Sumo Logic raises $30M for log analysis as a service

Sumo Logic, a Mountain View, Calif.-based log management startup, has secured a $30 million Series C funding round from Accel Partners along with existing investors Greylock Partners and Sutter Hill Ventures. The company, which competes primarily with Wall Street darling Splunk (s splk), has now raised $50.5 million since its creation in 2010 and its public launch in January 2012.

Sumo Logic is one of many systems management and analysis startups looking to disrupt their established fields by introducing a software-as-a-service approach to markets traditionally served by software software vendors. Sumo Logic’s core technology is a process, which it calls LogReduce, for detecting patterns among log files so systems administrators have a better idea where to start looking for problems when application begin behaving funkily. In early November, the company released a dashboard feature so users can track certain aspects in real time.

According to Chief Marketing Officer Sanjay Sarathy, one of Sumo Logic’s real values is in how easy it is to get started. Because it’s hosted in the Amazon Web Services (s amazon) cloud, users don’t have to worry about managing any servers or scaling physical infrastructure when traffic — and, therefore, data generation — spikes.  “We don’t have any professional services people on staff,” Sarathy said. “We don’t need to.”

Although he said Sumo Logic competes mostly with Splunk and companies’ homegrown log-management tools, they’re not the only two companies around. Other cloud-based startups include Loggly (see disclosure) and LogLogic.

Sarathy said Sumo Logic has about 1,000 users of its free version, and another 40 paying customers, including Netflix (s nflx). That’s a far cry from Splunk, which boasts thousands of users and has established itself as a player in the burgeoning big data space. But the market for products centered on deep analysis of log data is still young and companies of all sizes are getting comfortable with SaaS offerings for certain non-critical workloads.

Disclosure: Loggly is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media. Om Malik, the founder of Giga Omni Media, is also a venture partner at True.