Back to the Future with Old School DevOps

Have you ever carried a pager?  Felt that ominous vibration on your hip when you least expected it?  Been out at dinner when you get a message the systems aren’t working, and you need to figure out why?  If so, hopefully this story will resonate with you, and illustrate why I believe what we are doing at Logentries matters.

Old School DevOpsIn my case, I was enjoying a beer with a friend when the “chocolate bar emergency” (as it will be known here) occurred.  This is a true story, though, to protect the innocent, no names, dates or other identifying info is provided.

Pagers sound the alarm bells, but they don’t actually help you resolve the problem. Luckily for me, the friend having a beer with me was also the lead programmer who had built the eCommerce site and underlying application responsible for the online chocolate bar business.  He knew the code and the components; I had the production access and the tools to troubleshoot the systems. 

It was old school DevOps.

Old school DevOps was development and QA in one building; operations and the data center in another. There was a ton of processes and procedures to make sure it was incredibly difficult to cross from one to the other, virtually or physically.  Every change was reviewed, tested, documented, and logged.

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We trekked over to the data center, logged directly on to the servers, and resolved a configuration issue with the eCommerce module that was preventing visitors on the site from purchasing chocolate bars.  In the end, what was the key to identifying and solving the issue? 

We analyzed the application error logs.

Now, many years later, the cloud and SaaS have emerged as a massive enabler, the modern DevOps movement has changed the way people think about their systems and manage them, and an astounding amount of technical innovation has occurred.  And yet, the humble log file remains a critical piece of monitoring and troubleshooting production systems.  When your virtual “pager” goes off today, logs still tell the complete story, and provide the evidence you need to fix the problem.

But don’t take it from us. In a recent customer survey, we consistently heard logging saves time and improves accuracy in pinpointing issues.  Additionally, our customers listed production monitoring and production troubleshooting as the top two reasons they use Logentries.  Whether they’re on AWS, or running systems on-prem; fully embracing DevOps, or working within a specific function. Log data is still a treasure trove of information for people working across an organization, regardless of role.

While nobody mentioned pagers, many said they appreciate a service that just works, that’s easy to use, and that makes their log data available to them when they need it. 

If we’re not doing old school DevOps anymore, we cannot be using old school log management tools to find and fix the problems. If it only takes seconds to be notified that there is a problem, it should only take seconds to find out where the problem is. While we are always improving our capabilities to help our customers across a wide range of use cases, with weekly new product enhancements, our promise remains the same.  When your chocolate bars can’t be bought (your service is down, etc…), and people are looking for answers, we’re the ones making the insights you need from log data Simply Accessible.

Posted in Alerts, Business Metrics, Cloud, DevOps, Log Management, Logentries, Monitoring

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