Headshot with computer code by @markusspiske
(Source: Unsplash.com)

Runtime Control: Why I Joined Glasnostic

After six years at AWS, most recently as a Global Solutions Architect, I am more than excited to announce that I joined Glasnostic as CTO. I am a huge believer in Glasnostic’s vision and have been a friend of and an advisor to the company since day one, so it didn’t take much for Tobias to convince me to come on board. There is a seismic shift happening in the cloud world, and Glasnostic is positioned perfectly to ride the wave. Let me explain.

We are facing an explosion of dependencies in the cloud. It’s not just that we are running ever more pieces in ever more places; all these pieces are also ever more connected. Applications depend on services—the most important data is always outside your application!—and these services, in turn, depend on other services. This explosion is inescapable, in full swing and, above all, irreversible.

As a result, developers depend on systems they don’t own, and DevOps and SRE teams are faced with performance degradations, reliability issues and security breaches. Crucially, it is no longer enough to merely show up with good code. In today’s highly distributed and rapidly evolving cloud native world, there isn’t a line of code or a configuration stanza we can improve to permanently prevent degradations, outages or breaches. Roblox didn’t go down for three days because of “bad code.” It went down because, at the limit, software systems behave unpredictably. Roblox hit such a limit and lacked the ability to do something about the overload.

Roblox lacked the ability to exert runtime control.

That’s why Glasnostic’s vision is so powerful: runtime control is the critical ability without which we can not run complex, dynamically evolving application landscapes. Runtime control is what lets us balance moving parts, calibrate demand curves in real-time, set up prophylactic blast radii, catch that runaway egress, and tune the environment for optimal performance. Runtime control is a better way for DevOps and SRE teams to manage performance, reliability and security.

I’ve seen this play out over and over again in my time at AWS: initially, projects progress swimmingly. After all, cloud is the key enabler of growth and cloud native technologies such as microservices and Kubernetes have a way of accelerating software delivery and achieving business outcomes faster—and that is a good thing. But as dependencies increase, complexity sets in and velocity drops precipitously. You deploy all the time but every other time, something seemingly unrelated breaks. Designs become stale, and automations become brittle. There is a palpable loss of coherence in the system, and teams are working overtime to squash the gremlins.

It is unsustainable. You can’t grow a system and expect it to behave the same. Gremlins are nature’s reminder to break applications apart and decompose the system into services that are controlled as needed at runtime and automatically.

This is the vision I am excited to help realize at Glasnostic. I will drive the technical vision and help make customers as well as partners successful in the field. Above all, I can’t wait to work with the founding team and everyone at Glasnostic to create the runtime control category in the marketplace.

Here’s to a great vision and a great team!