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IBM to Acquire Performance Monitoring Company Instana for Hybrid Cloud and AI

IBM today announced plans to acquire Instana, an application performance monitoring and observability company. IBM said the acquisition will help businesses better manage applications spanning the hybrid clouds and that it strengthens IBM’s  AI-powered automation capabilities.

Financial details were not disclosed. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close within several months, IBM said.

“Our clients today are faced with managing a complex technology landscape filled with mission-critical applications and data that are running across a variety of hybrid cloud environments – from public clouds, private clouds and on-premises,” said Rob Thomas, SVP, Cloud and Data Platform, IBM, which said that companies use between two and 15 clouds, on average. “IBM’s acquisition of Instana is yet another important step that we are taking to provide companies with the most complete portfolio of AI-automated solutions to tackle this enormous challenge and help prevent unforeseen IT incidents that can cost a business in lost revenue and reputation.”

Headquartered in Chicago and with a development center in Germany, Instana’s objective is to help organizations manage the performance of complex and modern cloud-native applications wherever they reside – on mobile devices, public and private clouds and on-premises, including IBM Z.  Instana’s enterprise observability platform is designed to automatically build a contextual understanding of cloud applications and provide actionable insights to indicate how to best prevent and remedy IT issues that could damage the business or reduce customer satisfaction — such as slow response times, services that aren’t working or infrastructure that is down.

Once Instana’s capabilities are integrated into IBM, companies will be able to feed these insights into Watson AIOps, according to IBM. The information could then be compared to a baseline of a normal operating application, with AI triggering alerts to resolve issues quickly before negative impacts to that transaction or activity. The intent is to help eliminate the need for IT staff to manually monitor and manage applications, freeing these employees to focus on innovation and higher value work.

“With the added responsibility of ensuring the build and run quality of the software they develop, DevOps teams need a new generation of application performance monitoring and observability capabilities to succeed,” said Mirko Novakovic, co-founder and CEO, Instana. “Instana’s observability capabilities combined with IBM’s AI-powered automation capabilities across hybrid cloud environments will give clients a full view of their application performance to best optimize operations.”

Instana will offer both SaaS and on-premises capabilities.

IBM said the acquisition fits into the company’s larger hybrid cloud and AI enabling strategy, other elements of which include:

–  the launch of IBM Watson AIOps earlier this year, IBM’s AI offering for automating how enterprises self-detect, diagnose and respond to IT anomalies in real time;
–  acquisition of WDG Automation to provide clients with broader access to intelligent automation through software robots;
–  expanded partnership with ServiceNow to develop a joint solution to help companies reduce operational risk and lower costs by applying AI to automate IT operations;
–  updates to IBM Cloud Pak for Automation designed to help companies drive innovation across their expanding IT environments and accelerate digital transformation.

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