Does anyone here share my passion for snow skiing? I’ve been an avid skier since my earliest days, and the mountains have always held a unique allure for me. Understanding the landscape, prepping for the slopes and mastering the nuances of technique to adapt to real-time conditions demand a heightened level of awareness and clear visibility.
Because I’ve built a career in enterprise data management, my mind draws an immediate comparison between it and skiing. Just as a skilled skier watches the path ahead and adjusts their balance and direction as the terrain changes, data monitoring requires constant observation of metrics, prompt identification of anomalies and smooth course-correction to ensure uninterrupted operations. One key piece of data monitoring is data observability, which is about gaining deeper insights into the context of the data by understanding the “why” behind data behavior and performance.
Imagine my surprise when I recently talked with a fellow enterprise technology executive—Bill Emmett of LogicMonitor—who’s also a maven for skiing. He came up with an even juicier comparison linking data observability to skiing—one I’ll explore a little later.
LogicMonitor’s approach to streamlined IT monitoring
First, some context on the company in question: Established in 2007 and headquartered in Santa Barbara, LogicMonitor boasts a customer base exceeding 2,300 companies. Operating on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, the company delivers a performance monitoring platform catering to mid-market and enterprise IT and cloud operations departments. The platform offers real-time monitoring and observability of IT infrastructures to track the relationships and well-being of IT services and assets, including servers, applications, networks, storage and cloud environments.
LogicMonitor’s approach can help detect and resolve issues early, optimize IT environments and improve user experiences. LogicMonitor uses an agentless architecture for efficient observability, which means that it can gather information, execute tasks and manage systems remotely without the need to install and manage agents on each individual system. This makes it easy to deploy and maintain and can help reduce costs.
LogicMonitor works across a wide range of specific use cases in different industries. For example:
- Financial services — ensuring availability and performance for trading systems
- Healthcare — ensuring the security and reliability of electronic health record (EHR) systems
- Manufacturing — monitoring production lines and ensuring that all systems run efficiently
- Government — helping agencies maintain compliance with security regulations for IT infrastructure
LogicMonitor Platform Release
To find out what’s new with LogicMonitor, I sat down with Bill Emmett, senior director of product marketing, to discuss the company’s Summer 2023 release. Along the way, I discovered that Emmett is an avid skier who has taken many trips to the beautiful mountains of Colorado. We shared notes on our favorite ski terrain, our strategies for conquering it and our favorite gear.
In our discussion, we explored the interesting parallels between skiing and data monitoring and observability, particularly in relation to LogicMonitor’s latest release. Emmett pointed out that both skiing and data monitoring require a keen awareness of conditions and robust techniques. He also highlighted a pivotal moment in skiing during the early ’90s—the introduction of parabolic skis—which transformed the sport. Emmett drew an analogy to this, likening LogicMonitor’s recent update to the game-changing influence of parabolic skis. Just as the new ski design enhanced the overall skiing experience and made getting started much easier, he said, LogicMonitor’s updated release offers organizations a more efficient and effective way to manage their IT infrastructures.
Emmett noted that the recent release tackles some of the previous issues that LogicMonitor had faced, including complexity, cost, scalability and security concerns. The updated user interface simplifies interaction with the platform, while a restructured pricing model addresses affordability. The emphasis on extensibility enhances both integrations and scalability. Moreover, the platform has incorporated advanced security measures including encryption, vulnerability assessments, log audits and role-based access control.
So let’s look at the details of LogicMonitor’s summer 2023 release, highlighting three core themes for enhancements—and how data has influenced each of them.
- Intelligence and automation for handling terabytes of many varieties of data. Emmett drew attention to Dexda, a solution for AIOps that harnesses machine learning (ML) to improve event management and reduce alert exhaustion. Dexda uses ML to sift through the deluge of daily system alerts to ensure that only the most pertinent ones are flagged for attention from IT staff. Additionally, integration with Jira workflows enhances Dexda’s automation capabilities, while ML-driven datapoint analysis reduces mean time to resolution (MTTR). Separately, event-driven Ansible integration—developed jointly with Red Hat—helps automate remediation and troubleshooting. Finally, whereas it used to be challenging to glean business insights and identify trends in log data, log-query tracking now makes trend analysis much more straightforward.
- Unified platform experience to reduce data complexity. LogicMonitor’s updated user interface has improved aesthetics, speed and user-friendly navigation. This new UI is designed to maximize productivity and provide a smarter, more connected experience. The UI for the LogSource module streamlines log collection and configuration and enables metadata enrichment. Additionally, 20 new out-of-the-box dashboards have been created for Azure and AWS, providing useful views of performance, availability and service health. LogicMonitor has enhanced its SaaS monitoring features to support Microsoft 365 and Okta logs, improving troubleshooting efficiency and aiding in problem diagnosis. This update addresses a previous issue that made adding these logs difficult. By combining metrics and logs, the platform aims to reduce MTTR.
- Extensibility to collect and consume data from more sources via integrations. For this facet of the upgrade, the LogicMonitor engineering team focused on weaving new integrations into the platform experience. LogicMonitor added new wireless SKU monitoring access points, which allow customers to count their devices by the number of physical devices rather than by the number of software instances those devices are running. They also beefed up overall extensibility by adding VMware vSphere integration. This integration provides faster discovery and onboarding of new ESXi hosts and virtual machines and rationalizes data points to reduce redundant alerts.
Other new features include improved container monitoring, support for the latest version of Kubernetes and the introduction of Helm charts for deploying applications to a Kubernetes cluster. MongoDB Atlas integration helps monitor these deployments, while an enhanced Azure offering uses tag-based cost management to optimize Azure investments.
I am intrigued by the approach in the image above, which shows the shift from traditional, physical infrastructures with various cloud services tacked on to creating a true hybrid model. Hybrid IT monitoring combines on-premises infrastructure and cloud-based resources within one environment to track performance, availability and security across all parts of an organization’s IT estate. This ensures seamless operations, optimal resource utilization and timely identification of any issues or anomalies.
The landscape of data monitoring and observability is intensely competitive, and LogicMonitor is a key player among several specialized tech companies. Depending on business-specific goals and requirements, different rivals come into focus. In the realm of application performance management (APM), monitoring competitors such as Dynatrace, New Relic and Datadog are noteworthy. For observability, particularly in log management and analytics, LogicMonitor contends with Splunk, Sumo Logic, Elastic and Honeycomb. ServiceNow stands as a significant competitor in IT service management (ITSM) for monitoring, while Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are dominant figures in the cloud service sector for monitoring their own cloud services, while leaving room for other vendors such as LogicMonitor to offer robust monitoring, analytics and correlation across clouds and on-premises environments. Regarding enterprise software and hardware focused on monitoring, IBM, Cisco, Oracle and VMware are considerable players. In network management, SolarWinds specializes in monitoring, while Broadcom and OpenText are focused on monitoring software infrastructure and security.
LogicMonitor serves as an all-inclusive platform for monitoring and observability, designed to improve the reliability, performance and availability of an organization’s hybrid IT infrastructure. Though it may come with a higher price tag and require a steeper learning curve compared to some competitors, LogicMonitor can differentiate itself through its array of specialized features. These include agentless architecture for efficiency, active discovery to automate the tracking of devices and software, synthetic monitoring that simulates real-user behavior for performance optimization, AIOps for smart analytics and automated troubleshooting and threat intelligence for proactive security. These functions reduce the need for manual oversight, improve the user experience, allow IT teams to focus on higher-value tasks and bolster security measures.
Choosing the right monitoring and observability platform requires evaluating multiple factors to find the best fit for your budget and needs. Key considerations include licensing costs, company-specific requirements, ease of deployment and setup, security features, AI/ML capabilities, user experience and available integrations.
With its enhanced usability and key additional functionality, LogicMonitor’s summer release could signify a transformative phase for the platform and the company. It’s too early to tell, but maybe Emmett will turn out to be right in comparing it with the introduction of the parabolic designs that transformed skiing. Besides addressing some of the existing challenges the platform has faced, the new update lays out a roadmap that pivots towards monitoring hybrid IT environments, emphasizing intelligent automation for higher operational efficiency. This could work well as LogicMonitor specifically targets mid-market companies and large enterprises, as well as managed service providers (MSPs) that are looking to enable multi-tenancy scenarios and streamline the management of outsourced IT roles. I’ll closely monitor LogicMonitor’s progress to see if it has successfully mitigated its earlier challenges, as I believe its new features could give it a competitive edge in the marketplace.