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ServiceNow To Acquire Era Software, Make It Part Of Lightstep Observability Tech

Joseph F. Kovar

‘Era [Software] is the expert in log management. With this acquisition, we are creating something better than the sum of the parts,’ says Ben Sigelman, co-founder and general manager of Lightstep by ServiceNow.

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Digital workflow technology developer ServiceNow’s Lightstep observability business has signed an agreement to acquire Era Software, a provider of log management technology that ServiceNow expects to help strengthen its observability capabilities.

Once the acquisition closes, Era Software will become part of Lightstep. ServiceNow in 2021 acquired Lightstep, a developer of next-generation application monitoring and observability tools used by DevOps engineers to build, deploy, run and monitor cloud-native applications.

[Related: ServiceNow CEO Bill McDermott: ‘We’re In A Market Of One’]

“Lightstep was acquired by ServiceNow last summer,” Ben Sigelman, co-founder and general manager of Lightstep by ServiceNow, told CRN. “And now it’s acquiring Era Software.”

Observability is a way to look at the outputs of an application to understand its internal state and from there look at how to troubleshoot it.

Lightstep is focused on helping enterprises simplify observability, Sigelman said.

“Large enterprises are concerned about the number of tools they use and about fragmented and siloed tools,” he said. “And log management is very fragmented. Era [Software] is the expert in log management. With this acquisition, we are creating something better than the sum of the parts. Lightstep’s long-term vision is to be a unified observability solution.”

Era Software is focused on storing and retrieving logs at scale, said Todd Persen, co-founder and CEO of Era Software.

“We’re taking that focus we have and putting it together with Lightstep in a unified whole,” Persen said.

ServiceNow’s Lightstep business unit has for years been able to ingest log data, but customers are really looking for dedicated log management capabilities, and its technology was designed cloud-native, Sigelman said.

This is important because the amount of log data generated by the cloud is an order of magnitude greater than when done on-premises, and Era Software provides Lightstep with a big shortcut to meet customers’ core use cases, he said.

“For us to offer that kind of log management on our own would take years,” he said. “Lightstep supports log data but doesn’t check all the boxes for management of that data. We plan to build a unified solution up and down the stack.”

Once the acquisition closes, the initial goal is to integrate Era Software into Lightstep and be available to Lightstep customers some time next year, Persen said.

“Also, there are a lot of things Era [Software] hasn’t had the opportunity to do in the past but could do as part of a larger platform,” he said. “We have a ton of engineers, and with Lightstep can do those things. We really want to build a best-of-breed platform so that observability can do what it was designed to do: make sure humans have less management toil.”

Sigelman declined to discuss the dollar value of the acquisition.

Joseph F. Kovar

Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at jkovar@thechannelcompany.com.

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