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Sanjay Sarathy, CMO

Machine Data Analytics, Down Under

08.20.2014 | Posted by Sanjay Sarathy, CMO

Not often have I spent two weeks in August in a “winter” climate, but it was a great opportunity to spend some time with our new team in Australia, visit with prospects, customers and partners, and attend a couple of Amazon Web Service Summits to boot.  

Here are some straight-off-the-plane observations.

A Local “Data Center” Presence Matters:  We now have production instances in Sydney, Dublin and the United States.  In conversations with Australian enterprises and government entities, the fact that we have both a local team and a local production instance went extremely far when determining whether we were a good match for their needs.  This was true whether their use case centered around supporting their security initiatives or enabling their DevOps teams to release applications faster to market.  You can now select where your data resides when you sign up for Sumo Logic Free.

Australia is Ready For the Cloud:  From the smallest startup to extremely large mining companies, everyone was interested in how we could support their cloud initiatives.  The AWS Summits were packed and the conversations we had revolved not just around machine data analytics but what we could do to support their evolving infrastructure strategy.  The fact that we have apps for Amazon S3, Cloudfront, CloudTrail and ELB made the conversations even more productive, and we’ve seen significant interest in our special trial for AWS customers.  

We’re A Natural Fit for Managed Service Providers:  As a multi-tenant service born in the Cloud, we have a slew of advantages for MSP and MSSPs looking to embed proactive analytics into their service offering, as our work with The Herjavec Group and Medidata shows.  We’ve had success with multiple partners in the US and the many discussions we had in Australia indicate that there’s a very interesting partner opportunity there as well.    

Analytics and Time to Insights:  In my conversations with dozens of people at the two summits and in 1-1 meetings, two trends immediately stand out.  While people remain extremely interested in how they can take advantage of real-time dashboards and alerts, one of their bigger concerns typically revolved around how quickly they could get to that point.  ”I don’t have time to do a lot of infrastructure management” was the common refrain and we certainly empathize with that thought.  The second is just a reflection on how we sometimes take for granted our pattern recognition technology, aka, LogReduce.  Having shown this to quite a few people at the booth, the reaction on their faces never gets old especially after they see the order of magnitude by which we reduce the time taken to find something interesting in their machine data.  

At the end of the day, this is a people business.  We have a great team in Australia and look forward to publicizing their many successes over the coming quarters.

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Sanjay Sarathy, CMO

Differentiators

05.27.2014 | Posted by Sanjay Sarathy, CMO

As our growth has accelerated over the past few quarters, we’ve gained additional insights into what customers care about and why they choose us for machine data analytics.  In addition, our integrations and partnerships with Akamai, Amazon Web Services and ServiceNow have provided even more context around what customers investing in cloud services want and need.  I thought it would be instructive to share one perspective on what we’ve learned. 

  • Our cloud-native strategy is an asset, not just because of traditional TCO and elasticity reasons but because the fundamental cost of running a high-volume, cloud-based log management service that automatically detects patterns and anomalies is prohibitively expensive for customers choosing an on-premise alternative.  It goes back to a central point that many customers bring up with us – “we want to be users of the system, not administrators of it.”  
  • Our customers really care about Service Level Agreements.  Traditional SLAs focus on uptime/availability.  This is essential, but not always sufficient.  We’ve found that as a cloud provider in this space it’s also necessary to provide a SLA for query performance. Why? It’s quite simple. Query performance is essential to delivering on the promise of time-to-value, not just around initial setup, but also around ongoing operations.
  • My colleagues have previously discussed the rationale behind LogReduce and Anomaly Detection. One of the tenets of our product strategy is that the rate of growth of machine data has far outpaced the ability for human rules to automatically capture all insights in your logs. We thus need to combine machine learning with human knowledge to uncover both known and unknown events in machine data. This combination and the reason we invest so much in data science is the underpinning of our analytics strategy.  
  • Log data is “inherently” chatty and volumes spike when issues arise or seasonality goes beyond the norm. It’s during these periods that the need to instantly burst capacity to meet customer demand is critical. An on-premise environment cannot by definition get this done without having expensive spare capacity sitting around, a situation most organizations don’t typically provision for. It’s why we’ve incorporated elastic bursting to over 5x of your regular volume as part of our regular service.

These and other differentiators are a significant reason why we’ve grown by 500% over the past year.  We decided to take these differentiators and our other capabilities and make this part of our website.  Enjoy the read and understand where we’re focusing our R&D efforts to create a valuable machine data analytics service.  

Sanjay Sarathy, CMO

Sumo Logic, ServiceNow and the Future of Event Management

04.29.2014 | Posted by Sanjay Sarathy, CMO

Today’s reality is that companies have to deal with disjointed systems when it comes to detecting, investigating and remediating issues in their infrastructure.  Compound that with the exponential growth of machine data and you have a recipe for frustrated IT and security teams who are tasked with uncovering insights from this data exhaust and then remediating issues as appropriate.  Customer dissatisfaction, at-risk SLAs and even revenue misses are invariable consequences of this fragmented approach.  

With our announcement today of a certified integration with ServiceNow, companies now have a closed loop system that makes it much easier for organizations to uncover known and unknown events in Sumo Logic and then immediately create alerts and incidents in ServiceNow.  The bi-directional integration supports the ability for companies to streamline the entire change management process, capture current and future knowledge, and lay the groundwork for integrated event management capabilities.  This integration takes advantage of all the Sumo Logic analytics capabilities, including LogReduce and Anomaly Detection, to identify what’s happening in your enterprise, even if you never had rules to detect issues in the first place.  

ServiceNow Integration

The cloud-to-cloud integration of ServiceNow and Sumo Logic also boosts productivity by eliminating the whole concept of downloading, installing and managing software.  Furthermore, IT organizations also have the ability to elastically scale their data analytics needs to meet the service management requirements of the modern enterprise.

Let us know if you’re interested in seeing our integration with ServiceNow.  And while you’re at it, feel free to register for Sumo Logic Free.  It’s a zero price way to understand how our machine data analytics service works.

PS – check out our new web page which provides highlights of recent capabilities and features that we’ve launched. 

Sanjay Sarathy, CMO

“Hosting Software is For Suckers” and Other Customer Observations

02.06.2014 | Posted by Sanjay Sarathy, CMO

It has been an extremely productive start to 2014 at Sumo Logic. Over the past few weeks I’ve talked with a number of customers about their current and planned use of Sumo Logic. From these conversations three distinct patterns have emerged around the core value of what we provide which I’d like to share.

Scale.  With workloads increasingly moving to the Cloud, the rapid growth of mobile applications and the speed with which companies can add and remove computing capacity, dynamism is the word of the day. Customers who are going through significant architectural changes and have chosen Sumo Logic often talk positively about the concept of scale with us. This refers to more than just our ability to scale with their data growth.  It also refers to how customers use Sumo Logic to scale their machine data analytics *without* having to scale their operational overhead. A customer once said, “hosting software is for suckers”, and I have to agree.

Time to Value.  Every customer wishes to minimize time figuring out what’s relevant in their data sets. Customers love our advanced analytics and how it enables them to be more proactive with their IT and security environments. Just as important to them as our LogReduce and Anomaly Detection capabilities is our ability to shorten the front end of the process – the ability to instantly query large amounts of log data based on very rapid collection and indexing.  Their ability to get to production with Sumo Logic in a day or less is a huge win for them and drives immediate business value.  No longer do companies have to spend weeks or months configuring an environment to start a project.

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Content is King.  We’ve spent a lot of time over the past months releasing new application content that support a multitude of use cases, from IT Ops to Security. Included on this list are apps for Akamai, AWS CloudTrail, Palo Alto Networks and even a QuickStart application for newbies to log management. The customer response has been extremely positive – the ability to easily incorporate knowledge about these data sources and generate additional business insights has significantly helped with the previous point around creating rapid business value. These apps combined with our recently launched content library are just the beginning to the machine data economy that is built around sharing insights and communal knowledge.

 

 

Sanjay Sarathy, CMO

The Oakland A’s, the Enterprise and the Future of Data Innovation

01.23.2014 | Posted by Sanjay Sarathy, CMO

Remember Moneyball? Moneyball is the story of how the performance of the Oakland A’s skyrocketed when they started to vet players based on sabermetrics principles, a data-driven solution that defied conventional wisdom. The team’s success with a metrics-driven approach only came about because GM Billy Beane and one of his assistants, Paul DePodesta, identified the value in player statistics and trusted these insights over what other baseball teams had accepted was true. Any business can learn a significant lesson from Billy Beane and Paul DePodesta, and it is a lesson that speaks volumes about the future of data in business.

If a business wants their data to drive innovation, they need to manage that data like the Oakland A’s did. Data alone does not reveal actionable business insights; experienced analysts and IT professionals must interpret it. Furthermore it’s up to business leaders to put their faith in their data, even if it goes against conventional wisdom.

Of course, the biggest problem companies confront with their data is the astronomical volume. While the A’s had mere buckets of data to pour through, the modern enterprise has to deal with a spewing fire hose of data. This constant influx of data generated by both humans and machines has paralyzed many companies who often never analyze the data available to them or just analyze the data reactively. Reactive data analysis, while useful to interpret what happened in the past, can’t necessarily provide insights into what might occur in the future.  Remember your mutual fund disclaimer?

Innovation in business will stem from companies creating advantages via proactive use of that data. Case in point: Amazon’s new initiative to anticipate customers’ purchases and prepare shipping and logistics “ahead of time.”

The ability to be proactive with machine data won’t be driven simply by technology. It will instead stem from companies implementing their own strategic combination of machine learning and human knowledge. Achieving this balance to generate proactive data insights has been the goal of Sumo Logic since day one. While we have full confidence in our machine data intelligence technologies to do just that, we also know that is not the only solution that companies require. The future of data in the enterprise depends on how companies manage their data. If Billy Beane and Paul DePodesta effectively managed their data to alter the trajectory of the Oakland A’s, there is no reason that modern businesses cannot do the same.

This blog was published in conjunction with ‘Data Innovation Day’

Sanjay Sarathy, CMO

Universal Collection of Machine Data

04.18.2013 | Posted by Sanjay Sarathy, CMO

Customers love flexibility, especially if that flexibility drives additional business value.  In that vein, today we announced an expansion of our log data collection capabilities with our hosted HTTPS and Amazon S3 collectors that eliminate the need for any local software installation.  There may be a variety of reasons why you don’t want or can’t have local collectors  - for example, not having access to the underlying infrastructure as often happens with Infrastructure-As-A-Service (IaaS) environments.  Or you simply don’t feeling like deploying any local software into your current infrastructure. Defining these hosted collectors is now baked into the set-up process, whether you’re using Sumo Logic Free or our Enterprise product.    

 

 

With these new capabilities, companies can now unify how they collect and analyze log data generated from private clouds, public clouds, and their on-premise infrastructure.  They can then apply our unique analytics capabilities like LogReduce to generate insight across every relevant application and operational tier.

With companies increasingly moving towards the Cloud to power different parts of their business, it’s imperative that they have the necessary means to troubleshoot and monitor their diverse infrastructure.  Sumo Logic provides that flexibility.

Sanjay Sarathy, CMO

The Marriage of Machine Data and Customer Service

03.06.2013 | Posted by Sanjay Sarathy, CMO

Last week we announced how Atchik uses Sumo Logic and our ability to easily analyze machine data to reshape its customer service function.  In fact, there are a variety of ways in which customer service organizations can become best friends with your log management infrastructure to improve your customers’ perception of your product or service.  Specifically, companies can use a log management service to:

  • Pinpoint exactly what the customer did during the course of a transaction or interaction with an application or service, as opposed to relying purely on email threads or phone logs.  This root cause analysis can help in understanding bottlenecks that the customer complained about and, just as importantly, provide guidance to the development team on how customers are using the product or service.  Actually it’s a great reason for the app development teams to use the service as well, but that’s the subject of another post.  
  • Easily correlate that application activity with the impact on other infrastructure elements that affect the consumer experience.  Unfortunately, many companies today only focus on a single application view of the customer experience when, given how integrated applications and services are today, it’s critical to get a full picture of all the different ways in which the customer is affected.
  • Proactively address potential customer-facing issues *before* they hit by receiving real-time alerts when application anomalies are diagnosed by the log management solution
  • Create customer dashboards and reports that provide real-time insights into the customer activity you care most about tracking  

We use Sumo Logic internally to support every function in the organization from application development to QA to customer service and even marketing.  Our co-founder and VP of Engineering, Kumar Saurabh, is hosting a webinar on March 26th to talk about “Sumo and Sumo”. We invite you to attend.

 


Sanjay Sarathy, CMO

A Visit To the Other Coast

02.12.2013 | Posted by Sanjay Sarathy, CMO

Vance and I spent a week on the East Coast talking with a variety of analysts about the Sumo Logic story.  Apart from the usual questions (“where did you come up with that name?”), there were a number of interesting observations from our first ‘tour’.  

  • Different aspects of our story appeal to different analysts, depending on particular research areas. Some people latched onto our “Analytics for IT” story and were interested in a deep understanding of how we plan to take LogReduce and its associated capabilities to the proverbial next level. Others were interested in understanding just how elastic our cloud-based architecture is to support the potential bursting and scaling needs of a number of different clients.  Still others focused on the ROI potential of our solution across a variety of different use cases.  
  • Once we actually showed a live example of how LogReduce works (hello, Sumo on Sumo) everyone instinctively understood the huge operational and business value that LogReduce brings by distilling hundreds of thousands of log messages into a set of twenty to thirty real patterns. Thank goodness for ubiquitous WiFi.  
  • My most interesting meeting was with about 20 people from a particular banking outfit with whom I spent the first ten minutes explaining what log files were and why analyzing them could uncover real insights from a business.  Getting back to first principles was illuminating because without explaining the business reason for looking at log files, your so-called features are almost irrelevant. 

We have our sales kickoff this week.  There’s a ton of energy across every group, not just because of the success we’ve had but also from the enormous opportunity to help small and large businesses generate value from their machine data.  We’d love to get your feedback on our service – try Sumo Logic Free and tell us what you think.

Sanjay Sarathy, CMO

60 Days, But I’m Not Counting

12.17.2012 | Posted by Sanjay Sarathy, CMO

My first couple of months at Sumo Logic have been a whirlwind of good activity and I thought I’d share some of the reasons that got me excited about the opportunity and that continue to hold true after talking with customers, partners, and prospects.

Sumo Logic = Short Time to Operational Value

When I started the interview process with Sumo Logic, I registered for our free product to understand the experience.  It took me 15 minutes to register, download a collector, point it to log files on my laptop and see the first set of analyses in the Sumo Logic cloud-based application. If the process was fairly seamless to me as a marketing person, it certainly bode well for the technical IT and Operations teams who typically work with log management products like ours.

 Powerful Analytics (Of Two Kinds)

It’s one thing to ingest the volumes of machine data that get generated every day; it’s quite another to provide useful insights into what that data means for the business.  The Sumo Logic approach has been to focus on two types of analytics.  

a) The first is to focus on the “known unknowns” issues associated with your machine data – typically these approaches consist of some combination of search functions, reports and real-time dashboards.  

b) The second is the far more difficult process of helping customers analyze issues that fall into the “unknown unknowns” category, and this is what got me extremely excited about what Sumo Logic is doing.  If you have hundreds of pages of log files, how do you know what to search for?  Enter the concept of LogReduce, our patent-pending technology that enables companies to take hundreds or thousands of pages and distills them down into a meaningful set of patterns.  These patterns enable you to understand issues with your infrastructure that you typically had no idea were occurring.  

The Opportunity For Community

I’m a big believer that communities are a natural way to help people solve problems, get answers to pressing questions, and feel like they’re part of a network that can help them professionally and personally.  Having run a developer program at scale in a past life, I think there is plenty of opportunity to build a community of passionate Sumo Logic users around the world, at both a program level and within the product itself which is easier to do with a cloud-based service like ours.

If you’re interested in seeing why I’m excited, try Sumo Logic Free and participate in our community via Twitter.

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