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It’s a trap! If you’re going to learn how to escape the log management total cost of ownership (TCO) trap, the first place to start is understanding what the cost factors are and how they are interrelated. Then, understand what the traps are and how you can avoid them. Follow along to learn more.
The cost factors – which are people costs, hardware and storage costs, and licensing costs – have remained relatively constant, but we’re seeing a shift in how they balance each other out as companies generate higher volumes of machine data (logs and metrics) and look to the cloud to address performance and shift to OpEx spend. What I mean by that is companies can try to reduce one of the factors, but the other two factors may increase alongside it. For example, if you use an open source enterprise log management tool, you’ll certainly spend less on licensing, but people costs may go up. If you move to the cloud your hardware spend will decrease, but licensing costs will increase since they incorporate those hardware costs; there’s also the potential for even higher costs in an OpEx model where data retention can be costly. In general, as the economy grows, so too will costs for talent and licensing.
Some businesses today try to skirt the cost factors, but in a world where machine data and business data must intersect to deliver context and insights, this is difficult to do and is what we’d call a band-aid fix. Some enterprise logging platforms will store less data in an effort to reduce OpEx costs on behalf of users, such as storing just summaries of six months’ worth of data. This method may cut costs, but it’s insufficient and doesn’t let you search all of your historical data; this is particularly notable if you have a data breach and need all your machine data to carry out an investigation. Other platforms in an effort to reduce costs might store data in Amazon S3 or another cold data storage service, but this significantly cuts performance when you inevitably need to search your data quickly.
There are two main traps companies fall into when they approach data management:
With these two TCO traps in mind, how can you circumvent them? What are the best practices?
Cloud is here to stay, so be wary of solutions created for on-premises applications – for a cloud business, this means you may pay for the data management costs of forklifting an enterprise on-prem solution into the cloud. Having a log management solution that’s truly cloud-native with clear licensing and highly efficient usage of hardware and storage means you’ll realize the lower expenditures you’ve always needed in order to collect and analyze all your data and turn it into action with the insights you need.
By Chris O'Brien
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