Polar Signals Launches Parca, the Continuous Profiling Open Source Project, and Announces New Funding from GV and Lightspeed | Financial Buzz

Polar Signals Launches Parca, the Continuous Profiling Open Source Project, and Announces New Funding from GV and Lightspeed

Polar Signals, a company dedicated to helping organizations measure and understand infrastructure and application performance over time, today announced a $4M seed round led by GV and Lightspeed. The company is also introducing Parca, an open source project taking the observability space to the next level by measuring code performance systematically, enabling everyone to optimize their code. The funding will be used to accelerate development around Parca and its hosted continuous profiling product that is currently in private beta, along with the expansion of its engineering and technical teams.

Founded in 2020 by Frederic Branczyk, former Senior Principal Engineer at Red Hat, former CoreOS engineer, active Prometheus maintainer, and active Kubernetes tech lead, the Polar Signals team was born in the cloud-native era. Polar Signals’ aim is to bring a unique depth of insight into running software to help customers understand resource usage down to the source code line number, such as CPU cycles, memory allocations, and much more. One of the most common use cases is the ability to optimize code to save money on cloud bills from AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud.

Continuous profiling was initially popularized by Google, and the newly open-sourced project Parca, which serves as the backbone of Polar Signals’ product, is intended to bring this technology to everyone. Parca is a rewrite from the ground up, but an evolution of a project formerly known as Conprof, which Frederic Branczyk created in late 2018. Branczyk used the proof of concept to demonstrate its value in an invited Keynote at KubeCon Barcelona. The next evolution, Parca, features two components: the storage, which is highly optimized for continuous profiling data; and the agent, which uses the Linux Kernel instrumentation technology eBPF to collect the necessary data with extremely low overhead. Additionally, the experience with Parca is tailored to combine seamlessly with existing Prometheus deployments, the de facto open source monitoring solution for Kubernetes.

“Many companies could save 20-30% of their cloud bill with little effort, but they don’t understand where and how, and this is where continuous profiling comes in. It tells us with statistical significance where resources are being spent, so we can be sure that if optimized, resources usage will be lower and thus saving cost,” says Frederic Branczyk, founder and CEO of Polar Signals.

Continuous profiling has been gaining in popularity in the Observability space, and it’s part of a larger movement away from the traditional notion that observability has only three pillars. While each excels in its own way, continuous profiling is a missing piece of the puzzle, where instead of abstract metrics, logs or traces about application logic, continuous profiling is the reflection of running code as it executes, down to the line number.

“Continuous profiling has emerged as an important signal in infrastructure monitoring and has opened up a new avenue for developers to drive deeper analysis,” said Dave Munichiello, General Partner at GV. “Polar Signals was founded by a highly technical team that is integral to the Prometheus community, and they are well-positioned to create a next-generation infrastructure observability platform to propel the industry forward.”

The company and its early employees are former CoreOS, Red Hat, DigitalOcean and Hashicorp employees, and are well-seasoned leaders and maintainers in the open-source, observability, and Kubernetes communities.

About Polar Signals:

Polar Signals wants to help you truly understand your code. Polar Signals develops novel solutions to understand running code that are not replacing existing Observability tools but are complementary to them in order to understand aspects that were not possible for example with logs, metrics and traces.

Continuous profiling is their first product that allows its users to understand resource usage down to the line number to optimize code systematically. Polar Signals is a fully remote company with employees distributed all around the world. Learn more on polarsignals.com and follow us on twitter @PolarSignalsIO.


Thor Hansen


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