Startup BigPanda Emerges to Shed Light on IT Incidents

By Sean Michael Kerner  |  Posted 2014-10-31 Print this article Print
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Making sense of the wealth of information sources in an enterprise can be challenging. BigPanda offers a SaaS model to help enterprises understand IT incidents.

Startup BigPanda emerged from stealth mode on Oct. 28, complete with funding and a cloud-based software-as-a-service model (SaaS) for helping enterprises understand IT incidents.

BigPanda has raised $7 million in a Series A round of funding, which included the participation of Mayfield and Sequoia Capital. Including seed funding, the company has raised a total of $8.5 million to date.

The basic premise behind BigPanda is to help organizations handle the deluge of incident logs and data generated in a modern enterprise to better correlate and understand the information to help fix problems and improve efficiency.

The idea of collecting events and logs and trying to make sense of them is sometimes the domain of security information and event management (SIEM) software, but that's not quite what BigPanda is aiming to deliver.

Assaf Resnick, CEO of BigPanda, told eWEEK that a SIEM is somewhat parallel to what his company does. "We help IT teams make sense of the large volume of IT events that are happening across their production environment," Resnick said. "It's similar to what SIEM providers enable for security events, but we are focused on another market, IT incident management."

That said, BigPanda can also consume security alerts from a wide range of security monitoring tools, Resnick said. That enables IT teams to see security events and issues alongside performance issues that are occurring throughout their production environments.

Part of BigPanda's feature set is a clustering capability that enables users to map out all the different relationships between their enterprise systems.

"We aggregate and normalize alerts from leading monitoring systems, such as New Relic, Nagios and Splunk, as well as home-built monitoring solutions," Resnick said.

Then, by leveraging clustering and machine learning algorithms that BigPanda has developed, the technology is able to map out the topological and statistical relationships between alerts to determine relationships and commonality.

Going a step further, understanding alerts is important, but so is the ability to act on alerts. To that end, there is an integration in BigPanda with deployment and configuration management systems, including support for Chef, Puppet, Ansible, Jenkins and Capistrano. The system is also extensible via BigPanda's API.

"We also connect to ITSM [IT service management] and ticketing tools such as ServiceNow, Remedy, JIRA and Zendesk," Resnick said.

The BigPanda technology includes some open-source elements around the front-end infrastructure, though Resnick commented that the core of the offering, including everything the company does around automation and data science, is entirely proprietary. From a deployment perspective, BigPanda is a SaaS solution that enables enterprises to consume the service from the cloud. BigPanda's cloud provider back-end is Amazon Web Services.

Now that BigPanda is out of stealth, the focus is on growing the company and the technology. "The next step for the company is to grow the sales and marketing team and to continue to focus on technology innovation around expanding the use of our algorithmic platform to automate other additional areas of incident management," Resnick said.

While the name BigPanda might seem somehow connected to the term "big data," Resnick said that there is not much behind the name. "We were looking for a name that would stand out and that we could have fun with," he said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.


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