With an eye on the proliferation and growing importance of data, IBM is acquiring data observability services firm Databand.ai for an undisclosed amount, as part of its strategy to bolster its hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) services.
The acquisition, according to Big Blue, will help it to carve out a piece of the growing data observability market, which was estimated by IDC to be around $5 billion in 2020, expanding significantly year-over-year.
What is data observabiity?
Not to be confused with full-stack observability and application performance management (APM), data observability is a subset of full-stack observability that deals with understanding why a data set or data pipeline is not acting as desired.
A data observability platform provides the necessary tools for data engineers to quickly figure out whether data products such as analytics dashboards or machine learning models are working properly and trace the origin of the issue in case of a failure.
Observability, in general, is a relatively new term in IT, used to describe the task of monitoring enterprise applications, data flow and distributed infrastructure.
Systems that offer observability go beyond prior application performance monitoring (APM) programs, offering a high-level overview of IT infrastructure as well as granular metrics, to allow for efficient application, network, data, and security management.
Companies including Datadog, New Relic, Dynatrace, Honeycomb, Sumo Logic, Cisco AppDynamics, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Oracle and Microsoft offer full stack observability tools and services.
This is not IBM’s first observability-related acquisition. The company acquired Instana in November, 2020, to target the application performance monitoring market from a hybrid cloud standpoint.
Datamind.ai, on the other hand, is solely focussed on data observability. As a startup, it was backed by Accel Partners, Blumberg Capital, Ubiquity Ventures, Differential Ventures, F2, and Bessemer Venture Partners,
IBM plans to use Databand.ai in combination with IBM Observability by Instana APM and IBM Watson Studio to offer a full spectrum of observability tools across IT operations. Databand.ai, which is headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel, was founded by Evgeny Shulman, Josh Benamram and Victor Shafran in 2018.