Chronosphere Adds Query Builder Tool Based on PromQL

Chronosphere, a provider of an observability platform for cloud-native applications based on microservices, this week added support for a Query Builder tool based on the Prometheus query language (PromQL).

That capability comes on the heels of adding support for distributed tracing capabilities for tracking interactions between services to the Chronosphere software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform alongside an existing capability to collect metrics. The company claims to be the only provider of an observability platform that allows customers to efficiently collect, aggregate and retain 100% of their distributed trace data without the need for sampling.

Developed under the auspices of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, the data format employed by Prometheus is rapidly becoming a de facto standard for observability platforms. Just about every observability platform can consume data created in the format. Chronosphere is taking that capability a step further by adding support for a query language that makes it possible to interrogate that data as part of any effort to discover the root cause of an IT issue.

Martin Mao, Chronosphere co-founder and CEO, says as more observability data is stored in the Prometheus format, the query builder tool will make the Prometheus query language more accessible to a wider range of IT professionals. PromQL has specific structures and syntax that must be mastered in addition to requirements for unique variables such as metric name and dynamic filters based on label values.

In many cases, the learning curve required to master PromQL is simply too high, adds Mao. Query Builder makes it easier to explore complex application environments based on microservices that are continuously being updated, he notes. The Query Builder tool itself was built in collaboration with Julius Volz, co-founder of Prometheus and the creator of the PromQL query language.

While Prometheus can be used to collect data from both cloud-native and monolithic applications, Mao said the Chronosphere platform is designed specifically from the ground up to meet the observability requirements of cloud-native applications. Those microservices-based applications can generate anywhere between 10x and 100x more data than monolithic applications running on top of a virtual machine. The Chronosphere platform is designed for organizations that are starting to deploy cloud-native applications at a level of scale that creates the need for an observability platform that scales higher than the core open source Prometheus platform many DevOps teams initially deploy.

Each individual IT organization will need to decide when that crossover point might be reached. However, as cloud-native computing environments become more complex, it becomes challenging to, for example, deploy and maintain an instance of Prometheus on every Kubernetes cluster.

Fresh from raising another $200 million in funding, Chronosphere has now raised a total of $255 million to compete with an ever-increasing number of rival observability platform providers. Observability, of course, has always been a core tenet of DevOps best practices. The challenge has been that traditional monitoring tools are designed to consume a pre-defined set of metrics. Observability tools, on the other hand, explore the data being generated by the application environment in a way that allows IT teams to proactively discover issues long before they become a potentially major disruption.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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