Berne, 21 January 2016
When the system plays up, an IT specialist starts by opening the log file. In view of the barrage of log files, locating the error quickly becomes a monumental task. The Java-based open source tool Logstash helps out here. Logstash is a central logging service with integrated analysis tools. It enables the protocols of multiple servers to be archived and analysed centrally. However, Logstash only develops its full potential in combination with Elasticsearch and Kibana. Elasticsearch, currently the most popular and powerful search engine among developers, indexes the log data from the server protocols. Based on Apache Lucene, a search engine for Java, Elasticsearch also permits a free text search. Kibana then creates appealing graphic visualisations from the data. The web-based visualisation tool allows developers to observe and analyse the log data in real time in customisable dashboards.
As Marco Hochstrasser, Head of Application Cloud at Swisscom, explains: "Carrying out initial troubleshooting with Logstash is an awe-inspiring experience. You'll never again want to search manually through tens of thousands of lines of log files for an error. This is also reflected by the strong adaptation of these tools in the market." The developer community is also aware of this benefit. Patrik Alessi, Senior System Architect at dorma+kaba, confirms: "With ELK we have our finger on the pulse. Our feedback was one of the decisive factors behind the selection of the logging services of the Swisscom Application Cloud. That is true co-creation." ELK as a Service enables logs from different applications to be consolidated easily, swiftly and without the need for developers to access a cloud log service hosted abroad. At Swisscom all data remain at the proprietary Swiss data centres.
Like all services within the Application Cloud, Swisscom offers ELK in the form of simple price plans (small, medium and large). The smallest version of ELK as a Service is available already from CHF 25.00 a month.
ELK represents an addition to the existing range of services for Swisscom's open-source PaaS environment including the Swisscom Application Cloud which has been on the market since October 2015. Since its launch in October 2015, over 300 developers in Switzerland, the USA and Europe have been making use of the environment with Cloud Foundry certification that is accessed via the Swisscom Developer Portal: https://developer.swisscom.com/. They all benefit from services such as MongoDB, MariaDB, RabbitMQ, an object storage environment and Redis-as-a-Service. There are two container expressions on offer: LXC/Garden and, from 2016, Docker/runC. The platform supports the most common program languages, from Java, PHP, Ruby, Go, Python and Node.js through to .NET (RC).