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ServiceNow Inc. said today it’s planning to acquire a startup called Era Software Inc. in order to beef up the capabilities of its Lightstep observability platform.

Once completed, the company says, the acquisition will enable Lightstep to provide unified observability at large scale, with customers benefitting from actionable insights from across their entire information technology landscape. The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but ServiceNow said it expects the deal to be completed by the fourth quarter of the year.

Era Software is the creator of a powerful observability and log management database platform that features machine learning-powered data indexing and schema-free storage capabilities. It claims to have created a new approach to log data management that resolves scale, performance and cost issues associated with running distributed applications on modern cloud-native architectures.

Log management is the practice of continuously gathering, storing, processing and analyzing data from disparate programs and applications in order to optimize system performance, identify technical issues, better manage resources, strengthen security and improve compliance.

Era automatically indexes on every dimension in logs and works with arbitrarily shaped data. Most notably, the platform can adjust to different log data rates dynamically without any fine-tuning. It provides a way to deploy log management infrastructure that’s less complex but still performs well.

ServiceNow said the plan is to combine Era’s capabilities with those of Lightstep, a company it acquired in May 2021 that now forms the basis of its main observability platform. ServiceNow is pursuing a vision of “unified telemetry” that spans logs, metrics and traces. Lightstep was a founding member of the OpenTelemetry project that shaped this vision, which aims to make it easier for DevOps teams and engineers to innovate faster, with greater precision and control.

By combining Era Software and Lightstep, ServiceNow believes it can extend unified observability workflows and remove many of the “confusing context switches” that hinder productivity with DevOps teams and site reliability engineers.

Era Software co-founder and Chief Executive Todd Persen said he built his company to simplify the complex challenge of managing large volumes of observability data, with a particular focus on log management. “We have always believed that observability should span across the enterprise,” he added.

ServiceNow has made a string of acquisitions over the past 18 months as it looks to add to the capabilities of its flagship Now Platform. In its most recent deal, it acquired the skills mapping and intelligence Hitch Works Inc. in June for an undisclosed price. Last year, it acquired startups including DotWalk Inc., Mapwize SAS and Gekkobrain.

“Digital transformation succeeds or fails based on unified observability,” said Ben Sigelman, general manager of ServiceNow’s Lightstep business unit and co-founder of Lightstep. “Together, ServiceNow and Era Software are set up to deliver a unified and seamless observability experience within one solution, designed to scale.”

Photo: ServiceNow

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