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May 29, 2013 By Amanda Saso

Logs and laundry: What you don't know can hurt you

Have you ever put your cell phone through the wash? Personally, I've done it. Twice. What did I learn, finally? To always double-check where I put my iPhone before I turn on the washing machine. It's a very real and painful threat that I've learned to proactively manage by using a process with a low rate of failure. But, from time to time, other foreign objects slip through, like a lipstick, my kids's crayon, a blob of Silly Putty---things that are cheaper than an iPhone yet create havoc in the dryer. Clothes are stained, the dryer drum is a mess, and my schedule is thrown completely off while I try to remember my grandmother's instructions for removing red lipstick from a white shirt.

What do low-tech laundry woes have to do with Sumo Logic’s big data solution? Well, I see LogReduce as a tool that helps fortify your organization against known problems (for which you have processes in place) while guarding against unknown threats that may cause huge headaches and massive clean-ups.

When you think about it, a small but messy threat that you don’t know you need to look for is a nightmare. These days we’re dealing with an unbelievable quantity of machine data that may not be human-readable, meaning that a proverbial Chap Stick in the pocket could be lurking right below your nose. LogReduce takes the “noise” out of that data so you can see those hidden threats, problems, or issues that could otherwise take a lot of time to resolve.

Say you’re running a generic search for a broad area of your deployment, say billing errors, user creations, or log ins. Whatever the search may be, it returns thousands and thousands of pages of results. So, you could take your work day slogging through messages, hoping to find the real problem, or you can simply click Log Reduce. Those results are logically sorted into signatures--groups of messages that contain similar or relevant information. Then, you can teach Sumo Logic what messages are more important, and what data you just don’t need to see again. That translates into unknown problems averted.

Of course your team has processes in place to prevent certain events. How do you guard against the unknown? LogReduce can help you catch a blip before it turns into a rogue wave. Oh, and if you ever put Silly Putty through the washer and dryer, a good dose of Goo Gone will do the trick.

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Amanda Saso

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