Israel-based observability startup Rookout today expanded its developer-first platform with a new capability: smart snapshots. The feature gives developers a context-rich picture of an incident with deep code-level data.

Today, observability is mainly driven by insight into three key data classes: traces, metrics and logs. These so-called pillars drive most observability companies, enabling them to help enterprises find and address issues in their application systems. The approach works well, but Rookout calls this “traditional observability.”

Rookout, founded by Shahar Fogel, sees traces, metrics and logs as low-fidelity data classes that often lack the context required by a developer. The company maintains that even though application memory contains gigabytes of valuable data, logs only capture a few hundred bytes and traces only capture a few thousand – leaving everything else untouched.

Snapshots for in-depth observability

To fill this gap, Rookout is introducing smart snapshots to its platform. The feature, touted by the company as the “fourth pillar of observability,” captures everything that happened at a specific moment in time: stack traces, variable values, request context and the global state of the application. 

This way, as and when something breaks, the smart snapshot automatically provides developers with a detailed, context-rich picture of the incident with deep code-level insights. It saves time that’s now dedicated to debugging and provides a way to fix the application faster than previously possible. 

“Snapshots are the next level for those moments when something goes very wrong and metrics and logs don’t provide enough context for developers. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a snapshot is worth a thousand log lines,” said Liran Haimovitch, CTO and co-founder of Rookout.

Along with production environments, the new feature will be useful during testing – helping companies see why a particular test failed, Rookout claims.

Haimovitch told VentureBeat that getting started with smart snapshots is as easy as adding an APM agent or logging library, and is done in minutes. Once integrated, its notifications will flow to individual software developers. Teams can also add additional custom snapshots with a single line of code, like traditional logs and metrics, he added.

Troubleshooting without restarts

Rookout was launched in 2020 to help developers get access to code-level data to troubleshoot and understand complex applications without extra coding, redeployments or restarts. The platform supports cloud-native debugging and live data collection and is designed for production environments and modern architecture debugging, such as Kubernetes, microservices, and serverless and service-mesh-based applications. It claims to have over 100 paying customers at present.

With this latest feature, Rookout has expanded its platform’s scope and taken another step toward taking on leading players as the demand for observability technologies continues to grow. Currently, the market is dominated by well-funded companies like Splunk, Datadog, Dynatrace and New Relic, and they have been pretty active with their offerings. Just a few weeks back, New Relic launched change-tracking for application observability, Dynatrace debuted a new automation engine, and Splunk added trace analyzer and network explorer capabilities to its observability cloud.

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