Satellite image of a giant whirlpool cloud with violin scroll design
Sources:, Sergei Muratov

Last month, I sat down with Alexander Ferguson to talk about a range of topics. If you missed part one of our conversation about the complexities of cloud environments and how my team and I founded Glasnostic to bring control to those complexities, you can read or watch it . In the of our conversation, I talked to Alex about my background and what I’ve learned in my experience as an entrepreneur. Below is the transcript, edited for clarity.

From Classical Music to Coding

Alexander Ferguson: Welcome to UpTech Report. This is our “Founders Journey” series. I’m excited today for our…

Photograph of a plane flying into clouds
There are different flight rules in the cloud (Source:

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Alexander Ferguson, host of the (video ). We discussed the growing complexity of the cloud and how runtime control is essential for enterprises to create resiliency and assure the customer experience. Below is part one of our conversation, edited for clarity.

Cloud is Complex

Alexander Ferguson: Welcome to the UpTech Report. Today, I’m excited to be joined by Tobias Kunze, CEO and co-founder of Glasnostic. Welcome Tobias, good to have you on.

Tobias Kunze: Thanks for having me.

Alexander Ferguson: Your platform is focused on making cloud applications resilient. …

Satellite photo of ocean currents surrounding Gotland
Environmental behaviors surrounding Gotland (Source:

Last week, I had the opportunity to speak with J.C. Granger, host of (video ). We discussed the growing complexity of applications in the enterprise and how Glasnostic helps operators understand and control their behaviors. Below is the transcript, edited for clarity.

J.C.: Welcome everybody to another episode of The Future of BizTech. I’m your host, J.C. Granger. I have with me here Tobias Kunze, who is the co-founder and CEO of . Tobias, thank you so much for coming on the show. …

Photo of different succulents
Resilient applications (Source:

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure to talk with on his podcast (the videocast is ). Among other topics, we touched on the challenges of today’s cloud operations for architects, operations and security teams and how to make them resilient through real-time observability and control. Below is the transcript, edited for clarity.

Matt: I have some questions for you. Do you want to be in control of your cloud architectures, or have you ever wondered how to make your application resilient? This is SaaS-Story in the Making. I am your host, Matt Wolach…

Toshiro Mifune and Machiko Kyō in ‘Rashomon’ (1950)
Which side of the story are you on? (Source: CanalPlus)

We’ve all been there. We’ve all gone down the rabbit hole, spending hours searching for that root cause, only to end up with a number of circumstances that contributed to our issue but no good way of doing something about it. There may be too many places to tweak, the fix may be unclear, its effect difficult to predict, or it may be simply out of our control.

Sound familiar? These experiences are becoming as we compose ever larger architectures. We connect ever more services, using ever more technologies, across ever more diverse environments-multi-cloud, hybrid, edge, on premises…

Illustration of air traffic
Controlling air traffic behaviors (Source:

From Applications to Services

Back in the day, an “application” was a well-structured, comprehensible affair. It was self-contained software deployed on target hardware to implement the desired functionality. That code was an “application” because it-quite literally-allowed the hardware to be applied to a real-world problem.

We’ve lived with this “application as application-of-hardware” model ever since, even after the specifics of hardware ceased to matter and we started to provision infrastructure through APIs. The “ops equation” has always been: capacity plus healthy infrastructure and up-to-date software equals a happy system.

This application model is gone. While creating and running applications used to be difficult, time-consuming…

Photograph of Bertaux orrery (by user Rama, licensed under CC3.0)
Complex and dynamic system in a crystal ball (Source: Wikimedia)

By more measures than one would like, 2020 was a transformative year. Whereas we may have entered it with the question, “How do we do Digital Transformation?” (and maybe “What is it in the first place?”), we’re now living it, and the question has become, “How can we keep up the momentum now that it is a reality?”

As a result, 2021 will be all about maintaining that fast-paced, forward motion that we achieved this past year. Here are our five predictions for how this will manifest across the complex world of today’s cloud-native environments.

1. The End of the Application: Microservices Will Turn Into a Landscape of Services

Containers and microservices have allowed…

Still of F1 Tuscan Grand Prix crash 2020
Mugello, Sunday September 13, 2020: What just happened there? (Source: F1 TV)

On the Glasnostic blog, we often talk about how the complex we run today are prone to that can bring the business down. While this is certainly important to talk about, mere words do not do justice to the depth of the operational crisis we’re facing. Examples are much better suited to reminding us that failures can occur at any company, at any time. And as companies adopt more and more microservices, the extent, severity and rate of disruption will only increase.

With or without a “black swan” like COVID-19, infrastructure and operational issues with…

Animation frame of daycare center with kids playing peacefully
Interaction behaviors under control at Sunnyside Daycare (Source: Pixar)

Building resilient systems and running them reliably is hard, especially in cloud-native environments, where everything is ephemeral and very few assumptions can be made over longer stretches of time.

It used to be easier. Applications used to be self-contained, two- or three-tier architectures that could be provisioned with infrastructure and maintained over time with reasonable predictability, even once developers started to decompose them into microservices.

Enterprises today, however, are running service architectures that are vastly more complex than they were ten or even five years ago. Today’s architectures are highly interconnected landscapes of services that change continually and can evolve…

Close-up photo of an orchestral score
X and Y axes in Boulez’ Notations for Orchestra

With today’s increasingly complex and evolving cloud architectures, monitoring and observability attract significant attention but are at times still poorly understood. When should I rely on monitoring and when on observability? What should I monitor, and what should I “observe”? What even is the difference between monitoring and observability?

Typical definitions view monitoring as tracking key metrics, while observability is seen as its more powerful cousin that lets users “slice and dice” metrics and ask arbitrary questions. Also, there is an awareness that observability involves large amounts of data having many dimensions. But beyond that basic understanding, there is little…

Tobias Kunze

Co-founder & CEO of Glasnostic, bringing traffic control to microservices. Co-founded Makara, the company that became Red Hat OpenShift.

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