This month Devo exhibited at the AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas. I asked a few Devo colleagues who attended the show for their insights about what they heard and saw.

Among the many visitors to the Devo booth there were a lot of similar questions about log management and related topics. “There were many log vendors at the show, so people wanted to hear what makes Devo unique,” said Seema Sheth-Voss, vice president, product marketing, for Devo. “It became clear that their number-one frustration is lack of visibility into their hybrid [cloud and on-premises] data environments.

“The rapid adoption of hybrid architectures and cloud-native technologies for rapid application innovation has led to an explosion of logs, metrics and traces. Current monitoring architectures have become too complex and need too many trade-offs between speed, scale and performance.

“It was great to see how well Devo’s commitment to no-compromise log management resonated with re:Invent attendees. In particular, people really responded to how we provide real-time insight into both streaming and historical data from across the entire enterprise technology stack,” said Sheth-Voss. “And people were pleasantly surprised that our comprehensive solution delivers more value at lower cost than other vendors’ offerings.

“Logs were definitely back at re:Invent. I think it’s because too many vendors simply can’t collect all the data that enterprises are generating, particularly because of the scale of hybrid environments. Organizations desperately need the end-to-end visibility that Devo delivers,” she added.

More Questions, More Answers
Also working in the Devo booth was Chris O’Brien, Devo’s director, technical marketing engineering. Like Seema, Chris fielded a lot of questions about how Devo stacks up to other log management vendors.

“About 75 people asked how Devo compares to Splunk. That was a question I was more than happy to answer 75 times! I think it’s clear, when you compare Devo to legacy log management solutions like Splunk or others, that our index-free multitenant capabilities and no data management overhead, along with all the retention and always-hot core capabilities, allow us to deliver total differentiation,” said O’Brien.

“We also were asked to compare Devo with some of the newer market players. My take is they’re all attacking the log management problem in different ways. Ultimately, they may excel in one place or another, but they don’t have the full blend of capabilities that Devo delivers—in terms of flexibility, in being able to bring in any data set without needing to know the format of the data ahead of time,” O’Brien said.

“When I asked people what they needed to monitor, many of them said they just want to understand their AWS CloudWatch data. They’re want more flexibility in how they access and query their data. So, they’re looking for tools that enable them to do that. That’s where Devo’s ability to join and analyze other data formats and sources increases the value of that cloud-specific data,” he said.

A View from the Sessions
Charles Amick, vice president, data, for Devo, attended several of the keynotes and other presentations. He heard some surprising—and not so surprising—things.

“On the technology side, I was kind of surprised to see AWS doubling down even more on their machine-learning services. As a practitioner, I’m of the opinion that machine learning has jumped the shark, meaning we’ve reached peak hype, and everyone gets it. We may now be in—as Gartner says in its Hype Cycles—the plateau of productivity.

“What businesses are realizing is that this is actually hard. It turns out it is all about having the data, because there’s no learning to be done if there’s no data, which some people don’t understand. And they’re also learning that finding practitioners who can actually do this work is really hard,” said Amick.

“On the architectural themes side, there was a lot of discussion about Kubernetes. Obviously, over the past few years people have realized the value of containerizing their tech in Docker or whatever containers they want to use, and then orchestrating their containers on something like Kubernetes or BCS, which is Amazon’s elastic container service,” he said.

“The point is, you can elastically scale up and down your resources based on demand. You can virtualize your whole infrastructure, so your developers just have to worry about writing their code in a container that it runs, without worrying about what it’s running on or where it’s running or any operating system dependencies. So, it’s really powerful for developers,” he explained.

“But here’s the ‘we told you so’ aspect of this issue. About a year ago Devo developed a piece of software called the model server that enables any customer to package up a machine-learning model as a Docker container and deploy it against Devo to run their predictions in real time. That’s all built on Kubernetes and Docker, and we can do all sorts of things, including load balancing and auto-scaling of those containers. It’s always a good feeling to be ahead of a trend, especially when it’s something that delivers clear value to enterprise customers. That’s a consistent theme—use the right tools for the job. And people really understand that now, which is great for Devo—and our customers,” Amick said.