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ServiceNow buys Era Software to unify observability strategy

ServiceNow's acquisition of Era Software looks to strengthen the company's position in the observability market and make digital transformation projects easier to implement.

ServiceNow acquired observability and log management software maker Era Software this week, adding to the list of companies it has acquired to improve its flagship Now platform.

Last year SeviceNow purchased Lightstep, makers of cloud-native software that collects and analyzes data across infrastructure, applications and third-party software. Together, the two offerings will offer users a more unified observability offering that can be scaled more easily, ServiceNow said.

Observability strategies in larger organizations are still siloed, causing a fragmented experience for DevOps teams, ServiceNow officials believe. The combination of Era Software's user-centric approach to log management combined with Lightstep's features can prevent this fragmentation.

Company officials believe a unified observability software strategy is an essential ingredient in helping users' digital transformation projects succeed.

Lightstep is a founding member of the OpenTelemetry project, an open source project dedicated to the vision unified telemetry. The organization believes a unified telemetry strategy allows development teams to innovate faster and with more precision and control, thereby helping users realize the potential of their digital transformation projects.

Observability software lets users reach deeper into the technology stack for data, said Carlos Casanova, principal analyst with Forrester Research. The complicating factor, however, is that users gravitate toward hybrid environments that extend across multiple clouds and on-premises locations, he said.

"This is why vendors who want to solidify a position in the fast-moving observability market must expand their native capabilities to observe rapidly changing IT environments in real time," Casanova said. "ServiceNow acquiring Era Software would appear to bolster its other acquisitions in this arena over the past few years."

Some of those acquisitions include Hitch Works, DotWalk, Mapwize and Gekkobrain.

Vendors who want to solidify a position in the fast-moving observability market must expand their native capabilities to observe rapidly changing IT environments in real time.
Carlos CasanovaPrincipal analyst, Forrester Research

But key to the success of the acquisition will be ServiceNow's ability to seamlessly stich together a number of code bases to deliver a reliable offering that runs smoothly with the Now Platform and the other acquired products. Perhaps the best route to accomplish this is to rebuild the product from the ground up on a new platform, which presents some challenges.

"Rebuilding it requires a considerable number of resources, but it could greatly improve the quality and usability versus stitching disparate code bases together," Casanova said. "Delivering the newly acquired functionality onto the Now platform without added overhead will determine how successful the Era Software acquisition will turn out to be for users."

A recent report from IDC forecasts the observability market will grow to $9.08 billion by 2025.

Financial terms of the ServiceNow-Era Software deal were not disclosed.

As Editor At Large at TechTarget's News Group, Ed Scannell is responsible for writing and reporting breaking news, news analysis and features focused on technology issues and trends affecting corporate IT professionals.

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