ScienceLogic acquires AppFirst to bolster its IT infrastructure monitoring service

IT monitoring specialist ScienceLogic today announced that it has acquired AppFirst, a service to give IT admins deeper visibility in what apps and services run across a company’s servers, virtual machines and cloud instances. The companies did not disclose the financial details of the transaction.

Minnesota-based AppFirst was founded in 2009 and raised a total of $15.2 million, including two debt rounds in 2014 and 2015.

As ScienceLogic COO Mike Denning told me, the two companies were already talking about forming a business relationship, but those conversations then quickly moved toward a discussion about an acquisition. He also noted that for AppFirst, the options were to either raise a lot of money in what is currently a bit of a challenging environment or go for an acquisition. AppFirst’s CEO won’t join ScienceLogic, but its CTO, Donn Rochette, will.

ScienceLogic itself already offered its users deep insights into their infrastructure, but more and more, its users were also asking to get real-time data about their full stack, up to the application level. “We want to give you a single pane of glass to monitor your IT infrastructure,” Denning said. “But now our customers want us to come further up the stack into the application.” That’s especially true as more enterprises start experimenting with microservice-based solutions and software containers (and occasionally use them in production, too).

ScienceLogic looked at building those capabilities itself, but, in the end, it decided that the market was changing very quickly and it wanted to be able to offer the kind of capabilities its customers were asking for as soon as possible. Denning noted that AppFirst also has a number of patents around the architecture of its agents. With the acquisition, he believes, ScienceLogic can now build these tools in six months instead of 18-24 months.

As Denning told me, the more data ScienceLogic can get, the better it can serve its users. For now, it’s integrating AppFirst’s data collection technology into its own service. Then the plan is to also use AppFirst’s expertise to gather more log data and then, shortly after that, to add support for microservices and Docker containers. “The more data sources we have, the larger our addressable market,” Denning said, and added that this acquisition will now help the company better understand the application market.

ScienceLogic, which now has just under 400 employees, will keep AppFirst’s office in Minnesota open and has made offers to all of the company’s employees.