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May 29, 2012By Bruno Kurtic

Sumo Logic at AWS Big Data Boston

I recently represented Sumo Logic at the AWS Big Data conference in Boston. It was a great show, very well-attended. Sumo Logic was one of the few vendors invited to participate.

During the conference I conducted a survey of the attendees to try to understand how this, emerging early-adopter segment of IT professionals, manages log data for their infrastructure and applications.

Common characteristics of attendees surveyed:

  • They run their apps and infrastructure in the cloud
  • They deal with large data sets
  • They came to learn how to better exploit/leverage big data and cloud technologies

What I asked:

  • Do you use logs to help you in your daily work, and if so, how?
  • What types of tools do you use for log analysis and management?
  • What are the specific pain points associated with your log management solutions?

The findings were interesting. Taking each one in turn:

No major surprises here. Enterprises buy IaaS in order to run applications, either for burst capacity or because they believe it’s the wave of the future. The fact that someone else manages the infrastructure does not change the fact that you have to manage and monitor your applications, operating systems, and virtual machines.


A bit of a surprise here. In my previous analysis, some 45% of enterprises use homegrown solutions, but in this segment it’s 70%. Big difference with the big data and cloud crowd. A possible explanation for this is that existing commercial solutions are not easy to deploy and run in the cloud and don’t scale to handle big data. So, the solution = build it yourself. Hmm.

Yes, yes, I know, it adds up to more than 100%. That’s because the question was stated as “select as many as apply” and many respondents have more than one problem. So, nothing terribly interesting in there. But let me dig a bit deeper into issues associated with homegrown vs. commercial.

This makes a bit more sense. For the home grown, it looks like complexity is the biggest pain – which makes sense. Assembling together huge systems to support big volumes of log data is more difficult than many people anticipate. Hadoop and other similar solutions are not optimized to simply and easily deliver answers. This then leads to the next pain point: if it is not easy to use, then you don’t use it = does not deliver enough value.

The responses on commercial solutions make sense as well. Today’s commercial products are expensive and hard to operate. On top of the sticker price, you have to spend precious employee time to perform frequent software upgrades and implement “duct tape” scaling. If you don’t have expertise internally you buy it from vendors’ professional services at beaucoup $$$$$. You have to get your own compute and storage, which grow as your data volume grows. So, commercial “run yourself” solutions = very high CAPEX (upfront capital expenditures) and OPEX (ongoing operational expenditures). In the end (as the second pain point highlights), commercial solutions are also complex to operate and hard to use, requiring highly skilled and hard to find personnel.

Pretty bleak – what now?
At Sumo Logic, we think we have a solution. The pain points associated with home-grown and commercial solutions that were architected in the last decade are exactly what we set out to solve. We started this company after building, selling and supporting the previous generation of log management and analysis solutions. We’ve incorporated our collective experience and customer feedback into Sumo Logic.

Built for the cloud
The Sumo Solution is fundamentally different from anything else out there. It is built for big data and is “cloud native”. All of the complexities associated with deploying, managing, upgrading, and scaling are gone – we do all that for you. Our customers get a simple-to-use web application, and we do all the rest.

Elastic scalability
Our architecture is true cloud, not a “cloud-washed” adaptation of on-premise single-instance software solutions that are trying to pass themselves off as cloud. Each of our services are separate and can be scaled independently. It takes us minutes to triple the capacity of our system.

Insights beyond your wildest dreams
Because of our architecture, we are able to build analytics at scale. Our LogReduce™ and Push Analytics™ uncover things that you didn’t even know you should be paying attention to. The whole value proposition is turned on its head – instead of having to do all the work yourself, our algorithms do the work for you while you guide them to get better over time.

Come try it out and see for yourself: http://www.sumologic.com/free-trial/

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Bruno Kurtic

Bruno Kurtic

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