Welcome!

Ruby-On-Rails Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Hovhannes Avoyan, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Cognitive Computing , Java IoT, @CloudExpo, @DevOpsSummit

Cognitive Computing : Article

PaaSt Times By @HoardingInfo | @DevOpsSummit [#DevOps]

One of the biggest mistakes a PaaS consuming organization can make is to ignore the log data from their PaaS system

PaaSt Times
by Chris Riley

Boy was I naive. When I first learned about the term PaaS, I threw it away quickly into a metaphorical garbage can. Of course you need your servers I thought. This was about five years ago. But now, I realize how silly that was.

While IaaS is still the primary back end for applications, there are many out there that contain a combination of PaaS and IaaS, and a rare handful that are 100% PaaS. And for both of these scenarios the importance of log management and analysis remains.

PaaS is an abstraction of the server. A services layer that can run independently of any IaaS and provide specific functionality like a NoSQL back end, MySQL, workers etc. The nice thing about PaaS is that all infrastructure considerations are up to the vendor. And in fact, the infrastructure your PaaS services are running on probably changes frequently.

Importance of logging on PaaS

The downside to PaaS is that if the need arises to get server level access for special patches, add-ons, configurations, etc you can't. So for whatever PaaS solution you use, it will need to be vanilla. Unless you have the resources and breadth to build an internal PaaS solution, which is also possible.

There are, usually small, applications which are 100% PaaS. For example a stack could be:

  • Azure Websites - Application Layer
  • GitHub - Source Repository
  • MongoLabs - NoSQL Backend
  • ClearDB - MySQL backend
  • Azure Cache - in Memory key/value store
  • Azure Machine Learning - data manipulation
  • Visual Studio Online - release automation

With the above stack you will never touch a VM, in fact you cannot.

A lot of tooling in the market is also PaaS. For example for the end-user Logentries is a PaaS solution. It would be more commonly considered SaaS, but because they have an API for log ingestion and consumption it's also "PaaS."

A hybrid scenario is where a similar stack to the above has components on IaaS. Such as AWS compute running a manually configured instance of MySQL that has to integrate with all the other PaaS services.

In IaaS it is obvious how to setup, and what to log in your log analysis system. You get admin level access to your VM. You install your agents. And then you pick your data sources. But with PaaS you cannot do this. This does not mean you should not log your data however.

Especially in the hybrid scenario where you need to correlate data from the other services with your infrastructure data. This is especially important in 100% PaaS solutions where you need to know what is going on with data you may not necessarily have access to. But how do you get PaaS into your log analysis system?

The biggest challenge in  getting logs out of your PaaS solutions is that the ideal implementation, the solution provider gives you the logs directly, the setup is unique for each. And you are walking on ice with vendor changes.

For example it is cool that Microsoft provides you logs for Azure websites. You have to setup and retrieve the data in visual studio, but it is all there, and pretty easy to consume. In this case you would most likely write a separate application, on your backend, to periodically download and store these logs in your log analysis service. This might be similar to what the agents do for IaaS, except you are writing the agent. If you want to be really tricky you could setup a worker on Azure Worker Role, or AWS Background Task in Elastic Beanstalk. PaaS to log PaaS.

And with other solutions, especially DBs, you can download, via a REST call, XML or JSON formats of all transaction logs over a short period of time. Here you would make two calls simultaneously to download, and store into your log system.

This is a lot of work, and there is an easier way. And that is to create your own wrapper for PaaS logging. This is a very nice way to log every call to, or event received, from your PaaS solution. And it would live within the application itself. You can use a log variable that always takes the result of every call to the PaaS solution, or an even more comprehensive way is a function that takes the call, and logs all actions around it, even start, and end times.

If you plan ahead you can actually extend all your functions for your PaaS components to do this automatically. So after it's set-up the developer doesn't even need to think about it. The hardest part is making sure it's in your standard design pattern or corporate development standards. And making sure IT understands that a developer is going to need to set this up.

One of the biggest mistakes a PaaS consuming organization can make is to ignore the log data from their PaaS system.

If you do, your log analysis service is standing on one leg. And you can get misleading information about an outage. For example your PaaS provider caused an unhandled exception due to lost packets or request timeout. Without the proper logs this will look like your IaaS server receiving the result had an issue, but really it was your PaaS provider.

As the trend of hybrid applications grows, some PaaS and some IaaS, this all becomes even more critical. And instead of waiting for it to bite you, build a wrapper around your PaaS services so they can be logged along with everything else.

More Stories By Trevor Parsons

Trevor Parsons is Chief Scientist and Co-founder of Logentries. Trevor has over 10 years experience in enterprise software and, in particular, has specialized in developing enterprise monitoring and performance tools for distributed systems. He is also a research fellow at the Performance Engineering Lab Research Group and was formerly a Scientist at the IBM Center for Advanced Studies. Trevor holds a PhD from University College Dublin, Ireland.

@ThingsExpo Stories
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
Recently, WebRTC has a lot of eyes from market. The use cases of WebRTC are expanding - video chat, online education, online health care etc. Not only for human-to-human communication, but also IoT use cases such as machine to human use cases can be seen recently. One of the typical use-case is remote camera monitoring. With WebRTC, people can have interoperability and flexibility for deploying monitoring service. However, the benefit of WebRTC for IoT is not only its convenience and interopera...
Michael Maximilien, better known as max or Dr. Max, is a computer scientist with IBM. At IBM Research Triangle Park, he was a principal engineer for the worldwide industry point-of-sale standard: JavaPOS. At IBM Research, some highlights include pioneering research on semantic Web services, mashups, and cloud computing, and platform-as-a-service. He joined the IBM Cloud Labs in 2014 and works closely with Pivotal Inc., to help make the Cloud Found the best PaaS.
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abilit...
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, presented a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to maximize project result...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
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 sessio...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
Organizations planning enterprise data center consolidation and modernization projects are faced with a challenging, costly reality. Requirements to deploy modern, cloud-native applications simultaneously with traditional client/server applications are almost impossible to achieve with hardware-centric enterprise infrastructure. Compute and network infrastructure are fast moving down a software-defined path, but storage has been a laggard. Until now.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that the upcoming DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO New York event will feature 10 companies from Poland to participate at the "Poland Digital Transformation Pavilion" on November 12-13, 2018.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
The best way to leverage your CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at CloudEXPO. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audienc...
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...