Sumo Logic drops cloak, picks up cash to take on Splunk

Written on:January 31, 2012
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Sumo Logic emerged from the shadows Tuesday with $ 15 million in Series B funding from Sutter Hill Ventures, Greylock Partners and Shlomo Kramer bringing its total to $ 20.5 million since its founding in April, 2010. Greylock and Kramer also participated in the Series A round.

The company, founded by Arcsight veterans Kumar Saurabh and Christian Beedgen, aims to bring log monitoring and analytics to cloud computing environments via a software-as-a-service model. In that arena, Sumo Logic is bound to face off against Splunk, which filed for a $ 125 million IPO two weeks ago, as well as Loggly, a company that spun out of Splunk (see disclosure.)

Computer logs —  and other machine data — are an important component of the big data phenomenon. This machine data, if collected, analyzed and searched — provides important insights into how systems and applications are working (or not) and can pinpoint bottlenecks, server errors, and other glitches before they get out of hand.

“As infrastructure gets more complex, there are not only more systems and more heterogeneous systems but not everything sits in the customer data center anymore,” said Beedgen, who is also Sumo Logic’s chief architect and director of engineering. That means on-premises logging systems — which he contended are expensive to maintain and upgrade — are on their way out.

“The idea of sitting in a data center with a nice perimeter around it and just listening to what’s happening there isn’t going to cut it anymore,” Beedgen said in an interview Monday. The trick is to see out into a customer’s computing infrastructure regardless of where it is running. Once those logs can be viewed and monitored, forensics can be applied to pinpoint and trace security threats or other problems.

The service has been in use by select customers including Roblox and Ooyala, for a few months. Roblox, the online gaming company, integrates Sumo’s service into the Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) it uses to run its business. These “instrumented” AMIs give Roblox visibility into its Amazon infrastructure, Beedgen said.

The ability for companies to have a window into their compute infrastructure, wherever that is, will only get more important as more workloads move out of the customer’s own data centers and into the cloud. For more on this big data phenomenon, be sure to check out GigaOM’s Structure: Data Conference in New York City March 21 and 22.

Disclosure: Loggly is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media. Om Malik, founder of Giga Omni Media, is also a venture partner at True.

Photo courtesy of  Flickr user 401K

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