rabinovich added.

Maintain visibility into Kubernetes clusters

Groundcover helps IT teams continuously track container health information to monitor what’s happening in containers and pods. Usually this requires a deep understanding of how Kubernetes tracks the status of containers and pods, how it reports error information, and how you can efficiently collect all the information, but Groundcover says it helps simplify this process. complex. As Rabinovich puts it, “Groundcover is essential for any team that wants to maintain reliable visibility into their systems without paying a fortune in monitoring and data storage costs.”

Founded in 2021, Groundcover has competitors in ContainIQ, Pixie, DataDog, and NewRelic, with the latter two recently named leaders in Gartner’s 2022 Magic Quadrant for APM and Observability. However, Rabinovich claims that Groundcover has a head start because its competitors need a sampling mechanism or to send/save everything.

On the other hand, he noted that Groundcover uses edge computing to convert traces into metrics on the node itself. Rabinovich says that unlike its competitors, Groundcover can handle larger volumes of data with far fewer resources.

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