Observability startup LogDNA raises $50M in funding

Originally published on siliconangle.com on December 6, 2021. Written by MARIA DEUTSCHER.

Observability startup LogDNA Inc. today announced that it has secured a $50 million funding round to hire more people and accelerate its plans to launch a new data processing solution next year.

The funding round was led by cybersecurity-focused investment firm NightDragon. Returning LogDNA backer Emergence Capital participated as well. The company has raised more than $115 million in funding to date.

San Francisco-based LogDNA provides an observability platform that companies use to troubleshoot technical issues in their information technology infrastructure. The platform can spot malfunctions in software container environments powered by Kubernetes. LogDNA also provides features for troubleshooting many other types of IT assets, including “internet of things” systems such as warehouse robots.

LogDNA says that its platform is used by customers ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies. One of the observability provider’s most prominent clients is IBM Corp., which uses LogDNA’s platform in its IBM Cloud public cloud platform.

Thanks to strong customer demand, LogDNA says that its revenues have grown by a factor of more than 12 between 2017 and 2020.

LogDNA touts its observability platform as a more efficient alternative to the Elastic Stack, a suite of open-source tools widely used by enterprises to monitor their IT infrastructure. The suite is developed by publicly traded Elastic NV.

Since it’s open-source, the Elastic Stack is available for free, which in theory makes it highly competitive as far as cost efficiency is concerned. But according to LogDNA, there are often significant expenses involved in using Elastic Stack, such as the fact that enterprises frequently have to customize the software to their requirements. The maintenance work involved in operating deployments of the software represents another expense. LogDNA says its platform avoids much of the operational complexity associated with Elastic Stack and provides increased efficiency as a result.

LogDNA’s observability platform can notify administrators of technical issues in their company’s IT infrastructure via alerts. To obtain more context about an issue, administrators can retrieve relevant technical information using natural language queries. LogDNA also provides the ability to visualize troubleshooting data in graphs.

A common challenge associated with monitoring IT infrastructure is the need to balance observability requirements with storage limitations. A company has only so much hardware available for storing the IT logs its observability tool collects. Administrators need to occasionally delete logs to avoid exceeding storage capacity limits, but at the same time must be careful not to remove any technical data that may be needed for troubleshooting if a technical issue arises.

LogDNA’s observability platform identifies logs that don’t contain useful troubleshooting data and automatically discards them to free up storage space for more important items. IT teams can customize how the process is carried out. For example, LogDNA could be configured to discard application error logs after a few weeks, but retain cybersecurity-related technical data for at least a year.

“Organizations need a comprehensive platform that ingests and normalizes massive amounts of data in the cloud and at hyperscale,” said NightDragon founder and managing director Dave DeWalt. “With this type of platform, stakeholders from the developer to the C-Suite are empowered to make smarter, more cost-effective decisions and reduce the mean time to detection and remediation for cyberattacks. LogDNA has the right team and technology to address this challenge head on.”

Using its new $50 million in funding, LogDNA has set out to address yet another common challenge associated with observability software.

The observability tool that an organization relies on to monitor its IT infrastructure is often used by multiple teams. The application team may use the tool to track software malfunctions, while the cybersecurity group might leverage it to detect potential breach indicators. The fact that teams with different technical requirements must all use a single solution to monitor IT systems can negatively impact productivity, LogDNA argues.

The startup is currently building an “observability data pipeline” that it says will help companies make better use of their logs. The solution can collect infrastructure logs, organize them and then route the data to multiple different software products. According to LogDNA, the technology will enable the various engineering, cybersecurity and operations teams in a company to use separate tools to carry out their work of having to rely on a single solution.

Using its new $50 million funding round, LogDNA will accelerate the development of its observability data pipeline with the goal of launching the offering next year. The startup also has plans to continue growing its headcount, which it says has tripled over the last few years.