Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Plutora Blog, Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan, Dana Gardner, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Java IoT, Microsoft Cloud, IoT User Interface

Java IoT: Blog Post

Let the Logs do the Talking

Did you know that the same log analysis tool could be your key to reporting with management

You are on top of your game. You have a log analysis tool churning logs from all your applications and infrastructure. And now that you have data (LOTS and lots of data...), you are able to understand your infrastructure better than you ever did before. You might even build a dashboard or two that tells you what is going on with your IOPS and utilization, at a glance.

But when it comes time to explain system status or configurations to everyone else in the organization you get stuck. Stuck and frustrated that your time is being taken away from tasks that need to get done.

Did you know that the same log analysis tool could be your key to reporting with management, communicating with developers, and building business cases for change? All with much less effort than before.

How?? Let the logs do the talking for you.

shutterstock_209678401 (1)

During your busy day you are too consumed with regular system admin tasks to think about your next monthly or quarterly meeting with management. In this meeting, however, you are expected to say what is going well, what is going poorly, and how you are improving it. And that is just one audience; the developers need your help too. They demand issue details, and status updates after new releases.  You know all this stuff in your head, but putting it together is hard.

For the developers you cannot just say "hey, something is wrong"... you have to pinpoint the issue in order to avoid the "it works on my machine, or in the lab" challenge. Management wants to know not only what happened, but also the impact on customers and usage. But, often tech speak does not translate to the business issues. And if you know there is an opportunity for improvement, that is going to cost some money, you will have to prove 1)  there is a problem, and 2) that the spend will fix it. How do you build a case, on top of your other work?

It's hard. But just like log analysis tools assimilate information for you to better understand what is going on, they can provide you the tools to help others understand what is going on as well.

A well designed system of dashboards and reporting literally makes it possible for you to screenshot a dashboard, add some numbers and comments, and polish off a great presentation in minuets not days.

Here are some best practices to make your reporting life easier.

  1. Be deliberate in your dashboard creation. Sometimes you are compelled to create a dashboard on demand, as the moment strikes you. While you should not suppress that urge, make sure you understand how any new dashboard is going to be consumed.
  1. Name your dashboards with external communication in mind.  Your naming conventions should not be cryptic. You need to be able to quickly spot the dashboard. For example "OutagesWithTimeSeries" in order to report on recent outages for the quarter.
  1. Give developers a piece of the pie. Allow your developers to access the portions of the analysis platform that pertain to them. Why? Because this makes them accept the information from the platform, and makes them feel a part of the solution. You build a comfort level that allows the communication to flow more easily.
  1. If you always have to use a query you are doing something wrong. Design your quires to be repeatable, and something you can report on.  There is no way to avoid unique one-offs but 90% of the time you should not be writing queries to answer common questions. It's better to turn those quires into pictures.  Use the querying approaches for your research and deep dives into particular issues or analysis only.
  1. Be consistent. Nothing wastes time in meetings like arguing over what a number means.  Be consistent with all reporting so as not to confuse people.  Ideally your presentation will have the same slides, just over different periods of time.
  1. Don't go too deep. The deeper you go the more questions you create. Also you might just lose people in details of say memory utilization that they do not care about. Rather, report on the overall consumption of your infrastructure, and what you are doing with the underage or overage. For example. This means that your reports need to be more concise than you are used to for your own consumption.
  1. Help your boss. Make your boss look great, by creating reports that he/she can also use to streamline their presentations. Setup regular email alerts with the reports and think about what is useful for business teams to know.
  1. Think about your design. If there is an opportunity to better organize, or collect logs than use it. Often organization is an afterthought and comes too late, and then once a year you are trying to clean everything up. Stay organized at the beginning and you will save a ton of time.

Log analysis is a work horse giving you a better point of view of what is going on. It allows you to see the steady state of your applications and infrastructure in one location, and with no manual effort. Log analysis also allows you to make decisions you could not have previously. But this is only half the benefit.  It can be an excellent communication tool as well.

When you use your log management tool into a reporting and communication tool, you will skip the frustration of preparing for the next meeting, or trying to translate your data for other departments in your organization. Save time by taking the extra step to let the logs do the talking for you.

More Stories By Trevor Parsons

Trevor Parsons is Chief Scientist and Co-founder of Logentries. Trevor has over 10 years experience in enterprise software and, in particular, has specialized in developing enterprise monitoring and performance tools for distributed systems. He is also a research fellow at the Performance Engineering Lab Research Group and was formerly a Scientist at the IBM Center for Advanced Studies. Trevor holds a PhD from University College Dublin, Ireland.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Among the proven benefits, DevOps is corr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Infrastructure & Services will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS) is a managed services provider of cloud computing solutions for the IBM Power Systems market. The company helps mid-market firms built on IBM hardware platforms to deploy new levels of reliable and cost-effective computing and high availability solutions, leveraging the cloud and the benefits of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS...
To many people, IoT is a buzzword whose value is not understood. Many people think IoT is all about wearables and home automation. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed some incredible game-changing use cases and how they are transforming industries like agriculture, manufacturing, health care, and smart cities. He will discuss cool technologies like smart dust, robotics, smart labels, and much more. Prepare to be blown away with a glimpse of the future.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the cloud and the best price/performance value available. ProfitBricks was named one of the coolest Clo...
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
Internet of Things is moving from being a hype to a reality. Experts estimate that internet connected cars will grow to 152 million, while over 100 million internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps will be operational by 2020. These and many other intriguing statistics highlight the importance of Internet powered devices and how market penetration is going to multiply many times over in the next few years.
The basic integration architecture, as defined by ESBs, hasn’t changed for more than a decade. Most cloud integration providers still rely on an ESB architecture and their proprietary connectors. As a result, enterprise integration projects suffer from constraints of availability and reliability of these connectors that are not re-usable across other integration vendors. However, the rapid adoption of APIs and almost ubiquitous availability of APIs amongst most SaaS and Cloud applications are rapidly redefining traditional integration approaches and their reliance on proprietary connectors. ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet conditions, Dyn ensures traffic gets delivered faster, safer, and more reliably than ever.
"We have a tagline - "Power in the API Economy." What that means is everything that is built in applications and connected applications is done through APIs," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at Akana, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
WebRTC converts the entire network into a ubiquitous communications cloud thereby connecting anytime, anywhere through any point. In his session at WebRTC Summit,, Mark Castleman, EIR at Bell Labs and Head of Future X Labs, will discuss how the transformational nature of communications is achieved through the democratizing force of WebRTC. WebRTC is doing for voice what HTML did for web content.
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, will explore the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context wi...
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem fillin...
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, discussed how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at the same time reduce Time to Market (TTM) by using plug and play capabilities offered by a robust IoT ...
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world and it starts with business models and monetization strategies.
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BMC delivers software solutions that help IT transform digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive business advantage. BMC has worked with thousands of leading companies to create and deliver powerful IT management services. From mainframe to cloud to mobile, BMC pairs high-speed digital innovation with robust IT industrialization – allowing customers to provide amazing user experiences with optimized IT per...
There will be 150 billion connected devices by 2020. New digital businesses have already disrupted value chains across every industry. APIs are at the center of the digital business. You need to understand what assets you have that can be exposed digitally, what their digital value chain is, and how to create an effective business model around that value chain to compete in this economy. No enterprise can be complacent and not engage in the digital economy. Learn how to be the disruptor and not the disruptee.