December 14, 2023 - 2 Min Read

Episode #3 – Reducing observability costs with Kevin Lin

Addressing the challenges of elevated observability expenses in startups and enterprises.

Daniela Miao
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Summary 

On episode 3 of the Observe It podcast, host Daniela Miao has a conversation with Kevin Lin, founder of Nimbus and Dendron. They kick off the discussion about Kevin’s journey from engineering roles at AWS to founding startups in the Seattle area. Kevin pivoted from Dendron, an open-source notion competitor, to Nimbus, a company focused on optimizing observability costs. 

The pivot stemmed from interviewing 100 companies where observability costs emerged as a significant issue across startups and large enterprises. Kevin draws a parallel between observability costs today and early days of text messaging when carriers charged significantly more than the actual cost of data. He notes a 100x difference in storage costs between cloud providers like AWS S3 and vendors like Datadog. 

Kevin emphasizes that Nimbus aims to optimize existing observability rather than becoming another observability vendor. They provide an optimization engine that reduces log volumes by 60-90% without losing data and positioning themselves as a meta-observability tool. 

The conversation closes with a discussion revolving around the need for educating developers on cost implications and Nimbus’ goal of easing that burden by automating log aggregation transparently. 

About Kevin Lin

Kevin is a software engineer turned startup founder. He worked at AWS for half a decade before leaving to launch his own company. His background is in observability and distributed systems. Prior to Nimbus, Keven started Dendron, a YC backed startup behind an open source Notion competitor focused on helping developers organize information at scale. In his spare time, Kevin climbs and runs long distances. 

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