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shutterstock_102422155Perhaps I have seen too many episodes of The Wire, but my associations with pagers are not exactly positive. Andreessen Horowitz does not share this concern and has led a $10.7 million investment in PagerDuty.

PagerDuty provides IT alerting and incident tracking software. In this era of cloud computing, sites need to be fully functional at all times. Issues can arise at any time of the day or night, leaving IT teams scrambling to respond to the problem.

A number of companies provide monitoring tools, such as Nagios, Zenoss, Pingdom, monit, Munin, Splunk, and BasicState, which send out notifications when something is going wrong. Many of these services focus on just one part of IT infrastructure.  As a result, companies have to cobble together monitoring systems that can be disorganized and generate too much noise.

PagerDuty integrates with these systems and aggregates the alerts. When an incident is triggered, notifications are sent via email, SMS, and phone. PagerDuty has developed a unique set of tools to ensure that the right person receives the right notifications (database administrators don’t get pinged about application problems), and 4 am alerts are only sent when absolutely urgent. IT teams can use the software to set up escalation systems, meaning that if one person doesn’t respond, someone else is notified until there is a response. This prevents problems from slipping through the cracks. Scheduling features make it easier to divvy up on-call responsibilities, which also prevents lapses.


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“Today, we are the “9-1-1 dispatch” system for IT,” said CEO Alex Solomon in a blog post about the funding. “The next major step in the vision is to expand beyond just the critical incidents. We ultimately will become the central nervous system of IT: we’ll provide the interconnecting fabric between your systems and the people responsible for managing them. Our big audacious goal is to reduce the noise. In other words, only the critical issues should wake you up at 4am, false alerts should be automatically filtered out, and low priority incidents should be surfaced in aggregate in summary reports.”

Clients include high-profile customers like Microsoft, Adobe, EA, Square, Github, Pinterest, Braintree, Heroku, Intuit, 37signals, and Etsy. This first round of investment will go towards hiring more “crazy-smart engineers” for product development and fuel global expansion. In addition to Andreessen Horowitz, the Webb Investment Network, Opscore founder Jesse Robbins, and existing seed investors Harrison Metal, Baseline Ventures, and Ignition Partners contributed.

PagerDuty was founded in 2009 and is based in San Francisco. Read the press release

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