Revisiting syslog-gollector

It’s been 18 months since the first commit to my first significant Go project — syslog-gollector. After an initial burst of activity to create a functional Syslog Collector that streamed to Apache Kafka, the source code hadn’t been updated much since. But today I received a report that it no longer built, so I spent some time porting the code to the latest Shopify Sarama framework.

It was amusing to see how naive much of my early Go code was.

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Designing a search system for log data — part 3

This is the last part of a 3-part series “Designing and building a search system for log data”. Be sure to check out part 1 and part 2.

In the last post we examined the design and implementation of Ekanite, a system for indexing log data, and making that data available for search in near-real-time. Is this final post let’s see Ekanite in action.

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Designing a search system for log data — part 2

This is the second part of a 3-part series “Designing and building a search system for log data”. Be sure to check out part 1. Part 3 follows this post.

In the previous post I outlined some of the high-level requirements for a system that indexed log data,  and makes that data available for search, all in near-real-time. Satisfying these requirements involves making trade-offs, and sometimes there are no easy answers.

To better understand the design of these systems, this post examines in detail a program I wrote to receive logs over the network, index the data, and allow the logs to be searched. The program is called Ekanite.

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Designing a search system for log data — part 1

This is the first part of a 3-part series “Designing and building a search system for log data”. Part 2 is here, and part 3 is here.

For the past few years, I’ve been building indexing and search systems, for various types of data, and often at scale. It’s fascinating work — only at scale does O(n) really come alive. Developing embedded systems teaches you how computers really work, but working on search systems and databases teaches you that algorithms really do matter.

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Coding like it’s 1999

“Run into an obstacle in what you’re working on? Hmm, I wonder what’s new online. Better check.”

If you haven’t already, you should start reading Paul Graham’s essays. In one on philosophy, Graham believes that many of the answers provided by philosophy are useless because “…of how little effect they have”. By that standard another of his essays is of high utility because it has affected the way I program. John Stuart Mill would be pleased.

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Running services is hard

I’ve recently been thinking about why running Services is particularly hard. By Services I mean Software-as-a-Service platforms. During the years, I’ve written software for many different systems — embedded software, web services, databases, and distributed systems, but being involved with designing and running a SaaS platform was difficult in a whole new way: running Services is hard work.

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Philip O'Toole