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Honeycomb Introduces Refinery, a New Solution to Optimize Observability for Enterprises at Scale

By George Miranda  |   Last modified on May 11, 2021

San Francisco, March 2, 2021 – Honeycomb, the company that pioneered the first commercial observability solution to understand, debug, and improve distributed production systems, announced today a new solution, Refinery, to help enterprises refine their observability data at scale. Managing large, complex applications means dealing with potentially hundreds of billions of events per month. Refinery collects 100 percent of telemetry data and provides multiple ways to observe only the events that best represent important system changes, resulting in a high-fidelity debugging experience while also controlling costs.

"Refinery has reduced our event volume to 25% of what it used to be, and that reduced traffic is also more consistent on a daily basis,” said Matt Button, Engineering Team Lead, Geckoboard. “Now my team has confidence that we can use Honeycomb even more in our services to better understand what's happening, without worrying so much about our spend."

With the complexity of modern software architectures, enterprises need observability to identify and resolve issues in their production apps faster and to build more resilient services. Refinery is the latest addition to Honeycomb’s Enterprise offerings that give developers, site reliability engineers (SREs), and DevOps engineers the tools they need to quickly troubleshoot some of the world’s largest and most complex software applications. In addition to Refinery, Honeycomb’s enterprise offering includes:

    • Service-Level Objectives (SLOs) that help technical and business stakeholders align on critical customer experience thresholds. Unlike other SLO solutions that only provide alerts and force teams to debug in other systems, Honeycomb’s SLOs are debuggable, so that teams know what is wrong and how to fix issues within a single interface.
    • Secure Tenancy, Honeycomb’s patented approach that enables organizations to protect sensitive data and comply with their off-premises data security policies   
    • Exclusive training and onboarding support needed at enterprise scale. Customized onboarding packages and top-level support improve an organization’s production service management skills and accelerate their ability to resolve issues.

“At large enough scale, there’s a tradeoff between providing engineers the data they need to maintain the kind of digital experiences customers expect and the resource costs of sending all that data to Honeycomb,” said Christine Yen, CEO of Honeycomb. “Honeycomb is always looking for ways to democratize the tools and expertise that used to be reserved for only the world’s most elite companies. Previously, solutions like Refinery have been proprietary and closed-source. Now, Honeycomb makes it easy for anyone to only keep the most important data they need to debug their production services and stop paying for the rest.”

Refinery delivers significant benefits for the enterprise, including:

    • Cost predictability and control without sacrificing fidelity. Capture 100% of your observability data and use a variety of out-of-the-box configuration options to determine which events best represent important system changes. Honeycomb uses those samples to rebuild data accurately, providing a high-fidelity observability experience for a fraction of the cost.
    • The control customers need, backed entirely by Honeycomb support. Refinery runs within a customer’s infrastructure, giving them full control over what they choose to send to Honeycomb. Honeycomb supports every aspect of using Refinery, including installation, configuration, usage, troubleshooting, maintenance, and more.
    • Works with Secure Tenancy and OpenTelemetry. It’s critical that all components of an enterprise stack work together seamlessly. Refinery simply just works with our patented approach to data privacy and with vendor-neutral instrumentation options like the OpenTelemetry project. 

“Modern applications and microservices require more data than ever for effective troubleshooting based on system observability, which can become prohibitively expensive,” said James Governor, RedMonk co-founder. “With Refinery, Honeycomb is addressing these cost concerns to encourage wider enterprise adoption of its web scale technologies.”

Honeycomb is offering a free 30-day Enterprise trial for a limited time. Learn more

About Honeycomb

Honeycomb provides observability for modern development teams to learn, debug, and improve their production systems efficiently so that business-critical apps perform with minimal disruption to users. Honeycomb’s customers rely on the product for fast incident response, system optimization, and delivering pain-free releases across the software engineering cycle that translates to happy devs and happy customers. Learn more at and follow on Twitter.


George Miranda



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