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VMblog Expert Interview: Nobl9 Talks Adoption of Service Level Observability, Funding and the Upcoming SLOconf


Nobl9, the service level observability company, recently announced that it had raised $15.8 million from ServiceNow, Cisco Investments, and existing investors including Battery Ventures and CRV. VMblog caught up with Kit Merker, Chief Growth Officer at Nobl9, to discuss the funding, wider market adoption of SLOs and the third annual online SLOconf taking place May 15-18. 

VMblog: Tell me about the funding and what you plan to do with it.

Kit Merker:  We've secured $15.8 million in funding, with strategic investments from ServiceNow and Cisco and all our existing investors including Battery Ventures and CRV. While the last year has been tough economically, customers are quickly adopting Nobl9 to help them deliver new innovations, reduce costs, and stay up and running. Despite today's uncertain economic environment, our investors have reaffirmed their confidence in Nobl9's capacity to help organizations increase their agility and improve performance.

This new funding lets us continue to expand our product, delivering top-notch SLO-centric capabilities to our customers. We are investing in education around SLOs within the community with SLOconf, OpenSLO, and SLODLC. Our customers have put a lot of faith in us, and we take that responsibility seriously.

VMblog: Tell me more about the growing SLO adoption across enterprises.

Merker:  Throughout 2021 and 2022, we've seen accelerating growth in the adoption of SLOs across enterprises and mid-market companies, which significantly contributed to our record 4th quarter results. The findings of the State of SLOs report, conducted by Dimensional Research, revealed that the adoption and use of SLOs have steadily increased among enterprise IT professionals. More than 80 percent of 300 surveyed companies have increased their utilization of SLOs in some capacity. The growing SLO usage has mainly focused on new technologies, such as microservices. 87 percent of respondents reported that using SLOs for these purposes would improve their performance.

These findings have also highlighted a trend in adopting and using SLOs by business teams outside IT operations. We see executives, manufacturing professionals, researchers and developers, marketing professionals, and those in finance all adopting SLOs to gain better visibility into the effectiveness of their operations.

VMblog: What is driving the increasing demand for SLOs?

Merker:  Enterprises are increasingly under pressure to create a scalable relationship between operations and software services while delivering consistent customer experience and reducing operational costs. As these pressures grow more demanding, innovative SLO solutions present an attractive option for organizations looking to efficiently address their challenges and maintain streamlined operations with minimal overhead costs.

SLOs give enterprises the flexibility and scalability to ensure that services can meet their customers' requirements. By setting specific performance, availability, and latency objectives based on user and business expectations, SLOs make it easy to monitor service performance and take action when necessary - proactively! This helps enterprises quickly identify areas of improvement and adjust their operations accordingly.

Furthermore, SLOs help ensure that customer experience remains consistent throughout their interaction with a business. By establishing specific objectives for service delivery and performance, companies can guarantee that the same level of quality is provided across all channels. It helps to ensure customer satisfaction and trust in an enterprise's capabilities.

VMblog: Have you introduced any new features to the Nobl9 Platform?

Merker:  We announced a really cool new capability called "Replay" that lets you look back up to 30 days when ingesting an SLO, speeding up development and adoption. We also have a new product tier called Nobl9 Free Edition. It's a perpetual free version of our award-winning SLO Platform. This new hosted solution lets you create SLOs using metrics and observability data from 24+ popular tools. These include Lightstep from ServiceNow, Cisco AppDynamics, Prometheus, Datadog, New Relic, Dynatrace, Google Cloud Monitoring, Amazon Cloud Watch, Amazon Managed Service for Prometheus, Splunk, and many more.

VMblog: Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?

Merker:  We recently announced our 3rd annual conference, SLOconf, which will take place May 15-18, 2023. It's the only event dedicated to the practice and application of SLOs and features industry leaders in SRE, DevOps, and software engineering, and is open to everyone. We are currently accepting speaker applications, and anyone interested can visit the event website at


Published Thursday, February 09, 2023 7:32 AM by David Marshall
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