How LogDNA Leveraged Equinix Metal to Handle Their Hypergrowth
Spurred on by a growing number of businesses thirsty for interconnection and a digitally on-point presence in the market, trendspotters have identified log management as a growth industry to watch.
LogDNA — optimized for Kubernetes and offering a “fanatical focus” on the developer experience — may have some competition, but the California company is arguably in a league of their own.
And they’re running with it.
In the last year alone, the Bay Area-based company has taken off like a rocket, increasing their YOY revenues by 300 percent and new employees by 64 percent, while snagging $25 million in Series C funding and naming a new CEO to boot.
“The log management space is ripe for disruption due to unmet DevOps demand. To make a cultural change you must have a system of people, process and tools with those three pillars supporting the change and strategy you want to deploy,” says newly named LogDNA CEO Tucker Callaway. “LogDNA has this vision and I see this as an incredible opportunity for us and a reason our customers choose us.”
Tucker Callaway, newly named LogDNA CEO
When Chris Nguyen and Lee Liu founded LogDNA in 2015, it was the third start-up the bootstrappers had teamed together on. Both saw the potential in the log management market but also recognized the need to add resources incrementally while aggressively growing their customer base to drive revenues.
With a mission of arming DevOps teams with a centralized solution for easily sifting through massive amounts of log data, LogDNA built a platform designed to provide “cluster-level insights” and streamline troubleshooting. Their custom logging tools called for very specific hardware requirements for ElasticSearch and the team also wanted more control and increased density over their servers.
Chris Nguyen and Lee Liu
The LogDNA team started out with public cloud, but when the company hit the hypergrowth stage, they discovered the cloud couldn’t offer them some critical capabilities necessary for meeting customer commitments. Partnering with Equinix Metal gave LogDNA the power of on-premise with the convenience of public cloud.
“We migrated to dedicated bare metal because it’s more cost-effective, has better performance, and helps with our compliance needs,” says Ryan Staatz, a Systems Architect for LogDNA. The move also helped the LogDNA team stick to their goal of ensuring all of their deployment sites are run through Kubernetes, says Staatz, who oversaw LogDNA’s infrastructure migration from Virtual Machines (VM) to Kubernetes.
“We are able to deliver a more responsive experience as a direct result of the improved performance,” Staatz says. “We are not only able to keep up with our super-fast growth, but also handle it well. That would not have been possible without Equinix Metal.”
Scale or Die
Rapid growth, however — no matter how welcome — tends to put a great deal of stress on the pressure points.
By 2019, LogDNA had amassed well over 3,000 customers, including a growing number of enterprises such as IBM Cloud. Nguyen, who had a specific long-term vision for budget and scope from the beginning, says his team’s migration strategy included building an inner circle of trusted partners and vendors.
“We experienced tremendous growth and finding a partner that could handle our scale was important,” he says. “We were excited to be working with Equinix Metal since the beginning, and we were even more excited post-acquisition by Equinix. We know the platform was going to grow exponentially with the parent company, and it’s nice to have a partner with that kind of reach.”
Having successfully collaborated with Equinix Metal at a slow and steady burn for over two years, LogDNA decided to pull the trigger and “move the house” in early 2020. Currently 95 percent of LogDNA’s stack runs on Equinix Metal, powered by AMD 7401P EPYC processors.
“Trust is key. When you can afford to remove whether or not to trust from the equation, you can fully focus on executing,” Nguyen says. “We needed a partner who understood our business and infrastructure needs — Equinix Metal did that, which freed us up to focus on growing the business.”