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Splunk Debuts Observability Suite, Acquires Pair Of Monitoring Tool Startups

With its virtual .conf20 underway, Splunk announced a wave of new and enhanced products with an emphasis on application and digital experience monitoring to support cloud and digital transformation initiatives.

Machine data management platform developer Splunk is doubling down on providing monitoring software for IT and DevOps teams, debuting its new Splunk Observability Suite at the company’s virtual conference Tuesday and announcing the acquisition of two companies whose technology will be incorporated into the new suite.

Splunk has acquired Plumbr, an Estonia-based developer of application performance monitoring (APM) tools, the company announced on the first day of Splunk .conf20, the company’s virtual customer conference. Splunk has also signed a definitive agreement to buy Rigor, an Atlanta-based developer of digital experience monitoring software. Financial details of the acquisitions were not disclosed.

The new Observability Suite, now in beta testing, also incorporates technology from Splunk’s 2019 acquisitions of cloud infrastructure monitoring tech provider SignalFx and application monitoring trace analytics tech startup Omnition.

[Related: Splunk Touts Q2 Cloud Revenue Growth Despite Economic Disruption]

“We are extremely focused on observability – the importance of observability – and ensuring that we have a best-in-class and unique [product] suite around observability,” said Splunk CEO Doug Merritt (pictured) during an online press briefing prior to the start of Splunk.conf20.

Splunk’s core platforms, Splunk Enterprise and Splunk Cloud, are used by businesses to collect, index, search and analyze machine data for a broad range of tasks. IT system and application management and IT security are two of the most common use cases for the Splunk platforms and over the last several years Splunk has developed new products and made a number of acquisitions in both areas.

Because the Observability Suite is targeted toward IT management and DevOps teams for monitoring, investigating and troubleshooting applications, Splunk is positioning the suite as a critical set of tools for businesses moving IT workloads to the cloud and undertaking digital transformation initiatives.

IT system resiliency, whether to reach customers and suppliers, support work-from-home employees or protect against cyberattacks, has become especially critical this year, Merritt said.

“And I think a big chunk of that resiliency with their architecture is the ability of organizations to actually interpret what’s happening with their infrastructure through the lens of data,” the CEO said. “We’ve been talking about the data age and the arrival of the data age. “2020, for an unexpected set of reasons [due to] the pandemic, has cemented firmly that the data age has arrived.”

The Observability Suite brings together Splunk’s software for infrastructure monitoring, application performance monitoring, digital experience monitoring, log investigation and incident response into a tightly integrated suite of products, according to the company. In addition to the acquired software the suite incorporates the new Splunk Log Observer and Splunk Real User Monitoring – both currently in beta testing – and Splunk Infrastructure Monitoring, Splunk Application Performance Monitoring and Splunk On-Call.

“The acquisitions of Plumbr and Rigor have accelerated our vision of delivering a comprehensive observability suite with best-in-class APM and DEM [digital experience management] for all applications – existing and new,” said Splunk senior vice president and CTO Tim Tully during the press conference.

“This is the most comprehensive and most powerful combination of solutions to help organizations transform their businesses by providing them with the unique ability to collect and analyze all of their data and quickly gain actionable insights and deliver the best customer experiences,” the CTO said.

The Observability Suite creates opportunities for Splunk channel partners, including VARs, strategic service providers and systems integrators, to expand their relationships with current customers that use the Splunk platform and to recruit new customers with application and digital experience monitoring needs, said Bill Hustad, Splunk vice president of global GTM partners, in an interview with CRN.

At .conf20 Splunk also announced the general availability of Splunk Enterprise 8.1, the latest release of the company’s flagship platform, and the Splunk Cloud edition. New stream processing and machine learning functionality and expanded multi-cloud capabilities top the list of new features in the software.

The company also updated its Splunk Mission Control software for creating a unified view of cloud security operations with the new Splunk Mission Control Plug-In Framework that offers a way to combine Splunk security software with tools from other security vendors, including endpoint security, network security, cloud security and threat intelligence. Hustad said the framework creates opportunities for solution providers to help customers manage their broader security ecosystems.

The channel executive also touted the potential opportunities for partners of the new Splunk Service Intelligence for SAP Solutions, a version of the AI-based Splunk IT Service Intelligence (ITSI) operations service performance software developed specifically for SAP applications.

Like just about every IT vendor, Splunk opted to hold a virtual version of its annual Splunk .conf customer conference this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 6,300 individuals from Splunk’s 2,000-plus channel partners were in attendance, according to the company.

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