|By Trevor Parsons||
|April 28, 2014 08:00 AM EDT||
I love a good buzzword...cloud, Big Data, analytics... And even more than the buzzwords, I love the liberties people tend to take applying these buzzwords to their new systems and services. Such buzzwords regularly get abused and often get washed into marketing material and product websites in an attempt to hoodwink and woo new unsuspecting customers. One of my (least) favorite buzzwords, that I've noticed popping up more recently in particular in the logging space is "real-time."
So what does real-time mean anyway? Like with all good computer science questions, it really depends on the context. John Stankovic, in his seminal 1988 article in IEEE Computer entitled ‘Misconceptions of real-time computing' describes a real time system as follows:
"A real-time system is one in which the correctness of the system depends not only on the logical result of computation, but also on the time at which the results are generated."
An example is, what are referred to as, "hard-real-time systems" , where computation must meet stringent timing constraints and one must guarantee that those computations must be completed before specified deadlines. Failure to do so can lead to intolerable system degradation and can in some applications lead to catastrophic loss of life or property.
Many safety-critical systems are hard-real-time systems, and include embedded tactical systems for military applications, flight mission control, traffic control, production control, nuclear plant control etc. and in many cases the real-time properties need to be guaranteed and proven - often using techniques such as formal methods  for example.
Near real-time is often defined as not having any hard constraints, but implies that there are no significant delay in processing of the event. In many cases this means within a few milliseconds or seconds of the event - again this really depends on the context. From a system monitoring perspective (of non-safety critical applications) near real-time, i.e. within a few seconds, is usually sufficient when it comes to alerting for example. And by non-safety critical, I mean, your site/app might be down, but it will not lead to loss of life. That being said it could be resulting in serious loss of $$$.
In such scenarios if there is something awry with one of system components you want to be notified about this immediately, so that right away you can go about rectifying the issue. A few minutes is usually unacceptable however, as generally this means that users/customers of your system/service are being effected without you knowing anything about this, resulting in damage to your brand and business top line.
This is what really surprises me when I see so many log management solutions that run their alerting as background jobs or saved searches which run periodically every 5, 10 or 15 mins. In my opinion this doesn't really cut it when it comes to alerting and is NOT real- time/near real-time by any standard. Consider this, if there was an emergency at home do you think it would be acceptable to wait 5, 10 or 15 minutes before you picked up the phone and called the emergency services. A few seconds, yes, a few minutes NO!
A further observation by Stankovic in his 1988 article was that another common misconception in relation to real-time systems is that throwing hardware at the problem can solve this issue - however as Stankovic rightly points out, throwing hardware at the problem is not the answer - it's all about the architecture.
That's why we have built a very different architecture to any other logging provider. In short, most log management solutions work as follows:
- Data is sent to the log management service
- It is indexed and written to disk
- You can make use of their (complex) search language to dig into your data
- If you want to create notifications you need to set up saved searches (using the complex search language) that you can schedule to run every 5, 10 or 15 mins.
At Logentries we have flipped this approach on its head and have built a unique pre-processing layer as part of our system architecture that allows for real-time processing of your data such that the analysis of your log events is done up front and in near real-time. And, when we say real-time, we mean real-time.
It works as follows:
- Data is sent to Logentries
- It passes through our pre-processing layer which analyzes each event for defined patterns(i.e.keywords,regular expressions,defined search expressions) in real-time
- Notifications can be generated from our pre-processing layer such that you receive them within seconds of the important events occurring (e.g. exceptions, errors, warnings...)
The end result is that you get notified in seconds as opposed to minutes. In a world where time is money, and where buzzwords are only as useful as the architecture behind them, I vote for REAL real-time alerting - as it is an important requirement in any logging service!
 J. Stankovic, Misconceptions of real-time computing', IEEE Computer, 1988
 Jia Xu and David Lorge Parnas, ‘On Satisfying Timing Constraints in Hard-Real-Time Systems' IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, Vol 19, No. 1, Jan 1993
 ‘Formal methods for the design of Real Time Systems', Springer, International School on Formal Methods for the Design of Computer, Communication and Software Systems, September 2004
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, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context with p...
Nov. 29, 2015 06:00 PM EST Reads: 439
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Nov. 29, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 485
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
Nov. 29, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 352
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
Nov. 29, 2015 12:45 PM EST Reads: 419
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
Nov. 29, 2015 12:30 PM EST Reads: 425
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Nov. 29, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 527
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
Nov. 29, 2015 11:45 AM EST Reads: 327
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Nov. 29, 2015 09:45 AM EST Reads: 453
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
Nov. 29, 2015 09:15 AM EST Reads: 345
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Nov. 29, 2015 08:45 AM EST Reads: 223
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
Nov. 29, 2015 08:00 AM EST Reads: 274
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Nov. 29, 2015 07:00 AM EST Reads: 499
Continuous processes around the development and deployment of applications are both impacted by -- and a benefit to -- the Internet of Things trend. To help better understand the relationship between DevOps and a plethora of new end-devices and data please welcome Gary Gruver, consultant, author and a former IT executive who has led many large-scale IT transformation projects, and John Jeremiah, Technology Evangelist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), on Twitter at @j_jeremiah. The discussion is moderated by me, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.
Nov. 29, 2015 06:45 AM EST Reads: 743
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
Nov. 29, 2015 06:00 AM EST Reads: 558
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Nov. 29, 2015 06:00 AM EST Reads: 376
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
Nov. 29, 2015 05:00 AM EST Reads: 461
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Nov. 29, 2015 04:30 AM EST Reads: 486
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at Built.io, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
Nov. 29, 2015 04:00 AM EST Reads: 377
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.
Nov. 29, 2015 03:00 AM EST Reads: 339
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
Nov. 29, 2015 03:00 AM EST Reads: 598