Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Frank Lupo

Related Topics: Java IoT, Microsoft Cloud, Machine Learning

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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale, a leading provider of systems and services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale has been involved in shaping the computing landscape. They've designed, developed and deployed some of the most important and successful systems and services in the history of the computing industry - internet, Ethernet, operating s...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Taica will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Taica manufacturers Alpha-GEL brand silicone components and materials, which maintain outstanding performance over a wide temperature range -40C to +200C. For more information, visit http://www.taica.co.jp/english/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale is the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers that bring flexibility to modern data centers by right-sizing servers on the fly to fit any data set or workload. TidalScale’s award-winning inverse hypervisor technology combines multiple commodity servers (including their ass...
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
As popularity of the smart home is growing and continues to go mainstream, technological factors play a greater role. The IoT protocol houses the interoperability battery consumption, security, and configuration of a smart home device, and it can be difficult for companies to choose the right kind for their product. For both DIY and professionally installed smart homes, developers need to consider each of these elements for their product to be successful in the market and current smart homes.
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that mruby Forum will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. mruby is the lightweight implementation of the Ruby language. We introduce mruby and the mruby IoT framework that enhances development productivity. For more information, visit http://forum.mruby.org/.
Digital transformation is changing the face of business. The IDC predicts that enterprises will commit to a massive new scale of digital transformation, to stake out leadership positions in the "digital transformation economy." Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, Oct 31-Nov 2, will find fresh new content in a new track called Enterprise Cloud & Digital Transformation.
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, will discuss how given the magnitude of today's applicati...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp emp...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn't require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbui...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of hybrid cloud enablement solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere Systems was created by file systems experts determined to reinvent storage by changing the way enterprises thought about and bought storage resources. With decades of experience behind the company’s founders, Avere got its ...
Amazon is pursuing new markets and disrupting industries at an incredible pace. Almost every industry seems to be in its crosshairs. Companies and industries that once thought they were safe are now worried about being “Amazoned.”. The new watch word should be “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” In his session 21st Cloud Expo, Chris Kocher, a co-founder of Grey Heron, will address questions such as: What new areas is Amazon disrupting? How are they doing this? Where are they likely to go? What are th...