Logentries: Simple monitoring for complex networks

Logentries promises to create a simple monitoring and analytics solution for complex environments. After seeing their demonstration, I believe that they've hit their target.

Chief Scientist of Logentries, Dr. Trevor Parsons, came back to demonstrate his company's monitoring and analytics solution. (See Logentries - team and community intelligence for more information about our previous conversation.) 

Logentries believes that exposing performance and operational data to both technical and non-technical staff members can be very beneficial. That means the data has to be presented in simple, easy-to-understand ways, and the product should pre-process data as it comes in so that searching and analysis can be accomplished with a few mouse clicks.

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To that end, the company has developed a product that relies on a sophisticated pre-processing engine and dynamic, graphical displays showing what that engine has learned. Parsons demonstrated finding what was behind a Amazon Web Services (AWS) based cloud application by just clicking through log entries that were already highlighted and tagged by the analytical engine. It looked easy enough that even an analyst could learn what was going on in a complex environment.

What was different and intriguing about this demo was the ability for teams to work together on issues highlighted by the product. One person could tag a specific type of error or warning message and add comments that include a problem ticket, a comment about what was causing that problem or any other text message.  It would be easy to implement a system that assigned problems to specific maintainers or developers using this method.

During the demonstration, Parsons pulled in data from multiple systems of different types, running different operating systems, supporting different database products, client systems, and even different types of cloud services.

Snapshot analysis

It appears Logentries is targeting the same industry need as do competitors such as Splunk, Loggly, LogLogic and LogRhythm. Like its competitors, Logentries has worked to put together an ecosystem of customers and partners allowing an ever-growing list of problems to be easily handled.

Unlike the others, Logentries systems doesn't require users of its software to learn a new query language or construct complex query statements in order to quickly review running systems and find the root cause of problems.

It was an impressive demo and I would suggest that if your company is seeking an intelligent performance monitoring and management solution, you should ask to see a demo too.