April 19, 2023

Extending SmartBear’s Modern Developer Focused Observability Capabilities

Today, we are very excited to announce the acquisition of Aspecto, an OpenTelemetry (OTel) pioneer whose capabilities will further extend SmartBear’s modern, developer-focused observability capabilities. Aspecto’s solution discovers modern microservice based architectures and visualizes all the real-time interactions between services and APIs through advanced distributed tracing capabilities. Users can search for and visualize any transaction from the front end to the back end and quickly pinpoint and troubleshoot errors and performance bottlenecks. It can also correlate traces with other log and metric data.   

By combining this powerful set of tracing and diagnostic capabilities with our market-leading error monitoring and app stability solution, BugSnag, we start to provide developers with a sophisticated set of integrated tools which will help them more quickly identify and fix end user impacting issues.  

BugSnag was SmartBear’s first foray into the modern, developer-focused observability space. BugSnag gives developers key insights into end users’ experiences with their production applications and enables these developers to collect information about errors, app crashes, and core performance issues. Our overall goal with BugSnag is to empower development teams, just like yours, to build higher quality, more stable applications for their end users, giving those organizations a competitive advantage.  BugSnag helped deliver a key piece of SmartBear’s overarching strategy and mission: to provide developers with the visibility they need across the whole software development lifecycle to build and run great applications, and SmartBear’s acquisition of Aspecto further delivers this.   

SmartBear will continue to drive its production visibility strategy, with the introduction of Real User Monitoring (RUM) which we are currently previewing with some key BugSnag customers. In the coming months, BugSnag will formally release end user performance monitoring functionality, providing application developers with deep insights into the performance of their mobile, web, and server-side apps. And of course, the collection of this new performance data will be in OpenTelemetry format enabling seamless integration into Aspecto’s OTel control plane.    

The rise of OpenTelemetry (OTel)  

OTel is fast becoming the telemetry standard for modern, cloud native applications, and is now the second most active Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) project, just behind Kubernetes. Recently Gartner predicated that “by 2025, 70% of new cloud-native applications will adopt OpenTelemetry for observability, rather than vendor-specific agents and SDKs.”. (Predicts 2022: Modernizing Software Development is Key to Digital Transformation Published 3 December 2021 – ID G00758298).

Why is this project so popular? Fundamentally, it’s about giving observability teams more choice and avoiding situations around vendor lock-in that can occur through use of proprietary agent technology to collect telemetry data. If organizations adopt OTel and most modern applications come preconfigured with OTel based telemetry, they can quickly shift Observability vendors with minimal risk and disruption and choose the most functional/cost effective solution for their needs at any particular time.  

Since its inception in 2019, Aspecto has been heavily involved in driving and defining the OpenTelemetry project and community; it has developed a control plane for organizations looking to deploy and manage OpenTelemetry based Observability projects. Leveraging Aspecto’s vast knowledge and leadership in this space, SmartBear will enable to help modern application development teams to scale OTel infrastructure in a secure, cost-effective manner.  

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