They won $100K at Start Madness, recently completed a successful beta, now turn their eyes on providing more DevOps tools to the world.
The last time I spoke with Matthew Barlocker, Blue Matador was a mere kernel of a company. Nearly one year ago, Barlocker and fellow Lucid Software alum Mark Siebert had begun work on a DevOps (development operations) monitoring solution they believed could help a great many companies. From the original profile:
Matthew Barlocker is very familiar with both backend development and the doomsday proclamation — five nines of availability — that comes along with it. He also brings a vast reservoir of experience in the startup world, spending the last five years at Lucid Software in charge of building out the backend. As is the case at any software company, Barlocker was tasked with managing the platform’s uptime versus downtime — again, how often a platform is functional/available versus how often it is not. If the expectation is a maximum of five minutes of downtime PER YEAR, then it seems reasonable to assume the team charged with this task would have razor sharp tools to monitor, control, and predict any possible disaster scenarios.
As of now, these tools don’t really exist, at least not within one product suite and especially not when it comes to predicting possible errors. This is the problem Barlocker encountered time and again at Lucid. This is the problem he’s hoping to solve with Blue Matador.
I recently spoke with Barlocker to see what Blue Matador has been up to in the past year. As you might remember, Blue Matador was one of the big winner’s in January’s Start Madness pitch competition, taking home $100,000 for a second place finish.
This coincided with Blue Matador’s original beta launch, started at the tail end of 2016. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned.
“It wasn’t representative of what we can do — it was good, but not great,” said Barlocker. “We ran it for a few months, extracted as much feedback as we could, and shut it down.”
This led to Blue Matador concentrating on two specific products within their suite: a centralized log management tool called Lumberjack, and a free systems vitals monitor called Watchdog. Both products fit into the larger mission of Blue Matador as a company, to find and identify problems before they even happen. The more uptime, the better.
“We want to help people realize that seconds matter, it’s all about predicting when they are going to go down,” said Barlocker.
Blue Matador recently completed what we’ll call “real” beta on July 31, working with a variety of companies (including Lucid, Medici, and BYU) to resounding success. They even used Watchdog to monitor their own servers and feedback from all beta parties was positive.
“Feedback has been great, I’ve even had some users sarcastically tell me, ‘Now I have to deal with a problem I didn’t know I have,’” said Barlocker. “And that’s exactly what we want.”
They’ve also been working on another DevOps tool called Firefighter, concentrating on IT alerts and incident management. The plan is to release Firefighter in beta soon and if Blue Matador has their way, a suite of DevOps tools designed to catch problems before they happen will be available sooner rather than later. Stay tuned.