Where Are The DevOps Unicorns Today?

The last decade saw the rise of many DevOps vendors, we all have our favorites, but which ones are ahead of the game?

By Steve Burton
February 13, 2018

I attended my first DevOps Days event in Mountain View in 2011 (Fri & Sat morning) as a vendor. All I remember was John Willis doing his “State of DevOps” intro followed by various sessions on packaging, orchestration, monitoring and ignite talks. It’s easy to see why these events sell out every year.

One thing I remember in particular was a slide that had all the sponsors on it and thinking “Holy #&^@, that’s a lot of vendors.” Over the years that number has doubled and tripled–such has been the success of the DevOps movement.

 

DevOps Sponsors

2011 DevOpsDays

2015 DevOpsDays

At that time, I remember Chef and Puppet being the poster children for DevOps software.

This got me thinking: DevOps has seen massive success and adoption worldwide, but what about the vendors who were riding this train for years?

I decided to do some quick simple research to find out.

Comparing The DevOps Vendors

I wrote a shortlist of vendors that are well known in the DevOps ecosystem and compared three things on a chart:

  1. Year founded using Internet data (x-axis)
  2. Current employee size using LinkedIn data (size of bubble)
  3. Annual revenue using public data (y-axis)

For the vendors that aren’t public and don’t report revenue, I used an estimate based on the “average revenue per employee” from the companies that are public. This came out at ~$210k revenue per employee. As a result, I decided to use $200k revenue/employee to keep things simple for the non-public vendors.

 

Click To Enlarge

Findings

  • Only a handful of DevOps vendors have gone public. Those include Atlassian, Splunk, Zendesk, New Relic, MongoDB, EverBridge, and HortonWorks.
  • Only one open-source based vendor has gone public – MongoDB.
  • Puppet and Chef (who also have open-source versions) are slightly behind the curve.
  • The DevOps ecosystem is typically big enough for 2-3 vendors to do well within the same market segment (Splunk, Sumo, ELK), (PagerDuty, EverBridge), (Dynatrace, New Relic, AppDynamics)
  • HortonWorks is the most recent vendor with the most growth success
  • A significant number of vendors founded 10 years ago are hovering around the $50-$75m revenue range–possible future acquisition targets? or will they pivot and grow?
  • GitHub, Datadog, Docker, and Datastax look to be the next set of vendors set for an IPO?

What are your thoughts? Which findings surprised you the most?

Any vendors you would like to see in the above chart?

Cheers,

Steve.

@BurtonSays

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Michael Wilde
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I’d like to see a separation between those who “do devops” and those who just “report on whats happening, and send alerts”. Harness sits in both of those areas, Atlassian sits on the CI/CD side only, etc etc.. whereas Splunk / NewRelic, etc.. only sit on the observability side. I don’t see Splunk as a “devops” company (despite working there)

Jake Kaldenbaugh
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Good post. We have been tracking the DevOps marketplace for years. In fact, here is our DevOps Startup Landscape Map that may be helpful to you: http://gptpartners.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/GrowthPoint-DevOps-Startup-Landscape-v10.jpg