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50 Smartest Companies of the Year 2021

Cribl is Delivering Control and Flexibility for Observability Data


Founded in 2017, No origin story of Cribl can start anywhere but at Splunk, the popular technology company. Clint Sharp (CEO and Co-founder of Cribl) met both of the other two Cribl co-founders – Ledion Bitincka and Dritan Bitincka at Splunk. As Ledion, Dritan, and Clint worked with dozens of enterprises through 2017 and into early 2018, it became clear that logging was still an incredible pain point. And once outside of Splunk, a clearer view of the market began to emerge for the co-founders. Customers valued their existing tooling. Some had hundreds of trained users who were logging in regularly to troubleshoot in Splunk or Kibana, and many had dozens of distinct departmental workspaces that had rich role-based access to many internal dashboards. Customers had deep investments in their existing tools. But the Cribl co-founders wanted to deliver a fit-for-purpose solution and meet customers where they were at and support all their existing agents and collectors. Hence they floated Cribl.

Cribl presents an amazing opportunity today. Companies are completely overwhelmed with observability data, and the influx from remote workers has dramatically added to the problem. Organizations are desperate to know where they need to focus their efforts to get the most out of this data. Cribl gives customers a strategic control point to enable companies to get the right data to the right place at the right time, cutting costs while analyzing more. With Cribl, customers make important business decisions while decreasing overall infrastructure costs.

Partnering with investors Sequoia along with its long-time partners CRV, Cribl is well-positioned to grow as quickly as possible. Cribl customers like Autodesk, TransUnion, and Blue Voyant absolutely love the product.

We recently interviewed Clint Sharp (CEO and Co-founder of Cribl) to know more about the company’s innovations. He talked to us about the company’s brand new launch – LogStream 3.0 and more. Read on for the excerpts from the interview.

Q. What kind of problems are you helping address at Cribl?

Cribl is built to solve customer data challenges and enable customer choice. Our solutions deliver innovative and customizable controls to route security and observability data where it has the most value. Our solutions help slash costs, improve performance, and get the right data, to the right destinations, in the right formats, at the right time. Cribl helps companies instrument everything, so they can analyze more and pay less.

Q. What makes Cribl’s products unique?

Cribl has no direct competitors in the Observability Pipeline space. The closest similar products are built for event stream processing, but do not specialize in Logs, Metrics, and Traces (Observability data), or do not have the breadth of capabilities for routing, reducing, collecting, and transforming data at petabyte scale.

Despite being an early stage company, Cribl counts over 2100 people in its community. These community members range from users of our free edition, to customers and partners. Community members help and engage with each other, and they even created the first Cribl User Group without any prompting from us. It’s been a great source of ideas and validation for our products and reinforces our customer-first core value. Between August 2020 and June 2021, the community has grown over 300%.

Q. Do you have any new services ready to be launched?

On June 2, Cribl unveiled LogStream 3.0, the latest version of the company’s flagship solution for making multi-system observability a reality for any organization. The company is also announcing the general availability of LogStream Cloud, the software-as-a-service consumption option first announced at the end of last year.

And earlier this year, Cribl introduced the industry’s first open source and runtime-agnostic performance monitoring tool, called AppScope.

Q. Tell us more about LogStream 3.0.

LogStream is a next-generation log router that collects and optimizes data streams from existing installed and known agent(s), then shapes and routes data to analytics systems in real-time while maintaining high-fidelity data in low-cost storage. In our 3.0 release, Cribl introduced LogStream Packs, a powerful framework for rapidly accelerating deployments. LogStream Packs framework allows organizations and communities of data engineers to scale their expertise by building and sharing LogStream configuration models that can be rapidly deployed without the need to reconfigure common use cases.

For a private infrastructure optimized solution for every size deployment, companies can purchase LogStream which is purpose built for private infrastructure. LogStream also meets stringent requirements of regulatory compliance and drastically reduces transit costs of observability data analysis.

We also formally released LogStream Cloud, a SaaS-based deployment model for LogStream. With LogStream Cloud, companies can deploy an observability pipeline within minutes.

LogStream Cloud is free up to 1TB/day, requires zero software to install, manage or maintain and includes automatic upgrades, backup and simple provisioning.

Q. How has emerging technologies contributed to the success of your business?

With data growing at an astronomical rate of over 25% YoY in the past several years and IDC is predicting that by 2025, enterprises will be managing 250% more data than in 2020, the goal of capturing more data while spending less requires a fundamental shift in data collection, reduction, routing, and optimization. Global organizations including TransUnion, Autodesk, and Shutterfly are solving this problem with Cribl LogStream.

Q. One of the biggest barriers to businesses when it comes to investing in any kind of technology is the cost. Tell us about the affordability of your solutions.

We’ve seen savings of 30-50% on data storage costs of analytics tools. Also, by implementing a single set of telemetry then transforming and routing the event data to any endpoint, LogStream delivers to analytics systems the flexibility, control, and simplicity to instrument everything all the time without spending any money or time on new agents or collectors – simply reuse the collectors already deployed.

Q. How was 2020 for Cribl? What are you hoping for 2021?

Cribl had a breakout FY2020 with notable customer and employee growth in an extremely challenging environment. The company more than doubled the number of customers and expanded its team by 350%, setting the stage for an outstanding FY2021.

The Leader Upfront

Clint Sharp, CEO and Co-founder

He has spent the last two decades leading product management and IT operations at technology and software companies, including Splunk and Cricket Communications. As a former practitioner, Clint has a deep expertise in network issues, database administration, and security operations.

“The company more than doubled the number of customers and expanded its team by 350%, setting the stage for an outstanding FY2021.”