London-based infrastructure monitoring software start-up Dataloop.IO has closed an early seed round of $800,000 (£480,000) which will help Dataloop.IO accelerate its product development and hire new talent in preparation for a public launch later this year.
The company’s monitoring software is designed to eliminate the hassle of setting up open-source monitoring tools, deeply monitor online services, and quickly alert companies to broken features and downtime.
In an interview with The WHIR, Dataloop CEO and co-founder David Gildeh said Dataloop’s monitoring solution offers several advantages over custom-coding solutions from scratch or build one using open-source code.
Launched in October 2013, the company has been working with Rackspace, Blinkbox, and Hive Home from British Gas to develop its software.
Alfresco, an open-source document management company, was where Gildeh met his fellow Dataloop co-founders. He had sold his first startup, which provided file sharing and collaboration software, to Alfresco. Following the sale, he headed the enterprise cloud business at Alfresco, where he met future Dataloop co-founders Steven Acreman and Colin Hemmings who were running the operations for the cloud service.
Dataloop’s latest funding round was led by Forward Partners, and angel investors include Alfresco co-founder John Powell, Just-Eat.com chairman John Hughes, Huddle co-founder Andy Mcloughlin, and SecretEscapes.com co-founder Troy Collins.
After interviewing dozens of COO’s and operations teams in the UK and the US, the Dataloop team found that there’s no “great product” in the infrastructure monitoring space yet. “It’s a massive pain; companies are spending loads of time and resources building their own monitoring systems,” Gildeh said.
In their research, they found that some companies use Zabbix and Sensu to power their monitoring solutions, but around half of companies were monitoring their IT infrastructure using the open-source Nagios platform, which can be difficult to setup. Also, having debuted in 1999, Nagios is showing signs of age, and has hardly kept pace with the explosion in DevOps and modern cloud infrastructures.
Companies with the available development resources like Netflix and Twitter have managed to build their own custom monitoring solutions from scratch that suit their needs, but this is unrealistic for smaller and less tech savvy organizations.
In effect, Dataloop provides to its customers IT monitoring features similar to the ones created by these companies.
Dataloop also paid special attention to making the solution easy to use and with built-in colorful visualizations that display data. “We are really focusing on making as simple to use as possible and wrapping it up in a really nice UI,” Gildeh said.
Dataloop is pioneering a real-time alert service that can be compared to IFTTT. The client can write rules around multiple metrics, such as CPU or disk space use, to ensure that only important alerts are sent.
“That’s important because right now one of the biggest problems in monitoring is that people are just spammed constantly with emails coming out of their monitoring tools,” he said. “One of the companies we know gets 5,000 a day. When you get 5,000 emails a day, you’re not going to look at any of the emails in fact, it gets so bad that you get notified of errors when users start complaining, which is not where you want to be with your monitoring.”
In upcoming releases, Dataloop will be adding the ability to send scheduled reports that give a bird’s eye view of IT systems.
Dataloop is currently working with 20 companies in a private beta of sorts. Dataloop was chosen by Hive Home from British Gas, the UK’s largest energy and home services company, to monitor the cloud solution hosting an initiative to bring customer hot water tanks online.
“What they’re launching is an Internet-of-Things play,” Gildeh said. “For £200. you get a device on your boiler and you can use your mobile phone to control it. It’s kind of like Nest for the UK, except they have more users than Nest.”
As it nears wide release, Dataloop is also working on ways to make its solution easier and less expensive for smaller companies to deploy so that they, too, can identify problems with their IT delivery before users even notice.