Founded in 2010, Logentries is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider of real-time log management and analytics solutions. The idea behind its architecture came from PhD research conducted by cofounders Trevor Parsons and Viliam Holub, who now hold the roles of chief scientist and chief technology officer, respectively. The route from concept to global footprint has been fast for the firm: Five years in, it has more than 35,000 users across 100 countries, and its cloud-based platform has a diverse range of clients, from Fortune 100 companies to individual developers. The business operates from Dublin, Boston, and Prague.

From the outset, the Logentries approach to log management and analytics was different from traditional offerings due to its unique architecture and real-time capabilities, allowing any user to analyze huge amounts of data without requiring deep technical skills. “We saw an opportunity to take our solution to the masses,” says Parsons. “But the challenge was finding a way to do this quickly and with no capital behind us. We were fresh out of university and just had an idea and a credit card—no backing, no investors lined up. The most obvious option for us to take it to a global market was to deliver it as a SaaS technology.”

Given the type of customers the service would largely be attracting—for example, organizations in the e-commerce space, online media sites, and SaaS providers—it was clear that reliability and high availability were going to be crucial from the start. “For customers that run transactional systems or that offer applications, like us, any downtime is critical,” says Parsons. “We had to ensure we had near 100% uptime from day one.”

To get the service launched fast, scalability was key. Parsons says, “The ability to scale quickly was one of the most important considerations initially. Not only did we have to get to market quickly, but we also had to be prepared to meet high demand if the platform took off.”

For Logentries, the decision to base its platform on Amazon Web Services (AWS) was clear right from the start. “When we looked at the cloud provider landscape back in 2010, it was obvious to us that AWS was the only show in town. It was the de facto cloud provider, a position it’s further secured since then.”

Using AWS, Logentries got its entire offering to market in less than 12 months. And when the platform quickly proved to be a hit, the startup was able to scale fast thanks to the AWS technologies powering its log management and analytics service. Parsons says, “We found we were getting 100 signups a day on zero marketing budget, so we knew the idea had traction. We also knew we’d have to be agile to keep up if this demand continued. AWS brought our service to a global audience in minutes and allowed us to scale our technology instantly.”

Logentries runs Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances to give it control of computing resources across different regions. And Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) allows it to easily archive and back up large amounts of information. “If there’s a disruption in one Availability Zone we have redundancy built in, by using additional locations, which allows us to maintain high availability. This is crucial to our operations, as is the ability to safely store huge amounts of data and keep it backed up. Both Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3 are core to the Logentries service,” says Parsons.

The business also uses Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) along with its Amazon EC2 instances, as well as AWS CloudTrail and Amazon CloudWatch to monitor its system. At the front end, it uses the content delivery network Amazon CloudFront and more recently has made use of Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) to take advantage of its additional security benefits.

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Figure 1. Logentries Architecture Diagram.

Logentries is a cloud success story, and it’s one that couldn’t be told without AWS, according to Parsons. “Without AWS, Logentries wouldn’t be here today. It’s as simple as that. It doesn’t matter what sort of innovative features or functions we develop—without the consistent, scalable, cost-effective service from AWS, we wouldn’t have a business.”

Apart from enabling the log management solution to get off the ground, one of the major benefits of Logentries using AWS is agility. The SaaS provider’s fast progress from an initial business concept to its current status as a global service with more than 35,000 customers is something it could only do with an agile cloud provider. And this momentum hasn’t stopped. “We’ve had high-velocity growth from day one, and we continue to grow at that velocity. To be able to expand our user base at an exponential rate without worrying about scaling beyond our provider’s capabilities is a significant measure of our success with AWS.”

The cost benefits that AWS provides Logentries are twofold: “The AWS platform allowed us to launch our service with no upfront capital costs,” says Parsons. “Plus, as we’ve scaled, flexible pricing has given us a cost advantage in the market. Using AWS, we can store and manage data in a cost-effective way and pass this on to our customers, which makes us extremely competitive.”

It’s also an advantage to use a cloud provider that understands the specific needs of startups. This is underpinned by the large portfolio of evolving AWS technologies. “One of the nice things about our journey with AWS is that it’s matured alongside us, especially in terms of the services it provides businesses like ours. Last time I checked, there were more than 70 different AWS services, and while we rely on the core AWS services such as Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3, having the ability to dip into the other services is invaluable for us and for other organizations building their businesses in the cloud,” says Parsons.

In terms of reliable service, near 100 percent uptime is crucial for both Logentries and its customers. “Within the engineering team, we’re constantly monitoring uptime. Using AWS, we consistently have 100 percent availability, and for me this is a key cornerstone of the value we provide our customers,” says Parsons.

Looking ahead to the future, Logentries believes AWS will continue to support its ambitions. “We have every intention of continuing to grow at an amazing pace in the coming months and years, in terms of both our company footprint and user base,” says Parsons. “AWS doesn’t set any limits on our business. That’s been the case from the start, and that’s why we continue to choose AWS to deliver our log management service to customers worldwide.”

To learn more about how AWS can help you with your big data needs, visit our big data details page: http://aws.amazon.com/big-data/.