Evolution of the ScienceLogic Platform to an Open Architecture

How ScienceLogic Has Changed to Monitor Nearly Everything
Tim May

A long time ago, in an office park far, far away, ScienceLogic started out originally as an availability monitor and supported doing SNMP based collection- gathering inbound messages like SNMP traps, syslog messages, and parse inbound email messages. The product management team realized the future of network monitoring and wrote designed collection that could be done by the owner of the platform and anyone with some python knowledge.  Evolving with the times and needs of the industry keeps ScienceLogic at the top.

I have now spent over 10 years working at ScienceLogic and I can confidently tell you two things: We are a great place to work and it has never been easier to integrate just about anything into ScienceLogic. Employee tenure and turnover has been debated as a huge issue for the tech industry. Some claim that employees who stay at a job for more than three years are either not dynamic workers or the company they work for is not dynamic. I can answer that my position keeps me very busy seeing new products, new APIs, and finding solutions for customer problems every single day. I can also attest the company is dynamic and so is the ScienceLogic platform we develop.

I currently work for the Professional Services team but that is not where I started. I was hired as one of the original developers back in 2006. The company only had about 15 employees at the time and we just landed our first large customer, Hughes, and they wanted to really push the boundaries of the platform. Ten years later, Hughes continues to be one of our customers. I also remember when ScienceLogic filed for its first patent – a “self-configuring network management system.” That patent was granted almost 10 years later in 2015. That was the point when the product made the jump to a truly open architecture to collect just about any kind of data.

The platform added support for running python snippets in both dynamic applications and runbook actions in our PowerPacks. The platform continued to evolve and added support to run WINRM PowerShell commands directly as PowerPacks. Today, you can use both python or powershell to both collect data and perform automated remediation based on the collected data.

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I moved into the Professional Services team when our customers started asking for help integrating the ScienceLogic platform into their daily workflows, support brand new technology, and even newer collection methods. I have seen the platform evolve from a data collection and event monitor to be the single pane of glass that it is today. I have personally written about 100 different integrations using a multitude of different products, including: PagerDuty, xMatters, ServiceNow, ConnectWise, Salesforce, Jira, NewRelic, VMWare, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Cisco ServiceGrid, Lifesize Icon, Cisco Telepresence, Cisco Aeronet, Polycom RMX, Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Dimension Data Cloud API, Juniper, pfSense, Ruckus, Infoblox DDI, Oracle, Java, WebLogic, SAP Sybase ASE, and the list could go on and on. The point of all this is, if you write it, they will come.blog-tmay-inline

For those techies out there reading this, our snippet dynamic applications and PowerPacks require a simple python data structure consisting of a list containing tuples. If you can create a python program to output your data into that data structure, your python code can be integrated into our platform. Since I wanted a more technical focus for this blog post, let’s do an example.

I love showing how easy it is to gather temperature and weather conditions for a customer location. I reside in Reston, VA and I want to chart the outside temperature with data against my Nest thermostat. I use the OpenWeather API to get the weather data and then parse the data into a list of tuples which is passed onto our data storage engine. I use the current weather conditions REST API endpoint to get the data and then parse the JSON data structure into the data structure the data storage engine is looking for. I can do all of this in just 70 lines of code.

blog-sciencelogic-open-arch-2This snippet will collect the temperature, humidity, and pressure and store that as performance data. Once the data is inside of the platform the fun doesn’t stop there. I added another dynamic application in my PowerPack to poll the Nest API and get the data from the thermostat in my residence. I could see when the AC unit was powered on and determine for how long the power was on and compare the outside temperature with the sensors on my Nest. I could also tell the Nest API to turn the unit fan on when the humidity reached a given threshold, to keep the air circulating. Then when the humidity declined under that threshold, send another command to shut off the fan. That is driven by the next topic, python snippet runbook actions with our Runbook Automation.

Python Snippet Runbook Actions

Now the icing on the cake, the ability to trigger a variety of actions based on a particular condition. When an event happens in your environment, you can automate the response from ScienceLogic to do all kinds of different tasks. Here is a review of one project that I wrote for a customer:

The Challenge: Automate the actions taken when a circuit goes down and when the circuit comes back up

The Solution: When a circuit in their network went down, the switch would send an SNMP trap indicating the circuit went down and which interface the circuit was plugged into inside the SNMP trap varbinds. Our customer had carefully constructed all of the interface ifAlias values for each interface to have some degree of identifying information. The snippet could parse out both the device and interface attached on the far side of the circuit from the ifAlias. The automation engine would execute a python snippet to SSH to both switches and gather information about the outage. Finally, the runbook opened a ticket inside of ScienceLogic and populated the data in the ticket and added detailed ticket notes to help the level 2 NOC engineer to start troubleshooting immediately. The last action the runbook performed was to track the circuit and the outage time so this data could be put into a dashboard and report that would be used to get credits back from the circuit if the outage violated the SLA window.  When it comes to doing tasks with our automation engine, we can truly help to return money back into the hands of our customers and their customers.

ScienceLogic: The Force Awakens

Much like an imperial probe droid, ScienceLogic can monitor nearly anything. We are truly the one platform with the potential to monitor everything anywhere. When IT systems are becoming even more complex, the ScienceLogic platform will allow the flexibility to adapt to those changes. Going one step further, ScienceLogic recently acquired AppFirst to leverage an even deeper level of data collection.

I am excited to see what the next 10 years here at ScienceLogic bring to both our customers and the employees that help our customers to succeed. If this blog post has peaked your interest and you think you have what it takes to join the team here at ScienceLogic, check out the open positions and contact us, and if you think ScienceLogic is the right product for you, schedule a demo today.

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