Data Observability Is Just Getting Started


By: Mary Jander

You can’t manage what you can’t see – that’s the motive underlying a flood of new entrants in the network and cloud observability space. And as the movement picks up speed, it’s highlighting the challenges faced by IT in the age of hybrid cloud and multicloud.

There are a few examples of the momentum in this market: For one, Chronosphere, a startup in the space, recently announced $115 million in Series C funding at a valuation of $1.6 billion. The company, founded by former Uber lead engineers Martin Mao and Rob Skillington in 2019, raised $200 million in its first Series C round just 14 months ago.

Chronosphere has created a cloud-native observability platform that monitors enterprise data generated by IT resources to cope with the explosion of corporate data, allowing teams to improve workload efficiency and reduce unnecessary processing costs.

Chronosphere’s managed service is based on the open-source M3 system, to which it adds enhancements to create metrics for containerized infrastructure, microservices applications, and business services. The vendor claims that distributed traces allow the system to isolate the root causes of problems in the IT infrastructure, leading to immediate resolution to avoid downtime.

Chronosphere tripled its employee roster last year (it now lists 293 on LinkedIn) and claims to also have tripled its annual recurring revenue (ARR) as well as realizing more than 145% net revenue retention. Customers include Robinhood, Snap, Obsidian Security, DoorDash, Zillow, and Visa.

Why Observability Is Key

Chronosphere isn’t alone. Despite the pullback in overall venture funding of tech startups, companies in the space are scoring millions in early stage rounds. And the excitement is likely to continue, particularly as the movement toward NetDevOps (the collaboration of NetOps and DevOps) picks up speed.

The shift to hybrid cloud and multicloud infrastructure has made it imperative that IT operators and developers be able to get together to manage and orchestrate services across multiple domains. But until recently, that meant wrangling lots of disparate software to get the necessary views and information – all while risking downtime from assorted failures and inefficiencies. Legacy systems based on open-source monitoring via Prometheus were troubled by the scale of data rushing into enterprise IT coffers.

Get Ready for More

Enter Chronosphere – and Kentik, Selector, among many others. These are tools that will become more necessary as enterprises shift to hybrid and multicloud environments – a shift that’s well underway. In a Futuriom survey, over 87% of 102 IT decision-makers said they expect to invest in multicloud networking (MCN) and cloud-native networking solutions over the next 1-5 years.

The IT observability arena already has a host of suppliers, each with its claim of differentiation -- Selector uses artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML) to detect anomalies in multicloud environments, for instance. Given the ongoing transition to cloud, it seems safe to say this will be a key growth area in cloud technology, as observability extends tentacles into areas such as security and various forms of data management. The work has just begun.