Next-Generation Technologies & Secure Development , Observability

Cloudflare Enters Observability Space With Baselime Purchase

Acquiring Baselime Will Give Developers Better Visibility Into Serverless Platforms
Cloudflare Enters Observability Space With Baselime Purchase

Cloudflare purchased an observability startup founded by an aerospace dynamics expert to enhance the developer experience on serverless platforms.

See Also: OnDemand: 2024 Google Cloud Partner of the Year - Application and Infrastructure Security

The San Francisco-based cloud connectivity firm said its acquisition of London-based Baselime will help developers optimize performance, investigate bugs and regressions, and identify when a release has gone wrong and needs to be rolled back. The deal also will enable developers to optimize the cost of their serverless applications by understanding the rate of requests made and analyzing sources of latency (see: Cloudflare Boosts Cloud Connectivity With Nefeli Acquisition).

"Observability should be there from day one," Dane Knecht, Cloudflare's senior vice president of emerging technology and incubation, told Information Security Media Group. "And in order to do that, it should just be baked into the platform."

How Cloudflare Workers Customers Benefit From Baselime

Integrating Baselime will give Cloudflare Workers customers a more comprehensive understanding of today's complex systems, which aren't limited to single servers but instead involve many subsystems, including databases, compute resources and AI components. Buying rather than partnering with Baselime means Cloudflare can internalize tools that allow for monitoring and understanding of system components.

Baselime's focus on modern internet infrastructure and embrace of open telemetry distinguish it from traditional observability players. The tool will be completely integrated into Cloudflare by year-end, which will require transitioning from a separate dashboard to a more unified experience. Base-level observability features will be included in Cloudflare's platform, while advanced features might be add-ons.

"Observability should be there from day one."
– Dane Knecht, senior vice president of emerging technology and incubation, Cloudflare

For developers currently using Cloudflare Workers, adding Baselime will simplify the debugging process, optimize applications and make it easier to understand user interactions. From a metrics standpoint, Knecht anticipates that adding observability will increase the number of developers using Cloudflare Workers and drive increased engagement from developers already on the platform.

"CISOs must be able to go back and do forensic analysis and understand where the threat actor came in," Knecht said. "Having greater visibility here will be another kind of tool in their toolbox for understanding how their traffic flows and what's happening in the network."

From Aerospace Dynamics to Serverless Applications

Terms of the acquisition, which was announced Friday, weren't disclosed. Baselime was established in October 2021 and led since inception by Boris Tane, who has a bachelor's degree in condensed matter physics and a master's degree in aerospace dynamics. The company employs eight people and in July 2022 received $1.9 million in pre-seed funding to make it easier for developers to debug new serverless architectures.

"Our core mission has always been simplify and innovate observability for the future of the cloud, and Cloudflare's ecosystem offers the ideal ground to further this cause," Tane said in a statement. "With Cloudflare, we're positioned to deeply integrate into a platform that 2 million developers trust, enabling them to build, ship and troubleshoot applications fast."

Bringing Cloudflare and Baselime together will help developers analyze their observability data across thousands of possible fields and values, surfacing all errors, requests or performance issues for specific users or across their entire applications. The deal also will enable the adoption of tools and standards to integrate with a diverse set of application frameworks and cloud providers.

These tools and standards will make it easier for developers to quickly troubleshoot issues, whether they affect a single user, a subset of users or the entire application. Acquiring Baselime also will enhance the developer experience through actionable alerts, an AI-debugging assistant, an approachable query engine, trace diagrams and timelines, and error tracking based on logs and traces, Cloudflare said.

The Baselime deal comes just a month after Cloudflare purchased multi-cloud networking startup Nefeli to enable better network and security management within the cloud. Before that, Cloudflare's last M&A was in February 2022, when the company bought email security vendor Area 1 for $162 million and Vectrix to mitigate issues such as inappropriate filing sharing and user permission misconfigurations.

About the Author

Michael Novinson

Michael Novinson

Managing Editor, Business, ISMG

Novinson is responsible for covering the vendor and technology landscape. Prior to joining ISMG, he spent four and a half years covering all the major cybersecurity vendors at CRN, with a focus on their programs and offerings for IT service providers. He was recognized for his breaking news coverage of the August 2019 coordinated ransomware attack against local governments in Texas as well as for his continued reporting around the SolarWinds hack in late 2020 and early 2021.

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