Honeycomb

Observability for SRE/DevOps to observe and debug production

About Honeycomb

Honeycomb is a platform for developer and engineer teams to understand, debug & improve production systems. Using rapid query, users can quickly find issues to resolve incidents while heat-maps and tracing views identify where the latency or errors lie within the code.

With Honeycomb, users can carry out introspection and interrogation on production systems including platforms, microservices, serverless apps, and other complex systems such as code from IoT, browsers, vendored software, and already owned code. The Honeytail feature tails existing log files, parsing the content before sending it directly to Honeycomb for query, while BubbleUp heat-maps enable users to identify outliers and pinpoint problems in large amounts of high-cardinality data.

Honeycomb conducts rapid query across system logs and metrics while the Beeline feature provides traces with real-time interactive charts and heatmaps. This provides users with an in-depth view of full context, high-cardinality data. The platform detects when there is an issue and identifies which customers are likely to be affected by the problem, as well as those that may have been a cause of the issue. From this, teams can implement mitigation strategies to reduce the impact on a business and, in some cases visualize potential issues before they occur. Additionally, users can configure service level objectives (SLOs) to prioritize issues that will have the biggest impact on customers, reduce on-call toil, and time taken for code to be delivered.

Honeycomb can be integrated with third party tools such as Slack, Webhooks, and PagerDuty enabling teams to collaborate, collect and share knowledge, mine query histories, and pin important information for future reference. Additionally, teams can carry out production monitoring by enabling custom triggers to be generated in the integrated platforms, alerting team members when data crosses any user defined thresholds such as events and lags.


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Honeycomb Software - Honeycomb.io tracing
Honeycomb Software - Honeycomb.io latency visualization
Honeycomb Software - Honeycomb.io triggers
Honeycomb Software - Honeycomb.io configurable SLO's
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Honeycomb Software - Honeycomb.io tracing
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Honeycomb Software - Honeycomb.io triggers
Honeycomb Software - Honeycomb.io configurable SLO's

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4.9 (18)
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Starting Price

US$100.00
month
US$15.00
month

Pricing Options

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Free version
Free trial

Features

22
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Integrations

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Ease of Use

4.4 (18)
4.2 (241)

Value for Money

4.9 (18)
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Customer Service

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Reviews

Overall rating

4.9 /5
(18)
Value for Money
4.9/5
Features
4.6/5
Ease of Use
4.4/5
Customer Support
4.9/5

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Software buyers need your help! Product reviews help the rest of us make great decisions.

Showing 5 reviews of 18
Fernando
Fernando
Overall rating
  • Industry: Real Estate
  • Company size: 1,001–5,000 Employees
  • Used Weekly for 6-12 months
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

A great fit for anyone struggling to make sense out of their systems

Reviewed on 26/05/2020

At QuintoAndar we have dozens of engineering teams maintaining over a hundred services. Honeycomb...

At QuintoAndar we have dozens of engineering teams maintaining over a hundred services. Honeycomb became the go-to solution when we need to dive in and understand what is happening with them.

Our biggest use case is by far troubleshooting incidents. Thanks to Honeycomb's blazing fast query times, once we know something is wrong, we are often able to quickly pinpoint exactly what is going on and fix it faster than before. But we also started to use it to keep track of Service Level Objectives and even help onboarding new engineers, for example by showing some ways user requests map into our infrastructure.

Finally, the customer support was great. Since we started the trial we had a direct channel with both their sales and engineering teams who were always very quick to answer any questions and act on any feedback.

Pros

Honeycomb has made it very easy to ingest any kind of structured data and "slice and dice it" to figure out what is really happening with our systems. We have extracted a lot of value from database query logs, load balancer logs, CDN logs, even Kubernetes events! However, it's at analyzing application traces where it really shines.

The game changer is the "bubble up" feature: it tells you which dimension of an event is more likely to be responsible for an anomaly, and that is super useful when you are troubleshooting an incident or want to answer tricky questions such as "which API calls are causing us to not meet our Service Level Objectives?".

Finally, I have to add: Honeycomb's pricing model (event-based instead of machine/CPU/license based) is probably the most cloud-friendly option out there.

Cons

Some aspects of the UI/UX could be improved. It is easy to jump on and start asking meaningful questions about your data, but it can also be a bit overwhelming to new users who are more accustomed to more traditional "point-and-click" interfaces. The online interactive tutorials are very well made and do help a lot though.

Daniel
Overall rating
  • Industry: Information Technology & Services
  • Company size: 201–500 Employees
  • Used Daily for 1-5 months
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Easier if you see what you're doing.

Reviewed on 01/06/2021

We used the FREE tier to test the product, and now we just started with PRO and are looking for...

We used the FREE tier to test the product, and now we just started with PRO and are looking for getting all moving parts instrumented. Already showed benefits by not having to jump between multiple tools, but we expect to get even more in terms of the knowledge sharing and culture around observability and on-call in our org.

Pros

Honeycomb helps engineers deal with complexity. It rewards curiosity and makes lowers the unnecesary cognitive load for engineering modern systems. Ultimately, improves quality of life for engineers.

Cons

The instrumentation and the decisions about sampling can make or break the value users get from HC - and currently (especially for PRO subscriptions) the focus is more on the end result and not that much on how to get there.

Alternatives Considered

Datadog, Elastic Stack and New Relic

Reasons for Choosing Honeycomb

It's more of a complimentary product for now, but we try to get the high cardinality shaped problems solved with HC and health metrics internally with other tools.

Switched From

Grafana and Elastic Stack

Reasons for Switching to Honeycomb

Have been using it at previous companies. Unless the job is to go back in time to deal with systems, will use it in the future. Was a bit of a challenge tho to not have a trial to pro as I nearly couldn't make a case in free tier, but HC did very well with the overbudget free tier and gently informed instead of cutting us off, which was helped.
Verified Reviewer
Overall rating
  • Industry: Computer Software
  • Company size: 2–10 Employees
  • Used Weekly for 1+ year
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 9.0 /10

Answer all the questions!

Reviewed on 14/08/2020

Pros

Honeycomb does exactly what it says it does. The flexible data model means we can freely instrument our code without worrying about massaging it into a form that it will accept. In fact, our codebase was already instrumented using OpenTracing before we adopted Honeycomb. We were able to point our OT client to Honeycomb (via a proxy they provide) and it just worked.

The query engine is flexible and fast, which makes it easy to explore our data without demanding intimate familiarity -- this is critical when debugging issues in a distributed service where I don't always know exactly how the events are structured, or what exactly I'm looking for.

Honeycomb's event-based pricing model means we can shove whatever information we think might be useful into our events without worrying about blowing the budget. This is critical to maintaining a well-instrumented codebase, as we don't want our developers having to make value judgements about what to report during development.

Combined, these attributes mean that any question I can think to ask can almost certainly be answered by Honeycomb. It does not take long to become dependent on this ability. In fact, when our trial period was about to expire, a member of my team said, "you can pry Honeycomb from my cold, dead hands!"

Cons

Honeycomb is excellent for exploring the system to get to the bottom of an incident. However, it is less useful for more classic monitoring use-cases. It does have dashboard and trigger features, but they are fairly rudimentary at this time, and insufficient for proactively monitoring the health of a complex service.

In Honeycomb's defense, they do not position themselves as a monitoring solution, so this isn't particularly surprising, but it does mean that a separate monitoring solution is also required.

Vlad
Overall rating
  • Industry: Computer Software
  • Company size: Self Employed
  • Used Daily for 1+ year
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Opens up world of opportunities

Reviewed on 13/03/2020

I am now requiring Honeycomb integration on all software I build and help maintain. It is the...

I am now requiring Honeycomb integration on all software I build and help maintain. It is the highest praise I can give.

Pros

It opens up new avenues in software engineering: what if you could ask your system how it's doing?

Instrumenting everything, sampling sanely, and all the relevant data is in Honeycomb at a reasonable price. From then on forward, all the querying options are available. Bubble Up is there to help massively during incidents to find the outliers and where the problem lies.

Once this is implemented properly( not an easy feast), it feels like living in the future.

Cons

Coming from a classic( and wrong) observability=logs+metrics+traces mindset it is rather hard to get accustomed to Honeycomb. Once the mental hurdle is passed it's all sunshine and rainbows, but it takes a whole lot to get there. Fortunately, their Solution Engineers are very patient and helpful.

Alternatives Considered

Datadog and Sysdig

Reasons for Choosing Honeycomb

Power( amazing querying engine) and cost( sampling is offered as a base solution and encouraged by Honeycomb, and help understanding and implementing is provided)

Switched From

Sysdig

Reasons for Switching to Honeycomb

Sheer power. It solved significantly more issues and helped the team be more productive
Michael
Overall rating
  • Industry: Music
  • Company size: 1,001–5,000 Employees
  • Used Daily for 2+ years
  • Review Source

Overall rating

  • Value for Money
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Likelihood to recommend 10.0 /10

Best Tool Ever

Reviewed on 11/03/2020

Very easy to set up and get data into Honeycomb. We leverage AWS Lambda extensively and send all of...

Very easy to set up and get data into Honeycomb. We leverage AWS Lambda extensively and send all of our Cloudwatch log groups to a Kinesis stream, which another Lambda consumes & publishes to Honeycomb. We've been able to find patterns that would have been difficult to surface in other tools and the SLO functionality provides a good target for your application.

Pros

The ability to explore your application data in ways you did not know you needed, but once you get a taste you're hooked.

Cons

I can't think of anything about Honeycomb that I do not like. One thing to keep in mind when implementing it is to ensure your log data is well-structured with standardized field names, otherwise you won't get the most from it.

Alternatives Considered

Datadog

Reasons for Choosing Honeycomb

Honeycomb is ELK on steroids. I don't think I'll ever be able to go back to an ELK stack again.

Switched From

Elastic Stack

Reasons for Switching to Honeycomb

We took the DataDog logs feature for a spin but found it was lacking in querying.
Showing 5 reviews of 18 Read all reviews

Honeycomb FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions for Honeycomb.

Honeycomb offers the following pricing plans:

  • Starting from: US$100.00/month
  • Pricing model: Free Version, Subscription
  • Free Trial: Available

Honeycomb is offered across three pricing plans, outlined below. 20% discount is offered for annual commitments. A free trial is available. Community: Free. Includes 500mb storage limit, unlimited users, tracing, two triggers, Query results sharing via Slack, activity and team history, permalinks to Query results, and support via Community Slack group. Professional: Starts at $70 / month. Includes variable ingest and storage, all 'Community' features plus single sign on (SSO), and support via Private and Community Slack groups, chat, and email. Enterprise: Starts at $24 000 / year. Includes variable ingest and storage, all 'Professional' features plus single sign on (SSO), service level objectives (SLO's), secure tenancy, support via Private and Community Slack groups, chat, and email.

Honeycomb has the following typical customers:

2–10, 11–50, 51–200, 201–500, 501–1,000, 1,001–5,000

Honeycomb supports the following languages:

English

Honeycomb supports the following devices:

Honeycomb integrates with the following applications:

PagerDuty, Slack

Honeycomb offers the following support options:

Email/Help Desk, FAQs/Forum, Knowledge Base, Phone Support, Chat

Related categories

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