Cribl sets out to fix IT observability lock-in with $35M from Sequoia and CRV

Date: 2020-10-15T13:01:11-04:00


Cribl sets out to fix IT observability lock-in with $35M from Sequoia and CRV

San Francisco startup Cribl Inc. today said that it has raised a $35 million round led by Sequoia Capital to give companies more flexibility in what infrastructure monitoring tools they use.

Technology environments generate large amounts of machine data that’s useful for tasks such as detecting outages and finding security breaches. There are numerous monitoring tools out there that promise to help unlock the value of this data. However, companies are often forced to standardize on just a single tool because it’s technically challenging to use multiple products side by side.

Cribl wants to help enterprises avoid getting locked into a single product. The startup has developed a software platform, LogStream, that it says can ingest all the machine data generated by a company’s information technology infrastructure, then automatically route it to multiple different monitoring and analytics tools.

One of the benefits Cribl promises is improved cost efficiency. Administrators can use its LogStream platform to route top-priority infrastructure logs to their most expensive monitoring tool and send the rest to a less sophisticated and more affordable product. That arrangement can reduce costs because many monitoring tools are billed based on the volume of data processed. 

Cribl also says its approach also has operational advantages. Standardizing on a single monitoring tool can limit IT teams because even if a given tool may perform its core function well, there are likely other products out there that are better at certain tasks. Mixing and matching different offerings makes it possible to leverage the strengths of each.

“Instead of forcing an enterprise to choose which agent, forwarder, format, or data store for their critical data, Cribl customers can choose exactly what they want — with the flexibility to do so over and over again as their requirements change,” said Cribl Chief Executive Clint Sharp. 

Cribl’s platform effectively acts as a centralized data layer through which infrastructure logs pass before they’re processed. Besides collecting the logs, LogStream also transforms them into the various data formats supported by a company’s analytics tools. This addresses what the startup describes as one of the main technical barriers to using multiple tools: data format compatibility issues that make it difficult to share information between different products.

Another common issue is software agent management. If a company uses three different monitoring products, it’s often necessary to install three different data collection agents  on the monitored infrastructure to collect data. By centralizing the collection of data, LogStream promises to reduce overall complexity.

Cribl says its platform is used by more than 60 customers, including Autodesk Inc. and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. With the new $35 million funding, the startup plans to bolster its go-to-market plan for the platform and hire more employees.

The Series B financing brings Cribl’s total raised to date to $46 million. Lead investor Sequoia Capital was joined by CRV in the round. 

Image: Unsplash

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