Observability   Customer Stories  

Transforming to an Engineering Culture of Curiosity With a Modern Observability 2.0 Solution

By Rox Williams  |   Last modified on April 11, 2024


Relying on their traditional observability 1.0 tool, Pax8 faced hurdles in fostering a culture of ownership and curiosity due to user-based pricing limitations and an impending steep price increase.

Pax8’s platform engineering team was keen on modernizing the company’s cloud commerce platform, but they were hitting obstacles with their traditional observability 1.0 tool, which relied on the three pillars of logs, metrics, and traces. While helpful in pinpointing known-unknowns, it impeded the team’s ability to explore the workings of the software, particularly in uncovering unknown-unknowns.

It also fell short in supporting an engineering culture of ownership and curiosity within the organization, exacerbated by the pricing model. Due to the high price per user, access to observability was limited to only senior members of the engineering teams. “With our previous solution, we couldn’t cultivate a culture of ownership where members could ship software and then actively observe its operation to ensure a positive customer experience,” said Tyler Kron, Director of Software Engineering at Pax8. “We didn’t want to restrict observability to only the senior team members. We wanted everyone in engineering to take pride in ownership—from build through to production—and to support their curiosity in understanding how their code operates after deployment.”

The imminent price hike, with costs per seat projected to triple upon contract renewal, served as a catalyst for Pax8 to actively seek a solution that not only addressed technical shortcomings but also aligned with their vision of fostering a culture centered around accountability, curiosity, and ownership.


Driven to find the perfect-fit observability solution, the platform engineering team kicked off a book club, adding a dash of fun and camaraderie into their search journey.

As Tyler explains, “Every week, we’d read a chapter in Observability Engineering and explore how we could use observability to level up our development processes and outcomes. This helped us refine our requirements for a vendor, and we soon realized we needed an observability 2.0 solution. That led us straight to Honeycomb.

Honeycomb provided Pax8 with a modern observability 2.0 solution, converging application data into a single source of truth. Anchored around context-rich structured log events, known as spans, Honeycomb empowered the engineering teams with a unified solution to quickly query and isolate the correct source of issues for rapid resolution. And it’s a partner in curiosity, enabling the Pax8 team to uncover unpredictable insights from the unknown-unknowns.


Committed partnership for Pax8's success

Pax8's unique culture is characterized by an inherent curiosity and a commitment to continual improvement. The platform engineering team fosters an environment where individuals strive for excellence without succumbing to ego, embodying a balance of hard work and enjoyment. The culture compatibility that Pax8 saw with Honeycomb spoke volumes for fostering a strong vendor partnership.

Our interactions with Honeycomb have offered a refreshing departure from the typical corporate sales approach, resonating with our culture of genuine connection and collaboration. It was clear from the outset that this shared ethos would form the bedrock of a strong vendor relationship,” said Tyler.

The partnership from Honeycomb has been instrumental in supporting Pax8’s observability success, from initial deployment to ongoing growth and value. Honeycomb's commitment was evident from the start as they organized an Observability Day on site at Pax8, providing comprehensive training for the team of 150 engineering professionals. Notably, Honeycomb's CTO joined the session via webinar, delivering a 101 training on observability 2.0 and addressing questions directly from the team—a level of engagement that underscores Honeycomb's commitment to delivering a high-quality customer experience.

As Tyler explains, "Honeycomb's dedication to our success is crystal clear through their hands-on approach, continuous support, and unwavering commitment to delivering tangible value. This partnership epitomizes a collaborative approach in supporting our goal of advancing observability practices to new heights."

Fostered a culture of curiosity—at a 30% budget savings

In embracing Honeycomb's event-based pricing model, Pax8 unlocked a culture of curiosity and exploration, fostering a more inclusive observability environment. Formerly constrained by user-based pricing, Pax8's transition to Honeycomb empowered the company to onboard a diverse range of stakeholders—from engineers to product managers and support personnel—who were eager to understand the ins and outs of Pax8’s platform. 

The user growth has been remarkable: Pax8 expanded its user base from 50 to 210, simultaneously democratizing access to critical observability insights.

"Honeycomb's pricing slashed our budget by 30%, allowing us to onboard more users and empower everyone with broad and deep observability insights. Plus, its ease of use and low barrier to entry fuels user adoption, delivering meaningful observability insights that help us drive operational excellence,” explains Tyler.

Upleveled to observability 2.0, empowering operational excellence

The transition to a modern observability 2.0 solution empowered by Honeycomb marks a paradigm shift for Pax8, maturing their engineering approach to understanding and resolving issues within their software platform. 

Tyler underscores the significance of this shift: "We have a much better observability model with Honeycomb where we’re working from wide events with thousands of data points. We can put things in span attributes and calculate metrics, and we don't need to send metrics anymore or use a log aggregation tool.” In terms of the tangible difference in outcome, Tyler adds “Honeycomb’s 2.0 approach demystifies the investigation for a root cause. It shines a light on the specific cause of an issue versus just a generic observability 1.0 approach: 'there's an error happening; good luck.'"

One of the most significant outcomes of this shift is Pax8's enhanced understanding of customer impact. With BubbleUp’s heatmaps, Honeycomb makes it easy for the engineering team to swiftly identify whether tens of thousands of customers are impacted or just one. From there, the engineer who owns the code can take the lead.

And in terms of ownership, the accountability aspect with Honeycomb cannot be overstated. As Tyler highlights, "With Honeycomb's 2.0 approach, it removes friction in the feedback cycle and helps us cultivate operational excellence. Team members can proactively monitor and troubleshoot their own code, fostering a newfound sense of accountability as they strive for optimal performance and customer experience."

Interested in learning more? Book a consultation with our sales team.

Pax8 Hex Logo

At a glance


Pax8 is the world’s favorite cloud commerce marketplace for IT professionals to buy, sell, and manage best-in-class technology solutions. Pioneering the future of modern business, Pax8 has cloud-enabled more than 300,000 enterprises through its channel partners, and the company processes one million monthly transactions. Pax8’s award-winning technology enables managed service providers (MSPs) to accelerate growth, increase efficiency, and reduce risk so their businesses can thrive. 


IT services and IT consulting


Honeycomb platform

Use cases
Platform engineering and debugging

Application performance monitoring


  • Saved 30% on observability budget while establishing a more resilient platform
  • Increased user count from 50 to 210, democratizing observability access
  • Modernized with a 2.0 observability solution that drives operational excellence
  • Experienced rapid value supported by onsite ‘Observability Day’ training for 150 engineers

"Honeycomb helps us cultivate a culture of operational excellence. We now have the observability feedback loop to know exactly how the software is operating in our customers’ hands, so individual engineering teams can take ownership for the quality of their code and be hyper focused on customer experience.”

Tyler Kron, Director, Software Engineering at Pax8


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