Google Acquires Cloud App Monitoring Vendor Stackdriver

Stackdriver provides application monitoring services in the cloud for clients. No purchase price was announced for the deal.

Google has acquired Stackdriver, a Boston-based company that was started in 2012 to provide cloud application monitoring services to users.

Google announced the move May 7 in a brief post by Tom Kershaw, a Google Cloud Platform product manager, on the Google Cloud Platform Blog. "Stackdriver has built a leading service to help developers intelligently monitor the apps and services they're building and running in the cloud," wrote Kershaw. "This allows customers to have more visibility into errors, performance, behavior, and operations. The teams are going to be working to integrate Stackdriver's great functionality so that Google Cloud Platform customers can take advantage of these new advanced monitoring capabilities."

Neither company commented on the deal after being contacted by eWEEK.

In a post on the Stackdriver blog, however, the company's leaders wrote that they had started the company to help businesses use data visualization and analytics to better monitor their cloud applications. "Our new colleagues on the Google Cloud Platform team share our passion for helping developers build great products," the post continued. "They also know a thing or two about data visualization, analytics, and cloud computing. We could not be more excited to join forces and innovate together."

Stackdriver's post also said that the company will "remain committed to delivering a world-class service for Stackdriver's current and future customers—regardless of your chosen infrastructure provider." Stackdriver supports Amazon Web Services (AWS), Rackspace, Google Cloud Platform and other cloud platforms.

Two IT analysts contacted by eWEEK said the acquisition makes sense for Google's cloud business.

"I think given that Google's first business priority is information, it makes sense for them to reach out to someone hosted elsewhere because it gives them more information they'd traditionally not have access to," said Dan Maycock, an analyst with OneAccord Digital. "Now not only do they have tons of info from AWS customers, but they also have a tool to help provide even more info for their own cloud solution. I think it's fair to say if there's a data solution out there, or a means to get more information they'd traditionally not have access to, then it's a target for acquisition."

It's all part of a larger picture for Google, said Maycock.

"From infrastructure to robotics to cars, they're buying the means to be a part of people's lives in new ways to get more 'offline' information about people apart from their desktop, so it'd make sense for them to also seek out ways to get information from competitors' platforms and users as well," he said. "I think Stackdriver fits in that camp."

Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, agreed.

"The deal makes perfect sense given the increasing focus that Google is bringing to bear on its cloud platform and solutions," said King. "The company's strategic initiatives have included growing its services and sharpening its attack on competitors, especially Amazon, via aggressive pricing and related policies."

The acquisition of Stackdriver also now connects Google with Stackdriver's customer base, which includes "many or most of the largest companies using AWS, meaning it has direct relationships with Amazon's core customer base."

That connection could be used by Google to attempt to move some of those customers to its own cloud platform, said King. "Whether that will enable Google to pry loose any of AWS' enterprise customers is unclear, but Stackdriver should offer a powerful fulcrum point to apply leverage."

Google is very active in making additions and improvements to its cloud platform for developers and users.

In March 2014, Google added a new Google APIs Client Library for .NET and improved documentation for using third-party Puppet, Chef, Salt and Ansible configuration-management tools.

In late October 2013, Google replaced its old Google API Console with a new, expanded and redesigned Google Cloud Console to help developers organize and use the more than 60 APIs offered by Google. Earlier in October, the company released several technical papers to help cloud developers learn more about the development tools it offers through its Google Compute Engine services. The papers, "Overview of Google Compute Engine for Cloud Developers" and "Building High Availability Applications on Google Compute Engine," offer insights and details about how the platform can be used and developed for business users.