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LISA 2002 - Technical Program Abstract

A New Architecture for Managing Enterprise Log Data

Adam Sah - Addamark Technologies, Inc.
Pp. 121-132 of the Proceedings of LISA '02: Sixteenth Systems Administration Conference,
(Berkeley, CA: USENIX Association, 2002).


Server systems invariably write detailed activity logs whose value is widespread, whether measuring marketing campaigns, detecting operational trends or catching fraud or intrusion. Unfortunately, production volumes overwhelm the capacity and manageability of traditional data management systems, such as relational databases. Just loading 1,000,000 records is a big deal today, to say nothing of the billions of records often seen in high-end network security, network operations and web applications. Since the magnitude of the problem is scaling with increases in CPU and networking speeds, it doesn't help to wait for faster systems to catch up.

This paper discusses the issues involving large-scale log management, and describes a new type of data management platform called a Log Management System, which is specifically designed to cost effectively compress, manage and analyze log records in their original, unsummarized form. To quote Tom Lehrer, ``I have a modest example here'' - in this case commercial software that can store and process logs in parallel across a cluster of Linux-based PCs using a combination of SQL and perl. The paper concludes with some lessons we learned in building the system.

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Last changed: 24 Oct. 2002 aw
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