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Splunk's VictorOps acquisition extends alerts, but narrows lanes

Splunk's purchase of VictorOps, its fifth deal in the past year, adds DevOps incident management, on-call scheduling and alerting, and opens doors into adjacent markets.

Splunk's acquisition spree continues with its purchase of VictorOps, specialists in DevOps incident management.

The $120 million VictorOps acquisition, Splunk's third already in 2018 and fifth in the past year, opens the door to compete in the nascent fields of on-call scheduling, alerting and incident response. The combination of Splunk's AI and machine learning technologies with VictorOps' incident management offerings will create what company officials described as a "platform of engagement" for development teams, an analytics-driven platform to monitor issues, resolve incidents and continuously improve. "This will help us extend our vision of using data as the backbone of IT," said Doug Merritt, Splunk president and CEO.

With the VictorOps acquisition, Spunk can better integrate a number of different capabilities, such as infrastructure monitoring, log analytics, event management and incident response, to allow IT pros to react faster to problems, wrote Nancy Gohring, senior analyst at 451 Research, in a report.

However, she cautions that on-call scheduling and alerting typically is an independent function, and Splunk could alienate some VictorOps customers that might feel uncomfortable with an independent provider. Competitors such as PagerDuty, OpsGenie, xMatters and AlertOps could benefit from that -- or they may soon find themselves in the crosshairs of other monitoring or log analytics providers, she concluded.

AI and machine learning have steadily crept into various DevOps products the past couple of years, particularly from monitoring and event management vendors, and this has squeezed on-call scheduling and alerting providers, Gohring pointed out. These added capabilities aim to diminish the tide of alerts that IT shops must deal with, and so lessen the need for alerting specialists, which in turn erodes some of the market for alerting firms.

VictorOps' response to this competitive threat has been tepid, according to Gohring. Rather than move into new markets, the company has focused on customizable automation technologies in hopes to attract larger end-user companies.

Splunk continues to be a major player in the log collection and analytics market, signing up 460 new enterprise customers in its most recent fiscal quarter. Over the past year or two, the company has made a handful of acquisitions focused on security and analytics, including Phantom, SignalSense, Caspida and Metafor. Last year the company bought Rocana, a log analytics company, mainly for the company's engineering talent.

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