Effx, the San Francisco startup has emerged from stealth mode, raising an impressive $3.9M seed round to fuel the expansion of its team and platform features. The Effx platform tracks and monitors services and dependencies, via a single pane of glass, in the microservices environment. The founder previously built the site reliability team at Airbnb in 2015 where he helped transition the company from a Ruby on Rails monolith to a microservices environment.
As a refresher, microservices is the process of breaking down the functionality of a monolith application into services, whereby each service may run a different programming language and framework. Thus, updating one service will not impact the other, and this in turn fosters innovation. A building block of microservices is Envoy, the sidecar proxy developed and open-sourced by Lyft.
A few years back, Lyft migrated from a monolith application to microservices. However, initially, the team experienced many problems running microservices and programmers were hesitant to move their workloads to it. Once Envoy was in production, it helped Lyft solved many of those problems, and today they run a sophisticated heterogeneous infrastructure with dozens of tools, databases, and the like. In short, Envoy is a sidecar proxy that runs in a container next to the application sitting in the local machine. At its core, the networking functions are abstracted from the application, allowing programmers to focus on writing code. As an L3/L4 proxy, Envoy provides a wealth of features including load balancing, service discovery, observability, rate limiting, tracing, TLS, and so on.
Moving from a monolith application to microservices has its challenges. Initially, Airbnb, Netflix, and Booking.com experienced many problems but they fixed them in due time. However, microservices haven’t panned out for everyone. In December 2015, the startup Segment moved to microservices with great fanfare. In 2017, as their services grew so did the complexity and they hit a “tipping point” in that microservices were giving them more problems than their previous monolith application, requiring 3 engineers to keep the system up and running. In 2018, Segment went back to the monolith system and they’re as happy as can be. In defense of microservices, in 2015, microservices was a baby learning to crawl and Envoy was just a toddler.
Today, there are many great tools, best practices, and research for running microservices successfully. It won’t be easy, but companies like Effx simplify the process of tracking, monitoring, and pinpointing incidents in real-time as they arise. In the next several years, microservices will go mainstream, and simplicity will reign supreme regardless of how many clusters and best of breed point products are being used to manage microservices. Effx provides the following features:
- Can build and automatically update the service catalog
- Tracks services and provides a “birds-eye view” of dependencies and their interaction with one another
- Platform agnostic and integrates with Kubernetes, AWS, Github, etc.
- Provides context on incidents so issues can be resolved quickly
- Activity feeds provide insight on how dependencies “change from deploys, feature flags, experiments, and capacity changes”
- Company: Effx Inc.
- Started: 2019
- HQ: San Francisco
- # of Employees: 9 and growing
- Raised: $3.9M
- Founder: Joey Parsons (CEO)
- VCs: Kleiner Perkins and Cowboy Ventures
- Product: Tracks and monitors services, incidents, dependencies, and so on, in a microservices environment