Sumo Logic Tracks Network Performance Through Event Logs

The data analytics service studies reams of data about a client's network and applications to learn about the network's performance and to find ways to improve it.

Sumo Logic, a provider of log management and data analytics as a service, has introduced what it calls a "streaming query engine," a cloud-delivered service that constantly monitors an enterprise IT infrastructure and highlights problem areas that need attention.

But what Sumo Logic says distinguishes its service from that of other big data offerings is that it shares search query topics across all companies using the Sumo Logic service to share insights with each client on what to look for.

But Sanjay Sarathy, chief marketing officer, hastens to add that Sumo Logic does not share specific data about any company with others such as specific log information. Instead, by sharing the nature of queries, it gives all clients better insight into what to look for in the operation of their networks and applications.

"Our system gets more intelligent as companies are running a query or running a search or as part of the analytics package," Sarathy said. "That's something that I think gives us a distinct advantage because you have that ongoing learning and ongoing understanding of what is most important."

Sumo Logic clients could be in very different businesses—retail, manufacturing, technology or gaming—but they could still use similar IT infrastructure, such as VMware for virtualization, Microsoft Windows Server in their data centers or Oracle for customer relationship management, he said.

"We don't have access to the data," he explained. "However, the queries themselves are a community benefit."

Sarathy says Sumo Logic's offering has been compared with that of Splunk, but theirs is an on-premise-only solution and thus can't share query information among various Splunk customers as Sumo Logic's can.

Sumo Logic delivers its service through a dashboard that provides continuous updates about network and application performance and over time identifies performance patterns. It visualizes performance metrics through bar graphs and other illustrations that help make system performance issues more easily understood by various stakeholders, including executives, operations managers and application developers.

"IT organizations must embrace dashboarding in order to communicate technical metrics and data to nontechnical users," said Jonah Kowall, research director for IT operations management at Gartner.

A free version of Sumo Logic can be downloaded and the dashboard runs in a Web browser. Non-techie Sarathy said he had the system up and running in 10 minutes. The free version has all the functionality of a paid version, but there's a limit on how much data can be analyzed.

Sumo Logic was founded in 2010 by Christian Bergen and Kumar Saurabh, who both came from ArcSight, a security information and event management (SIEM) provider, which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard later that year for $1.5 billion.

Sumo Logic emerged from stealth mode with $15 million in new funding in January of this year.