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VMware Brings Analytics to Log Data Apps

VMware Brings Analytics to Log Data Apps
By Jennifer LeClaire

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"VMware vCenter Log Insight is surprisingly easy to setup. It just worked after deploying the virtual appliance and setting the IP," said Brandon Gordon, IT Architect II at CSX. "The ease of extracting data, combined with the data visualization makes VMware vCenter Log Insight deceptively simple and extremely powerful to use."
 


VMware just rolled out a new automated log management and analytics center designed for enterprises embracing the cloud era. That's a long description for the new vCenter Log Insight.

Log Insight extends analytics to logs, and by doing so gives IT organizations a new tool to drive real-time insights from vast amounts of log data applications, physical hardware and virtualized infrastructure generates. The idea is to minimize troubleshooting times, improve operational efficiency and reduce IT costs.

"Dynamic virtual and cloud environments generate vast amounts of structured and unstructured data, requiring analytics for real-time intelligence and visibility across IT infrastructure and applications," said Ramin Sayar, vice president and general manager of Cloud Management at VMware. "With VMware vCenter Log Insight, we're extending our analytics-based approach to provide timely and rich insight of machine-generated data to IT administrators and operations teams."

Faster Troubleshooting

VMware points to the problem and opportunity: Machine-generated log data contains valuable operational and diagnostics details about IT infrastructure that can be applied to identify and troubleshoot IT problems. With the high volume of log data and the dynamic nature of data structures, however, IT organizations find it challenging to manage and mine logs for operational insights in real-time.

Long Insight delivers automated log management through log aggregation, analytics and search for system monitoring, troubleshooting and root cause analysis. The product consumes unstructured log data from IT infrastructure components including applications, firewalls, network devices, operating systems, storage, virtual machines and hosts, and more, to provide enterprise-wide visibility. Log Insight supports streaming data and real-time queries, and features a just-in-time schema definition that adapts to any data format.

"VMware vCenter Log Insight is surprisingly easy to setup. It just worked after deploying the virtual appliance and setting the IP," said Brandon Gordon, IT Architect II at CSX. "The ease of extracting data, combined with the data visualization makes VMware vCenter Log Insight deceptively simple and extremely powerful to use."

A New Analytics Trend

We caught up with Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research, to get his take on Log Insight. He told us Big Data has historically been oriented toward business data -- but he is starting to notice analytics driving toward IT information. He called Log Insight a good example of it.

"As a general trend, I expect to see Big Data making its way to IT even more. There's tons and tons of data created by virtual servers, network devices and storage machines. Trying to understand what that means in terms of user experience and IT optimization goes is very difficult," Kerravala said. "It's incumbent upon these larger platform providers, like a VMware, to provide some basic if not advanced analytics capabilities. It's a very smart move for them."

Log Insight is delivered as a virtual appliance. Once running, administrators use an graphical user interface featuring a search and query box, as well as pre-configured dashboards and reports to gain real-time insights from log data. VMware vCenter Log Insight is priced per operating system instance, such as physical server, virtual machine or virtualized host, rather than by log data volume.

A standalone product, VMware vCenter Log Insight is expected to be available in the third quarter of 2013. It is priced at $200 per operating system instance with no log data size limits offering customers a predictable pricing model.
 

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