Cribl, creator of a new ‘observability pipeline’ category, is expanding its presence in the UK and EMEA. James Goulding discovers more about this emerging technology from Matt Bauer, VP of Global Sales, and Abby Strong, Vice President of Global Marketing
Last August Cribl, the self-styled Observability Pipeline company, raised $200 million in new Series C funding from new and existing investors including Greylock, Redpoint Ventures, IVP, Sequoia, CRV, Citi Ventures and CrowdStrike.
Bringing Cribl’s total funding to $254 million, this new investment will help support the observability specialist’s expansion in the UK and EMEA, which is receiving a further boost this month with the appointment of Mathew Edwards as Director of Marketing, EMEA.
Cribl has carved out a distinct space for itself in the observability sector with the development of an open source, vendor- neutral aggregation layer for machine data that helps organisations make better use of the huge volumes of observability data that flow through corporate IT systems.
Instead of having to use multiple logging and SIEM platforms to analyse machine information flowing between every system in the enterprise, organisations can deploy Cribl Logstream as a single control point and single interface for all observability data.
They can use it to ingest (and monitor and inspect) observability data from different IT and security systems; to refine and optimise that data, for example by focusing on the events that matter most to a business; and to route it, using customisable controls, to the right teams, in the right format, at the right time.
Thanks to its broad array of integrations, Cribl enables enterprises to break down silos and create a unified data pipeline of logs, with the same agents across security and operations, collecting metrics and traces from any source and routing them to the customer’s preferred destinations.
Key benefits include being able to identify threats and resolve issues more quickly; reduce hardware and storage costs by eliminating data duplication in different logging platforms; extend the collection of observability data to other sources; maximise the value of existing investments through easy integration; and avoid vendor lock-in by giving companies the freedom to choose their own analytics tools and storage destinations from best-of-breed data solutions.
Abby Strong, Vice President of Global Marketing at Cribl, told Technology Reseller that Cribl created this new category to meet real-world needs in the growing area of observability.
“We are the first in this space and the first to call it the Observability Pipeline. There are other data streaming/event streaming solutions, mostly open source projects like Fluentd or Apache NiFi that require a company to invest in developing that solution and maintaining it and updating it as they add new sources and destinations. Our solution is the low-code/ no-code option and the enterprise software version of such solutions specifically designed for the emerging observability space. We’re the pipeline that’s helping to get all the data from IT operations and security operations to tools that are focused on providing observability.”
Cribl VP of Global Sales Matt Bauer added: “There are people that are trying to do pieces of what we do, but we are vendor-agnostic and others in this space tend to be biased towards a specific vendor. We want our customers to be able to parse and route any type of event solution to any of these different systems in any way they want.
“Our go to market is two-fold. It is about the reduction and reshaping of observability data and, secondly, the ability to route data from one tool to another to avoid the vendor lock-in that many of our customers are concerned with today, or just to send data from one department to another. As simple as that may seem, it is a very hard and labour-intensive task for many larger organisations across the world.”
A growing requirement
Strong points out that the need for such a solution is increasing in line with the explosion in data, the growing cyber security risk and ever more rigorous compliance requirements.
“Data is growing at about a 25% CAGR and every year customers are having to deal with more and more data coming into their systems while security concerns and compliance concerns continue to increase. Our mid-market customers are sending around more than a terabyte of data per day; some of them are sending around petabytes of data.
“I read an article in Barron’s saying this is probably about a $50 billion TAM (total addressable market) right now because there is so much data. Folks don’t know how to deal with it all and they are running into problems when they are given a new tool or need to route data between different departments or need the security folks and the IT folks, who have different agendas, both to have access to that data.
“Across the board we are seeing significant growth in the market and in the problem set facing customers, at volumes that are just unprecedented – 25% growth. Certainly, no IT team is growing at 25% year over year,” she said.
This is not just a problem for large enterprises. According to Bauer, it is also afflicting medium-sized businesses.
“Originally we started with larger enterprises – the top 500 or 1,000 accounts – but we are also seeing smaller entities take advantage of our technology. It really does go across the spectrum. Globally, you can see us in banks, insurance companies, grocery stores, utilities companies, the federal sector – almost any vertical. All of them are spending more money on tooling; they are figuring out how to take advantage of the strengths of those tools without having to pick one or the other.
“That has become an interesting challenge for us because normally you walk in and have a very specific use case. But with this new Observability Pipeline category, we are finding the use cases go much further and wider than we thought.”
This, says Strong, presents big opportunities for channel partners, who benefit not only from a growing addressable market but also from the ability to add additional capabilities to their offering.
“There are two big use cases we see with our partners, from a managed services perspective. One is to include Cribl Logstream in a package because it helps them optimise the licensing that they are selling for other products. For example, if they were already going to sell an analytics product like Splunk or Grafana or sumo logic, they can use us to optimise getting data into those tools.
“The other one is a migration use case. If the partner is selling an additional tool into the account, maybe they were using an analytics tool and now want to add a separate SIEM tool like Exabeam or QRadar, they can use our solution in the middle to take all the data that was already going to one of those other analytics solutions and send it off to this SIEM, so it cuts down the amount of time they have to spend in the account to even get a PoC or a demo to the customer.”
Bauer cites another example, that of an MSP deploying a new technology, like Exabeam.
“Typically, a lot of time is spent putting in hardware or a cloud instance behind that to set it up.We can now go in and use their existing SIEM and re-route some of that data to the new platform. This reduces dollars being spent on hardware and reduces time to market for the MSP,” he said.
The channel is a key route to market for Cribl that Bauer says will be essential as it expands its business in EMEA, starting with the UK, Germany and the Nordics.
“We are a channel-first organisation and have seen the value partners bring – they help us gain access to new accounts with problems we can address; they help us from a sales campaign standpoint; and they help us from an adoption and consumption standpoint, by making sure that we are selling to people that have real issues and that they actually utilise the software day to day.
“I would like to see us at 80% to 90% channel as we go forward – even for channel leaders a little healthy tension is not a bad thing – and I want to make sure that as we build out a direct sales team they will be highly motivated and encouraged to use the channel in every aspect of the sales campaign to get true velocity and scale.”
To this end, Cribl has hired Mathew Edwards to lead its EMEA push, which will include marketing and operations, as well as a sales engineering team, plus follow-the sun-support and ongoing product development, including a cloud version of Cribl Logstream (already launched in the US), in addition to the existing on-premises solution.