In software development, observability refers to monitoring all components of an app, from mobile and web clients to backend infrastructure. Given how important this kind of visibility in a system can be for developers, not to mention a wider organization, it’s not surprising that tools to achieve greater visibility remain in high demand. According to a recent New Relic questionnaire90% of companies now believe that observability is critical to the success of their business, while 76% expect their budget for observability to increase in 2021.
Clint Sharp says he foresaw the growth of the observability tools market when he worked at Splunk, where he and colleagues Dritan Bitincka and Ledion Bitincka dealt with moving data across various IT tools without a central control point. In 2017, Sharp and the two Bitincka’s left Splunk to create a platform, Criblithat creates what Sharp describes as an observability pipeline: a system that can ingest, parse, and enrich logs and statistics, and route them to the right destination.
As a sign of the market’s robustness – and Cribl – against headwinds, Cribl today closed a $150 million Series D financing round led by Tiger Global Management with participation from CRV, IVP, Redpoint Ventures, Sequoia and Greylock Partners. Though smaller than Cribl’s Series C, which surpassed nearly $200 million, the Series D values the company at $2.5 billion post-money, according to a source. That’s over $1.5 billion in August 2021.
“Visibility has also only become more important during the pandemic,” Sharp told businesstraverse.com in an email interview. “Distributed work, increasingly sophisticated security attackers and rising customer expectations have made data and analytics invaluable from both an IT and business perspective. We can help businesses get quality data to and from the tools they use, so businesses can act quickly and confidently.”
This latest capital infusion will be something of a transition for Cribl, Sharp says, from a supplier of a few tools to a “suite” of observability. It comes in response to increased competition in the observation market, which: at least one company predicts could be worth tens of billions of dollars by 2024. Cribl’s list of competitors includes Observe, Edge Delta, Monte Carlo, Lightrun and the well-funded Chronosphere.
“While there are many companies striving to move into the observability space, from legacy enterprise IT companies to brand new startups, we hear from our customers that we are the only one offering a truly vendor-neutral, agnostic enterprise software solution. . ‘ said Sharp. “Cribl stands for choice, and is open and interoperable in design, because we understand that companies use many tools for different reasons.”
In keeping with this professed mission, Cribl today unveiled Cribl Search, which Sharp claims is the first “open” analytics tool to perform on-the-spot searches. Cribl Search, created by Zero2One (C021), Cribl’s newly formed R&D lab, apparently supports telemetry data searches in any format and in any location without requiring central storage for the analysis.
Cribl Search will be available in private beta with customer signups beginning May 24. Cribl Search can perform searches on data on the edge, on the fly (ie by actively moving from one location to another), in a centralized repository, or within existing tools such as Splunk or Elastic. Sharp says the technology builds on Cribl’s existing tools, including: Cribl Edge, an observational agent that collects, processes, and delivers data to destinations in real time.
“We want to drive the future and vision of the observability category, so we recently established C021, an internal organization led by Dritan Bitincka and Ledion Bitincka that focuses on developing new products at an early stage,” said Sharp. “By expanding our portfolio to include both Cribl Edge and now Cribl Search, we are moving from the leading observability pipeline company to a full observability package.”
Sharp claims that, even without the benefit of new revenue-generating services, Cribl has held its own against pushy rivals. He did not disclose annual recurring revenue (ARR), but said the ARR rose 300% in 2021 and is on track to surpass it for fiscal year 2022. Meanwhile, Cribl’s customer base has more than tripled by 2021, with 10 of the Fortune 50 companies signing up, as well as brands like New Balance, Shutterfly and Autodesk and government organizations.
“We are in the strongest financial position in our history,” Sharp said. “The biggest challenge enterprises face is a deluge of observability data for both IT and security teams, and most don’t have the infrastructure to handle it and the ability to manage data collection at scale… As a result, companies struggle with the cost of observability and security data, many spend millions a year, some in the tens of millions a year, to store their statistics, logs and traces. Cribl helps organizations regain control of data volume and gravity by letting customers interact with the data where it matters most, without having to ingest or move the data.”
When it comes to maintaining that momentum, Cribl has a lot of work ahead of them. Data from unbiased (ie non-supplier) sources is hard to find, but in a poll Published recently by cloud optimization startup Yotascale, nearly a quarter of companies said they are considering making changes to their observational practices as infrastructure costs rise. LogDNA, an observability data company, reported in a 2021 questionnaire that 74% of companies struggle to achieve “true” observability despite significant investments — between $100,000 and $300,000 a year on average — in tools.
A Gartner Hype Cycle at the end of last year is characterized interest in observability solutions such as on the “peak of inflated expectations”, with a market forecast for “overcast with a high probability of disruption”.
“Visibility is often reduced to an ‘IT issue’. But in reality, observability isn’t just for tech practitioners — it should be considered a business-level priority,” Sharp added. they opened an app, what dropdowns they clicked on, whether they received an error, etc.) time.”
The total amount raised from Cribl stands at $400 million with the final installment. The company currently employs 350 people and plans to expand to approximately 500 by the end of 2022.