Nobl9 raises $21M Series B for its SLO management platform

SLAs, SLOs, SLIs. If there’s one thing everybody in the business of managing software development loves, it’s acronyms. And while everyone probably knows what a Service Level Agreement (SLA) is, Service Level Objectives (SLOs) and Service Level Indicators (SLIs) may not be quite as well known. The idea, though, is straightforward, with SLOs being the overall goals a team must hit to meet the promises of its SLA agreements, and SLIs being the actual measurements that back up those other two numbers. With the advent of DevOps, these ideas, which are typically part of a company’s overall Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) efforts, are becoming more mainstream, but putting them into practice isn’t always straightforward.

Noble9 aims to provide enterprises with the tools they need to build SLO-centric operations and the right feedback loops inside an organization to help it hit its SLOs without making too many trade-offs between the cost of engineering, feature development and reliability.

The company today announced that it has raised a $21 million Series B round led by its Series A investors Battery Ventures and CRV. In addition, Series A investors Bonfire Ventures and Resolute Ventures also participated, together with new investors Harmony Partners and Sorenson Ventures.

Before starting Nobl9, co-founders Marcin Kurc (CEO) and Brian Singer (CPO) spent time together at Orbitera, where Singer was the co-founder and COO and Kurc the CEO, and then at Google Cloud, after it acquired Orbitera in 2016. In the process, the team got to work with and appreciate Google’s site reliability engineering frameworks.

As they started looking into what to do next, that experience led them to look into productizing these ideas. “We came to this conclusion that if you’re going into Kubernetes, into service-based applications and modern architectures, there’s really no better way to run that than SRE,” Kurc told me. “And when we started looking at this, naturally SRE is a complete framework, there are processes. We started looking at elements of SRE and we agreed that SLO — service level objectives — is really the foundational part. You can’t do SRE without SLOs.”

As Singer noted, in order to adopt SLOs, businesses have to know how to turn the data they have about the reliability of their services, which could be measured in uptime or latency, for example, into the right objectives. That’s complicated by the fact that this data could live in a variety of databases and logs, but the real question is how to define the right SLOs for any given organization based on this data.

“When you go into the conversation with an organization about what their goals are with respect to reliability and how they start to think about understanding if there’s risks to that, they very quickly get bogged down in how are we going to get this data or that data and instrument this or instrument that,” Singer said. “What we’ve done is we’ve built a platform that essentially takes that as the problem that we’re solving. So no matter where the data lives and in what format it lives, we want to be able to reduce it to very simply an error budget and an objective that can be tracked and measured and reported on.”

The company’s platform launched into general availability last week, after a beta that started last year. Early customers include Brex and Adobe.

As Kurc told me, the team actually thinks of this new funding round as a Series A round, but because its $7.5 million Series A was pretty sizable, they decided to call it a Series A instead of a seed round. “It’s hard to define it. If you define it based on a revenue milestone, we’re pre-revenue, we just launched the GA product,” Singer told me. “But I think just in terms of the maturity of the product and the company, I would put us at the [Series] B.”

The team told me that it closed the round at the end of last November, and while it considered pitching new VCs, its existing investors were already interested in putting more money into the company and since its previous round had been oversubscribed, they decided to add to this new round some of the investors that didn’t make the cut for the Series A.

The company plans to use the new funding to advance its roadmap and expand its team, especially across sales, marketing and customer success.

#adobe, #battery-ventures, #bonfire-ventures, #brex, #cloud, #computing, #crv, #developer, #enterprise, #funding, #fundings-exits, #harmony-partners, #nobl9, #orbitera, #outsourcing, #recent-funding, #resolute-ventures, #software-development, #startups, #supply-chain-management, #tc


France Thought It Could Reverse Globalization, but It’s Still Bleeding Jobs

The government is encouraging more factories, but C.E.O.s say labor costs in the country remain high.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #europe, #factories-and-manufacturing, #international-trade-and-world-market, #labor-and-jobs, #layoffs-and-job-reductions, #loire-valley-france, #macron-emmanuel-1977, #outsourcing


When the U.S. and China Fight, It Is the Environment That Suffers

The Trump administration’s moves to decouple the two economies means less leverage over Beijing’s green policies.

#air-pollution, #carbon-dioxide, #chengdu-china, #coal, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #environment, #gansu-province-china, #general-assembly-un, #global-warming, #green-climate-fund, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #hazardous-and-toxic-substances, #hong-kong, #india, #international-trade-and-world-market, #japan, #liu-he-1952, #obama-barack, #outsourcing, #pacific-ocean, #paris-agreement, #pew-research-center, #pollution, #steel-and-iron, #united-states, #united-states-economy, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government


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As the president clashes with the courts, some companies and investors say tougher limits on temporary work visas will help push jobs overseas.

#computers-and-the-internet, #foreign-workers, #immigration-and-emigration, #india, #labor-and-jobs, #outsourcing, #telecommuting, #visas


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Joe Biden’s economic proposals show how the president has shifted the playing field toward protectionism. But there may be fewer jobs to lose, or regain.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #china, #customs-tariff, #international-trade-and-world-market, #outsourcing, #presidential-election-of-2020, #protectionism-trade, #relocation-of-business, #trump-donald-j, #united-states, #united-states-economy


How to hire your first engineer: A guide for nontechnical founders

For founders who have a startup idea — but few engineering skills to make it a reality — making the team’s first technical hire can be a daunting task.

Nontechnical founders will face greater challenges when it comes to sourcing and recruiting engineering talent, but another factor that raises the stakes: They must often act quickly to find someone who could very well end up with co-founder status.

We interviewed a handful of startup founders and technical leaders to get their thoughts about how nontechnical founders should approach the hiring process for engineer no. 1.

Their advice spanned how to handle technical interviews, sourcing technical talent, how to decide whether your first engineering hire should become CTO — and how to best kick the can down the road if you’re not ready to start worrying about bringing on an engineer quite yet. Everyone I spoke to was quick to caution that their tips weren’t one-size-fits-all and that overcoming limited knowledge often comes down to tapping the right people to help you out and lend a greater understanding of your options.

I’ve broken down these tips into a digestible guide that’s focused on four areas:

  • Sourcing technical candidates.
  • How to conduct interviews.
  • Making an offer.
  • Taking a nontraditional route.

Sourcing technical candidates

Knowing what you’re looking for obviously depends a good deal on what you need. Founders have more flexibility if they’re just aiming to get engineers on board so they can get an MVP out the door, but technical expertise is only part of the equation if you’re aiming to hire for someone that may end up being a co-founder or CTO.

#cto, #developer, #early-stage, #engineer, #entrepreneurship, #hiring, #outsourcing, #startups, #tc


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Before sketching out a plan to keep more jobs in the United States, the former vice president denounced his rival over revelations in a new book that the president knowingly minimized the coronavirus’s dangers.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #corporate-taxes, #federal-taxes-us, #labor-and-jobs, #michigan, #outsourcing, #trump-donald-j


Trump Dismisses 2 T.V.A. Board Members After Outsourcing Dispute

The Tennessee Valley Authority, an electric utility, quickly said it would reconsider its move to shift some work to contractors outside the United States.

#appointments-and-executive-changes, #boards-of-directors, #executive-orders-and-memorandums, #labor-and-jobs, #layoffs-and-job-reductions, #outsourcing, #tennessee-valley-authority, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government


Upsides for Some Remote Workers; Lost Pay and Security for Others

Working from home creates economic winners and losers. It can benefit highly skilled employees but depress others’ wages and make it hard to organize.

#automattic, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #duckduckgo, #freelancing-self-employment-and-independent-contracting, #labor-and-jobs, #outsourcing, #telecommuting, #united-states, #wages-and-salaries, #workplace-environment


The Pandemic Isn’t Bringing Back Factory Jobs, at Least Not Yet

It’s a moment of reckoning for global supply chains. But that doesn’t mean companies are flocking back to the United States.

#china, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #customs-tariff, #factories-and-manufacturing, #foreign-investments, #international-trade-and-world-market, #labor-and-jobs, #layoffs-and-job-reductions, #outsourcing, #relocation-of-business, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-economy, #united-states-politics-and-government


Why Do We Pay So Many People So Little Money?

The coronavirus pandemic is forcing America to confront its epidemic low-wage problem.

#income-inequality, #labor-and-jobs, #layoffs-and-job-reductions, #minimum-wage, #outsourcing, #summers-lawrence-h, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-economy, #united-states-politics-and-government, #wages-and-salaries


Needing At-Home Workers, Call Centers Turn to People With Disabilities

Companies caught short by the pandemic are hiring from a pool that was already prepared to handle a surge in phone traffic away from offices.

#americans-with-disabilities-act, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #customer-relations, #disabilities, #labor-and-jobs, #national-telecommuting-institute, #outsourcing, #shutdowns-institutional, #telecommuting