Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Observe Inc Emerges From Stealth

  • Today Observe Inc. emerged from stealth focused on the $20B market opportunity for SaaS Observability. To view the live broadcast visit streaming begins at 10AM PST.

  • Observe Inc. has raised a total of $35M in Series A and debt-financing from Sutter Hill Ventures, led by Mike Speiser who in recent years also led seed investments in Snowflake and Pure Storage. Early investors also include Michael Dell, Frank Slootman and Scott Dietzen.

  • Observe's world class team includes founders Jacob Leverich (ex-Splunk), Jonathan Trevor (ex-Wavefront), Jon Watte (ex-Roblox) and Philip Unterbrunner (ex-Snowflake). Observe's executive team includes CEO, Jeremy Burton (ex-Dell Technologies, EMC, Oracle) and CRO, Keith Butler (ex-Perfecto, BMC).

  • Observability is an emerging segment which brings together discrete technologies for Log Analytics, Metrics Monitoring and Application Performance Management (APM). With this new approach, Observe believes investigating and troubleshooting modern distributed applications will become an order of magnitude faster and cheaper.

  • Observe is built on the Snowflake Cloud Data Platform and was recently voted winner of Snowflake's 2020 Data Driver Awards in the category of "Best Data Application". See related press release and webinar.

  • Observe is currently working with 15 prospects and is featuring Golden West and Skyword & Gainsight in the upcoming live broadcast.

  • Observe is now available for Early Access, visit to register.

Interact with Observe Online:

Full Story

Observe Inc. today announced funding of $35M in Series A and debt financing led by Mike Speiser, Managing Partner at Sutter Hill Ventures (SHV).  Early investors also include Michael Dell, Frank Slootman, and Scott Dietzen.

Observe is focused on a new segment of the market called Observability which promises to supplant the $20B+ market for log analytics, infrastructure monitoring and application performance management.  

Why is this happening now?  Even before the COVID era, the world was becoming increasingly digital and at the core of this movement was the development of modern distributed applications.  These applications are different – they are updated continuously, have a microservices architecture and are deployed on a new cloud-native infrastructure, which changes by the minute.  When something goes wrong, the complexity can be overwhelming.

Today's tools aren't keeping up.  They were designed for, and deal with, siloed data – logs are different to metrics, which are different to traces.  They lose context as you move between different data silo's.  They don't deal well with time.  They don't allow ad-hoc exploration of unknown problems - which you see every day when you release new code every day.  And they cost a fortune - pricing is based on volume of data and expert users must be hired.

Observe was founded in 2017 by SHV and recruited a world class founding team with deep experience dealing with vast quantities of data.  Jacob Leverich joined the team from Splunk, Jonathan Trevor from Wavefront, Jon Watte from Roblox and Philip Unterbrunner from Snowflake, via Facebook.   More recently, Observe began building out its executive team through Jeremy Burton, who joined as CEO in 2018 from Dell Technologies and Keith Butler, who joined as CRO from Perfecto in 2020.

Observe believed that Observability was fundamentally a data problem.  If all telemetry data could be brought together, curated and – where possible – related, then it could be an order of magnitude faster to detect, investigate and resolve issues.   In addition, if the architecture of Observe could leverage concepts such as elastic compute and cloud storage then it could be an order of magnitude cheaper as well.

"Finding and resolving issues in today's modern distributed applications can be a nightmare.   The tools SRE teams are using were designed for a bygone era – they operate on silos of data and can't see the big picture," said Jeremy Burton, CEO of Observe Inc, "Observe's unique approach brings all this data together and relates it, so users always have context for the problem they are looking at.  Observe makes troubleshooting an order of magnitude faster and, by using a modern cloud architecture, it's an order of magnitude cheaper as well."

To date, almost all incumbent vendors have chosen to build their own proprietary database to store and query their data. Some have two or three. Observe, uniquely, chose Snowflake – a commercial Cloud Data Warehouse which was built to handle not just tabular relational data but also semi-structured and time-series data.  Choosing Snowflake meant that Observe could not only process all types of event data in a single data store, it could store the data at little more than the cost of Amazon S3.

State of the art for investigating issues has been to present the user with a search box and allow them to type in breadcrumbs iteratively.  Unfortunately, the machine-generated data the user is searching through has no semantics and no meaning – it provides no logical starting point and is often overwhelming, especially for new users.   Observe changes all of this by curating data into "resources".   A resource is a user, a session, a shopping cart, a pod, a container, a helpdesk ticket or a build.  It is a 'thing' that the user would like to ask questions about and it provides a logical, recognizable, place to begin an investigation.   Moreover, resources can be related – so a helpdesk ticket can relate to a user, which relates to a session, which relates to container logs and so on.   This means Observe can easily provide all available context for issues being investigated – without resorting to tagging.

Finally, Observe goes a step further – once a resource is curated e.g. "Server", then it will track how the state of that resource's attributes change over time e.g. "IP address".  In fact, Observe tracks the state of every resource over time, which allows the user to re-constitute the state of the entire system at any point in time.

When there's an incident, there's no guarantee the most senior engineer is going to be available to triage or troubleshoot – it's often the more junior members of the team that are on-call.   For this reason, Observe provides a couple of levels of abstraction on top of common, shared, data

i)     Resource Landing Pages – highly visual, automatically generated, dashboards which allow novice or intermediate users to quickly get oriented

ii)     Worksheets – a spreadsheet-like interface for seasoned engineers which includes OPAL for direct programmatic manipulation of data.

"For years, monitoring has relied on alerts, logs, traces and tribal knowledge. As such, most organizations lack an understanding of the customer experience because they don't have a full picture of relevant data. User data, application data and infrastructure data are fragmented. Observe transforms, connects and shapes this data so that non-technical people can understand true user impacts and remediate problems at least 10X faster than traditional approaches,"  said Dave Vellante – Chief Analyst, Wikibon and co-host of theCUBE.

Pricing & Availability

Observe's pricing model is based on two components – storing data and querying data.  Storage costs reflect current Amazon S3 pricing plus minor charges for processing data on ingest.  Querying data consumes "Observe Credits" – when the customer is using Observe and getting value from the product they pay for it, when they are not using Observe they don't pay for it.

Observe is currently offering users "Early Access", please go to to register.

About Observe
Observe has long believed that almost all businesses are data rich and information poor.  Observe's vision is to turn the world's business data into information. 

SOURCE Observe Inc

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