The future of observability is cloud-native and unified

  • Application Development
  • About ServiceNow
  • Ben Sigelman
  • 2022
October 05, 2022

Unified observability: a woman holds a round mirror in front of her face

Building modern, cloud-native applications introduces new challenges to teams and organizations. As these systems grow and scale, struggles abound: inconsistent performance monitoring experiences across siloed tools, wasteful performance management practices with duplicated efforts, and mounting frustration from colleagues and customers.

Surmounting these challenges requires multiple sources of data and truly unified observability. That's been Lightstep’s vision since I co-founded the company in 2015, and it’s what we’ve continued to work toward since joining ServiceNow. To that end, I’m excited to announce that ServiceNow plans to acquire log management company Era Software.

Lightstep from ServiceNow + Era Software


The state of cloud-native logging

Observability is about understanding and modeling systems, communicating about expected and actual reliability, and improving the ability to deliver value to end users. I’m often asked about the role of logging in modern observability, a market that’s expected to reach $9.08 billion by 2025, according to IDC.1 It’s a good question.

Logging is one of the most foundational activities for any software developer. Log data is needed, alongside tracing and metrics, to achieve cloud-native observability and respond to incidents.

High-performing teams ship better software by shipping smaller changes more quickly, according to the 2022 Accelerate State of DevOps Report. This is only possible by making teams smaller and more independent. But that comes at the cost of coordination and limited visibility into the impact of changes.

Cloud-native observability addresses this by unifying telemetry signals from applications and resources, allowing deep insights into system performance and behavior, even with a rapid rate of change.

The push to cloud-native has increased log volumes by several orders of magnitude while simultaneously making them less useful on their own. As a result, cloud-native logging is siloed and expensive. It needs a reboot from the ground up.

Empowering innovation

Lightstep has led the industry toward unified telemetry (combining logs, metrics, and traces) by co-creating the OpenTelemetry project in 2019. As part of ServiceNow, we help customers seamlessly connect insights and actions across all the tools, people, and processes involved in delivering digital customer experiences — so they can innovate fast, with confidence.

By innovating rapidly with precision and control, modern organizations can deliver better outcomes across all of their technology products and services to capitalize on the promise of digital transformation.

The success of digital transformation is tied to unified observability, and log management is a key component of that. The Era Software acquisition allows us to pull log data into the new world of modern observability with ServiceNow’s scale and breadth.

The success of digital transformation is tied to unified observability. Log management is a key component of that.

Delivering unified observability

Bringing Era Software's expertise and technology into the Lightstep portfolio with ServiceNow’s backing gives us a valuable lever to make sure that what’s happening in cloud-native arenas is aligned with central governance, central security, and central incident response.

Many people feel log management is set apart from everything else. Lightstep’s goal is to create the most complete, unified, primary observability platform. Holistic, end-to-end visibility is needed to turn real-time insights into action. We’re putting log management, tracing, and metrics under one roof for key observability use cases.

With the addition of Era Software's log management expertise and capabilities, we’re delivering on our vision to provide a unified, seamless, effective observability solution on a single platform that’s designed to scale.

Find out more about Lightstep observability.

1 IDC TechBrief: IT Observability for Digital Infrastructure Operations, July 2022, Doc #US49358522

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