New Relic acquires Kubernetes Pixie Labs observability platform – TechCrunch
Two months ago, the Kubernetes Pixie Labs observability platform launched into general availability and ad a $ 9.15 million Series A funding round led by Benchmark, with participation from GV. Today, the company announces its acquisition by New Relic, the listed monitoring and observability platform.
The Pixie Labs brand and product will remain in place and allow New Relic to expand its platform to the edge. From the start, the Pixie Labs team designed the service to focus on providing observability for cloud native workloads running on Kubernetes clusters. And while most similar tools focus on operators and IT teams, Pixie set out to create a tool developers would like to use. Using eBPF, a relatively new way to extend the Linux kernel, the Pixie platform can collect data directly from the source and without the need for an agent.
At the heart of the Pixie developer experience are what the company calls “Pixie scripts”. These allow developers to write their debugging workflows, although the company also provides their own set of them and anyone in the community can contribute and share them as well. The idea here is to capture a lot of the informal knowledge about how best to debug a given service.
“We’re so excited to bring these companies together because we share a mission to make observability ubiquitous through simplicity,” said Bill Staples, Product Manager for New Relic. “[…] According to IDC, there are 28 million developers worldwide. And yet, only a fraction of them actually practice observability today. We think it should be easier for every developer to take a data-driven approach to building software, and Kubernetes really is the heart of where developers go to build software.
It should be noted that New Relic already had a solution for monitoring Kubernetes clusters. Pixie, however, will allow her to go much deeper into that space. “Pixie goes much, much further by offering state-of-the-art live debugging use cases, the ability to run those Pixie scripts. So it’s an extension of the cloud-based monitoring solution we offer today, ”Staples said.
The plan is to create integrations in New Relic in the Pixie platform and also integrate Pixie use cases with New Relic One.
Currently, around 300 teams use the Pixie platform. These range from small startups to large corporations, and as Staples and Pixie co-founder Zain Asgar noted, there was already substantial overlap between the two customer bases.
As to why he decided to sell, Asgar – a former Google engineer working on Google AI and an assistant professor at Stanford – told me it was about speeding up Pixie’s vision.
“We launched Pixie to create this magical developer experience that really allows us to redefine the way app developers monitor, secure and manage their apps,” said Asgar. “One of the interesting things was when we met the New Relic team and got together with Bill and [New Relic founder and CEO] Lew [Cirne], we realized that there was almost complete alignment around this vision […], and by joining forces with New Relic, we can really accelerate this whole process.
New Relic has recently done a lot of work on open source for various parts of its platform, including its agents, data exporters, and some of its tools. Pixie, too, will now open its basic tools. The service’s open source has always been on the company’s roadmap, but the acquisition now allows it to move this timeline forward.
“We will take Pixie and make it available to the community through open source, while continuing to develop the enterprise-level commercial offering that extends the New Relic One platform,” Staples explained. Asgar added that it will take a little while for the company to release the code.
“The same foundational quality that got us so excited about Lew as EIR in 2007, got us excited about Zain and Ishan in 2017 – absolutely brilliant engineers, who know how to create products that developers love,” told me. says Eric Vishria, general partner of Benchmark Ventures. “New Relic has always captured the pleasure of developers. For all its power, Kubernetes completely disrupts the surveillance paradigm we have lived with for decades. Pixie brings to the Kubernetes world the same easy-to-use, quick-to-value, and pragmatic approach New Relic brought to APM. It’s a match made in heaven.