When we started working on Instrumental back in 2011, Expected Behavior had just begun our transition from a consulting company to a product company. In our consulting work, we were often tasked with performing high-stakes operations or answering difficult questions. In those situations, we found the available monitoring tools weren't up to the task. They were generally

  • too slow - "real time" was often over a minute behind, so if you made a mistake a lot of customers would have a bad time before the monitoring tools would show it
  • turn key - which was a nice way of saying you had to use a generic solution that wasn't a great fit for the situation and didn't have many customization options. It was also a good way to end up paying for a lot of monitoring you didn't want or need.
  • unreliable - downtime was surprisingly common among paid solutions. Open source solutions often downplayed the difficulty of maintaining your own monitoring solution and often were not adequately designed for serious production situations

We made Instrumental to solve those problems and had a blast running it for 11 years. Instrumental was fast, built to be tailored to the situation at hand, and had an extremely resilient architecture. The customizability made it popular with some of the world's largest enterprises as well as small companies that didn't want to pay for monitoring they didn't need.

You're probably wondering "if it was so great, why did you shut it down?". Expected Behavior is a small company (less than 10 people) that intends to stay small. That means we can't run an unlimited number of products. At the time we chose to shut down Instrumental, we'd been working on the same products for over 10 years and wanted to make something new. That meant that something old needed to go. In the 11 years since we started, the monitoring market has grown and improved substantially. The speed, reliability, and customizability of paid and open source solutions has grown along with it.

We prefer Instrumental to the other choices on the market today and we probably always will, but we're excited to make lots of new things. If you used Instrumental, thanks for joining us on the journey! If you didn't get the chance, there's a lot more interesting things to come.

Check out our other product