Free LIVE Webinar – Extend LogLogic with the AccelOps Virtual Appliance (Mar 01, 2012)

Posted on: February 27th, 2012 by Ashish Kuthiala No Comments

March 1st event: Extend LogLogic with the AccelOps Virtual Appliance.

Register for: Enhance your LogLogic Deployment with AccelOps Virtual Appliance

– Forward your LX and ST logs to AccelOps to automatically analyze and prioritize critical Security, Performance, Availability and Change incidents

– Add context information to understand the Who, When, What, Where and How of each incident

– Add Geo location mapping

– Add Netflow analysis

Learn how to see results in less than 2 hours for your Servers, Network, Storage, Virtualization, Applications across the organization from a single scalable platform.

Learn more – Register Online Here – there is no cost to attend.

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DevOps – A big assumption that’s often overlooked

Posted on: November 22nd, 2011 by mahesh 1 Comment

Before I write about the elephant in the DevOps room, I’ll first stipulate the premise – that DevOps is bigger than release management and is a new approach to an efficient IT lifecycle, from development to operations  (

Given this context, the gigantic assumption implicit in DevOps is that there is such a thing called “Ops”.  In most enterprises “Ops” is actually Server-Network-Storage-Virtualization-Applications-Security… and this is not even the full list.  Today these domains operate quite independent of each other.   We can’t have DevOps without some consolidation of people/roles, process/culture and technology within Ops.  Until there is broad evidence that this transformation is happening we should consider changing “DevOps” to “DevServerNetworkStorageVirtualizationApplicationsSecurity…” to reflect the true scope of the challenge.

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Why AccelOps and Industry Trends

Posted on: November 14th, 2011 by mahesh No Comments

My name is Mahesh and this is my first blog post at AccelOps.  I lead the product marketing and product management functions at AccelOps.

Several former colleagues and friends have asked me “Why AccelOps?”  It is a good question and a simple one to answer.  My passion lies in driving promising products and technologies to mainstream acceptance.  I’ve done this at companies such as HP, IBM and start-ups such as Loudcloud, Collation and Kontiki.  It is exciting to see how AccelOps has leveraged technology and innovation to build an obsolescence-proof cloud generation IT management platform.  Furthermore, I am energized by the enthusiasm of our customers and partners.

Instead of just extolling the virtues of our product I would like to highlight some key industry trends that are driving next-gen thinking on how IT monitoring and management products are built.

1. Virtualization and cloud:  Has created a paradigm shift that invalidates several assumptions built into traditional IT monitoring platforms.  Consider this – change windows are compressed from week/s to hours, minutes and seconds due to vMotion, DRS etc. The high velocity of change and the inherent complexity it creates demands new approaches.  At the least, your monitoring platform must be built for high velocity change.  There are other implications of virtualization and cloud on monitoring platforms, which I will highlight in subsequent posts.

2. Data explosion: Traditional IT monitoring products were created in an era when making management data easily available to and consumable by IT monitoring and management products wasn’t a high priority for device and software vendors.  Consequently, traditional IT monitoring products were optimized to solve the data collection problem.  That’s changed now.  Vendor MIBs readily provide valuable data.  And growing infrastructures and virtualization have resulted in an explosion of data – it is now a big data problem.  As a result, the challenge has definitively shifted from collection to connecting the dots across domains and accurately analyzing it in real-time.  Data analysis is the big problem not data collection.

3. Hybrid Clouds:  Both analyst opinion and customer surveys point to enterprises adopting a hybrid strategy going forward – traditional data centers, private clouds and public clouds.  Three key implications for this are Security, SLA and Scale.   Security needs are pervasive as there is no single “perimeter” to guard.  SLAs need to be maintained and managed across environments and the IT management solution should easily scale to accommodate diverse distributed environments.

4. DevOps:  Is an organic movement that is bringing together development and operations teams to improve agility and reduce problems during hand-off from one group to another.  As this movement goes mainstream it will have profound impact on IT Management tools.  IT operations tools will not only provide data and statistics but also enable collaboration across IT teams to achieve superior results.  I am a huge believer in DevOps and a previous blog post on the stages of DevOps evolution can be found here (

In subsequent posts I will write more about some of these areas.  I welcome your comments.

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Top Reasons for migrating from Cisco MARS to AccelOps SIEM

Posted on: February 25th, 2011 by AccelOps No Comments

Today Accelops announced a special program for helping existing Cisco CS-MARS customers upgrade from MARS to their new SIEM solution. A few weeks back, Cisco announced official end of life for the Cisco MARS appliance and has made it clear that they will not be providing a replacement for their Security Monitoring, Analysis, and Response System.

In the last few months, we have been receiving a lot of inquiries from current Cisco MARS customers and resellers for a better migration path for their MARS SIEM solution.  Also customers like California Casualty successfully migrated from the MARS solution to AccelOps SIEM. California Casualty selected AccelOps after evaluating all the leading SIEM products and was happy with their choice after deploying it.  With integrated monitoring functionality, California Casualty was able to even replace tools they had used for availability and performance monitoring like CA Spectrum.   In an interview with Network World, Skip Moon, Assistant VP of Network development and Engineering at California Casualty said,

We picked AccelOps to replace a Cisco MARS installation for security management, but it’s also monitoring the network and the devices for availability.

There is a growing need for a true integrated management system which can monitor the entire data center infrastructure including virtual servers, physical servers, services in cloud, applications or network devices for performance, availability, security and change management.

Under the new Cisco MARS migration program, users can upgrade their MARS appliance to the equivalent AccelOps virtual appliance model at a highly competitive rate and receive a full year of maintenance and support.

Please check out the new executive brief “10 Reasons for Migrating from Cisco MARS to AccelOps” which explains the breakthrough innovations in the AccelOps SIEM.

Please see the Cisco MARS migration page for more details on this program.

Please see our SIEM FAQ for more information about key technical differences between AccelOps SIEM, Cisco MARS, and other SIEM solutions.

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AccelOps Announces Free Trial Download for Award Winning SIEM Solution

Posted on: January 29th, 2011 by AccelOps No Comments

Accelops has announced a 14-day instant free trial download for their award winning SIEM solution. The solution combines SIEM functionality with performance and availability monitoring to provide unparalleled depth into your datacenter.

In a recent review by Greg Shipley at Network Computing, he found that Accelops

offers surprisingly rich functionality and usability while remaining cost competitive. The Flash-based UI is polished, responsive, makes good use of data visualization tools, and is downright slick compared with other ‘ho-hum’ interfaces. We recommend taking a look at AccelOps… a dream for companies that are looking to affordably improve their security and network operations centers, and a contender for small and large SIEM deployments alike.”

If you would like to get the instant free trial download (without any sales pitch) please click the following link to fill in a brief form, and you’ll receive email with further instructions in seconds.

Another review of the product can be accessed at:

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Putting the Top 10 SIEM Best Practices to Work (e-book)

Posted on: November 24th, 2010 by AccelOps 1 Comment

Putting the Top 10 SIEM Best Practices to Work (e-book)

Very often we talk to prospective SIEM / log management customers, and even new AccelOps clients, who ask us – what are some of the SIEM best practices?  Having the pleasure of working with some of the best and brightest in the SIEM/log management field – I attempted to draft a white paper on the subject.  Following great input received by participants who joined me to present at a recent SANS Ask the Expert webcast on that same topic – my initial white paper quickly grew to an e-book.   I invite you to reserve your copy.

In short, this  e-book provides guidance to operationalize security and put the top 10 best SIEM practices to work – considerations concerning selection, implementation, processes, metrics and technology.  Rather than an exhaustive examination of SIEM – the purpose is to offer pertinent insights and details with regards to how IT organizations and information security professionals can better ensure successful SIEM implementation and on-going improvement, while at the same time further optimize resources and accelerate return on investment.

Beyond introducing basic SIEM concepts and relaying the Top 10 SIEM Best Practices, each of the ten chapters provides:

  • an Overview and Highlight Processes:  topic introduction, process considerations, exploring operational concerns, getting results, and avoiding common pitfalls
  • Recommended Metrics:  the more popular SIEM dashboards, reports, alerting and related operational measurements to support security operations, incident response and compliance
  • Technology considerations:  sources, controls and related SIEM functionality

I invite you to reserve your copy – compliments of AccelOps.

Scott Gordon

I would like to extend special thanks to the following industry experts whose prior webcast participation and interactive dialogue contributed content within this e-book:
Dr. Anton Chuvakin – Log management and security compliance expert, consultant and author
Randolph Barr (CISSP) – Chief Security Officer at Qualys and former CSO of WebEx Communications
Tim Mather (CISSP, CISM) – Cloud security expert and former Chief Security Strategist for RSA and CSO at Symantec
Bill Sieglein (CISSP) – Founder and CEO of the CSO Breakfast Club
Jamie Sanbower (CISSP, CSA) – Security CSE at Cisco and prior director of Cyber Security Practice at Force3

Intrusion Detection System (IDS) False Positives – Consuming InfoSec Time, Effort and Budget

Posted on: October 21st, 2010 by AccelOps No Comments

Intrusion Detection System (IDS) False Positives – Consuming InfoSec Time, Effort and Budget

Many in the information security industry define an IDS false positive as a detection of an attack or malicious activity by an IDS/IPS that is actually benign.  This results in an alert/event that will require security staff to take some response.  Essentially, the identification of the attack by the IDS is technically legitimate, but there is no security issue.  In some cases, the IDS rule or statistical profiling is broad enough to identify attacks that are indeed non-issues.  While security staff can attempt to manage and refine their IDS to reduce said false positives, Security Information Event Management (SIEM) / log management systems can well serve alleviating this condition and reducing the respective administrative burden.

Security Information Event Management systems offer the means to automatically tag certain IDS false positives (which all IDS users contend with) via event correlation and exception management.  SIEMs can, and in real-time, identify false positive conditions which are comprised of:  (i) attacks against invalid systems, (ii) attacks against systems that are patched and no longer vulnerable, or (iii) attacks that are non-threats such as scheduled vulnerability scans.

An IDS may report a known Windows attack against a Linux system or a known attack against a patched system.  If your SIEM/log manager discovers and maintains current configurations (ala CMDB or configuration management database) and patch details – it can readily tag these incidents as a false positive.  Some SIEM/Log managers attempt to use vulnerability scanner data for this method of suppression – which is ok but usually not current (only good as of your last scan).  The SIEM/Log manager is also well positioned to handle exception management.  SIEM/log manager’s alert and suppression rules can be easily adjusted to accommodate identifying known internal scanners,  scheduled scans and penetration tests so as to eliminate additional false positive workload.

Some might argue that these IDS alerts are indeed valid reported attacks and not false at all.  But the real question should not be with the definition (the argument is somewhat moot).  The challenge is to reduce the noise – and to reduce any unnecessary workload that information security personnel will exert on verifying threats, exploited vulnerabilities and policy violations.

AccelOps offers advanced Security Information Event Management and Log Management functionality.  A better SIEM – beyond SIEM.  AccelOps captures and cross-correlates broad operational event data including configurations, network flow, syslog, security (including support for all major Intrusion Detection Systems and Intrusion Prevention Systems), virtualization, application and identity events.  AccelOps automatically tags benign IDS alerts as false positives by comparing CVE and target configuration and patch information to IDS/IPS events. We also have robust exception management and alert suppression rules intuitively presented through our consolidated Web console to address IDS/IPS false positives.  AccelOps’ multi-tenancy capabilities also have significant advantages for larger enterprises and manged service providers / managed security service providers; where by an IDS false positive suppression rule can be readily applied to multiple divisions / customers.

Since AccelOps’ Security Information Event Management functionality offer extensive cross-correlation, automated IDS false positive tagging,  and incident management and exception management capabilities, security analysts can spend less time, energy and funds managing IDS false positives – and focus on more pertinent incident investigation and compliance management activities.

Next gen Log Management is no longer a visionary concept – Network World Blog

Posted on: July 1st, 2010 by AccelOps No Comments

Jon Oltsik of Network World wrote an insightful blog entry on “Next Generation Log Management” and highlighted the need for the traditional SIEM / logging vendors to go beyond conventional  log management capabilties to enable real actionable intelligence and effective forensics.

Jon specifically speaks about adding these features into SIEM products to make data more useful:

1. consolidation of logs and network flows
2. adding automatic geo location awareness into the correlation
3. providing deeper granular visibility and visual tools

Putting log and flow data in context is critical and how vendors do this varies greatly.  More so, how easy it is to access, search/analyze and retain the raw and correlated data is where the rubber meets the road.

Regarding location awareness features, its also important to show the location of not just the external IPs, but also to track the user and location of internal IP addresses. In a larger sense, user identity and location involves associating a network identity (e.g. IP address, MAC address) to a user identity (e.g. user name, computer name, domain), and the location (e.g. wired switch port, wireless LAN controller and VPN gateway).  SIEMs should auto-resolve true identity not just log reported identity. For external IPs, the AccelOps solution also includes lookups from SAN Stormcenter, Cisco sender base reputation, and the Honeypot database for any external IP.

Visibility and granularity (and analytics) must evolve beyond alerts and reams of syslogs so that the infosec professional can be more efficient and effective – reducing the time and effort to obtain and analyze data from many data sources and IT functional domains.

In addition to the above features, in order to provide a true single pane of glass, a next generation product should consolidate and correlate security/log/netflow events with performance, availability, virtualization and configuration change metrics and events (not to mention having the means to prioritize based on business impact beyond event severity)

It is time to go beyond conventional SIEM/logging – breaking away from more silo’d tools – by having a unified platform and console that empowers security professionals (and the IT organization) to eliminate extraneous operational noise, resolve problems faster, conduct investigations more efficiently, enable better collaboration, and support SLAs.

From a larger perspective, it’s time to consolidate the NOCs with SOCs and provide a true integrated monitoring tool for data centers and IT organizations.

In previous blogs, we have stressed the importance of security and network operations converging along with the need to move away from SILOed approach that current SIEM tools have taken up to this point.

Security Operations and IT Services, Competition or Cooperation?

Posted on: June 10th, 2010 by AccelOps No Comments

In other words…I got it, you take it!

Lately I’ve seen many customers struggling with how to spend their very limited IT budgets.  Everyone says Security is top of mind , but since security tools are often looked at as an insurance policy, and appear to do little to help IT satisfy their SLA’s, or align with the companies objectives (Customer acquisition/retention, improved product margins), it is a tough decision to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a tool that will only help one aspect of the organization.

What most IT Directors are telling me, is that they have “many tools, but no big picture”. They don’t know how to streamline their operation (do more with less), while making it more “user friendly” and effective for multiple teams to address IT Services.

Often times, Security Operations and IT Services use completely different metrics, and tools to measure those metrics.  Network ops have performance monitoring tools, Security ops have SIEM, Server teams have Application Monitoring tools, and on and on. Add to that teams who are tasked with tracking user identity and activities or locations and the unfortunate help desk personnel who have no ghost buster to call, even though they are the front line of IT.

Large (and I mean very big) companies have the luxury of having hundreds of people who use dozens of disparate tools to detect and identify events that could cause harm to the company, or at least disrupt user productivity. These companies have built their operation over long periods of time around groups of individuals who are comfortable with their favorite “tool de jour”.  Many times, these groups have been created through acquisitions, so they are really still speaking different languages and not communicating effectively.

That is not to say the IT Director doesn’t feel the pressure to do more with less, but it is a lot tougher to introduce innovation and change in a very large organization, so they are often motivated to not “rock the boat” and to continue down the same path that got them into this situation in the first place.

Mid-market companies have many of the same issues and concerns, the problem for them is often greater since they may only have a fraction of the headcount doing everything from monitoring the network, securing databases, resetting passwords, installing patches on web servers, even adding new devices or changing configurations on existing devices.  In fact, they are also the Help Desk for the entire company. Many of these companies operate under the same regulations as their larger counterparts and therefore feel even more pain and must do more with less of everything.

At their worst, some events can actually take down revenue producing e-commerce web sites for minutes, hours, or days.  At best, using disparate tools to monitor these activities only complicates accountability, and does not serve to align IT with Business goals and objectives.  During an outage of any kind and for any reason (including maintenance), IT is under pressure to report who did what, where, how, and hopefully why this disruption occurred, and frankly how can the disruption be avoided in the future.

In my humble opinion, all IT organizations benefit when each unique (not disparate) group under IT has a similar vision of how all operations are interconnected, each device, each application, and most importantly each event.  One view, one set of metrics, one source of accountability, one IT Service goal, all while maintaining a separation of duties for regulatory compliance and ultimately avoiding catastrophe.

Only when Security is viewed as a cooperative effort within IT Services, will businesses truly “get what they are paying for”.  Disparate legacy tools served a purpose in their day, but that day has passed. Just like each agency under our federal government has been tasked to share information to protect our country, each area of IT must do the same in order to serve their respective stakeholders.

AccelOps SIEM vs other SIEM Solutions – FAQ

Posted on: May 17th, 2010 by AccelOps 1 Comment

In the past few weeks, couple of people asked specific questions about AccelOps support for 3rd party devices, flexibility of reporting/ rule framework, scalability of the system in general etc. Instead of replying to those emails individually, I decided to write a blog on those questions. It’s bit long blog (than I wish) and highly technical in nature.

#1. How good AccelOp’s support for 3rd party devices? What’s your framework for supporting 3rd party devices/applications? I want to add support for my favorite device XXX – what do I need to do?

For our data center and cloud monitoring solution to be useful for availability, performance, security, change and compliance, we need to support the heterogeneous environment that reflects a real data center with best-of-breed equipment from various vendors. So we are committed to supporting third party software and device in a timely fashion.

Since AccelOps monitors all aspects of a data center, our support for a single device or application tends to be comprehensive, ranging from auto discovery to categorization and normalization of SNMP traps, syslogs, netflow, WMI metrics and other event/protocol formats concerning availability, performance, security and change. While a significant majority of Tier 1 and 2 vendors are already supported, we are continuously adding new device support and keeping the existing device support up to date.

There are some technical innovations that we have developed to accelerate the device support process.

  • Typically, there are two ways to add device support: custom coding and scripts.

Custom coding involves parsing the device information within the shipping product code (Java or C++, within the main code or via an SDK in an agent). Scripts typically reside outside the main product code. The main tradeoff between custom coding and scripts is performance and flexibility. Scripts are flexible but custom coding gives you performance – a perl based program designed to parse Netflow data or firewall logs would certainly not be able to keep with the event rate for high-end routers/firewalls.

AccelOps has developed a unique XML based scripting language through which comprehensive device support can be added without sacrificing performance.

While XML based parsing definitions exist in other products (such as Splunk), AccelOps XML parsing language has the power of programming languages (e.g. if-then-else, switch-case, temporary variables, etc) that makes comprehensive device support possible. In addition, we have developed a XML compiler and execution environment that enables AccelOps the means to execute the XML code without losing performance. In fact all our device support is written using the parsing XML language.

  • AccelOps device support library includes a large number (over 300 and growing) of parsed event attributes that encompasses events and logs from various IT management domains. This enables flexible support for a wide range of devices. More importantly, this is done without losing event processing performance and storage efficiency.

These technological innovations enable rapid and flexible device support. All it takes is to modify an existing parser XML file or create a new parser XML file and add it to the AccelOps system. In this way, new versions of supported devices can be easily added since they simply often add a few new logs. AccelOps has a dedicated team focused on device support, allowing us to provide high-quality and timely coverage. The user community can also be easily leveraged – if a partner has introduced a parser, that parser’s XML file can be redistributed to other customers

Please see our current device support list here.

#2. My current SIEM solution has very slow reporting in general and especially during high event rate processing. How is AccelOps’ reporting performance? And what if I need even faster processing?

The slowness in query response times in many SIEM products often comes from the use of a relational database. While relational database are easy to built a SIEM system around, the read-only monitoring data is ill-suited for relational database because of the following reasons

  • If data is inserted at high event rates (e.g. when dealing with firewall, netflow or Active Directory data), the database limit is quickly reached, causing the vendors to archive old data. In many systems, only a few months of data can be kept in a relational database. The effect is that another system needs to be brought up to analyze at the old data.
  • Event data may require many attributes (over a few hundred) to be parsed; a relational database table with so many columns can be unwieldy and causes performance and storage inefficiencies (also known as degradation and bloat).
  • Parallelizing a relational database for faster query performance is a non-trivial matter, both in terms of cost and implementation and maintenance complexity

On the other hand, the discovered information about devices, systems and applications (so called CMDB) is highly structured, updated often, data that merits a relational database.

AccelOps has developed a hybrid data management system that stores unstructured event data in flat file based database and structured CMDB data in an embedded commercial relational database (PostgreSQL). A data management layer unifies the two data management technologies and presents a single relational database like interface and the best of both worlds is achieved. As an embedded RDBMS, the system does not require administrative tuning / index optimization.

More importantly, the ability to store events in a flat file database also enables query parallelization and solves the slow reporting problem. In clustered mode, AccelOps solution is deployed in a hierarchical supervisor-worker setup as shown below. The supervisor node divides a query into many sub-queries, distributes the sub-queries to the worker nodes, and creates the final query result by combining the results from the various worker nodes. Since the flat files are stored in NFS on a separate system, instant query response time reduction can be obtained by simply bringing up additional worker nodes.

#3. I need a more flexible rules architecture so that I can change firing frequency, and create more sophisticated rules to catch security incidents, for example: “3 login failures followed by a success within a 10 minute time window”, or “multiple login failures not followed by a success to the same system within a 1 day time window”. Does your rule architecture support this?

AccelOps contains a sophisticated rule framework that can support anything from simple threshold performance rules, to highly complex security rules, all with a simple user interface. It supports the following constructs:

  • More than 300 event attributes with which to form rule conditions
  • Operators such as equals, greater than, IN, CONTAINS, BETWEEN, IS and their negative conditions
  • Ability to create multiple sub-patterns then combine them using the temporal operators: AND, OR, FOLLOWED_BY, OR_NOT, AND_NOT, and NOT_FOLLOWED_BY
  • Ability to create exceptions to rules in order to fine-tune their output
  • Ability to exclude rules from firing during specific time ranges
  • Ability to send resulting incident alerts via email, SMS, SNMP Traps, or XML via HTTP

Supports both simple and advanced work-flows when creating or editing rules.

#4. I would like to have a single solution for long term Log Management and real time log analysis. My current SIEM product does not support this.

Our optimized file-based event database coupled with parallel data management and analysis enables AccelOps customers to have a single solution for analyzing both real-time data and historical data. Computing and storage can be incrementally added without service disruption. In contrast, most SIEM vendors must purge and archive long term data to avoid overwhelming their real-time relation databases, necessitating the use separate tools – one set of tools to manage real-time, and another to manage historical data. This approach also has limitations for the amount of data that can be analyzed – so while the data stored may meet retention requirements, the ability to actually analyze / cross-correlate across the stored data is often severely limited.

#5. I need to collect events from 100’s of windows servers without agents and support the latest Windows 2008? Can you do that?

AccelOps in clustered mode can be deployed to accomplish this. The solution consists of many worker nodes and one supervisor node. The job of pulling windows logs from many servers via WMI is load balanced among the worker nodes. Each worker node is multi-threaded and can pull from many servers simultaneously. The events are parsed and indexed by each worker node and the correlation to trigger rules is done by the supervisor and worker nodes in a collaborative fashion. Additional worker nodes can be deployed if more windows servers need to be monitored and the system is running out of capacity.

#6. My current SIEM system can only correlate and alert within 1 system. As I deploy event collection to many servers or collect netflow from many routers, I need to deploy many SIEM systems and need to correlate across them. Does your architecture support this?

The clustered mode AccelOps solution can do real time global cross-correlation across multiple supervisor and worker nodes. One simple way to do this would be to filter and forward all events to the supervisor node, but that would bog down the supervisor node. AccelOps employs a novel summarized information exchange mechanism where the worker nodes do the pre-processing of the events and only sends summarized values to the supervisor node, which can do then final analysis and trigger alerts. The entire category of rules can be parallelized this way by the AccelOps clustered system and provides customers a way to scale event processing and alerting.

#7. As I see an IP address in my dashboard or alert, I would like to the know the user behind that IP and the user’s network location if it is an internal one, or learn about the owner, domain etc from internet sites for external IPs. Can your system do this?

AccelOps provides full identity and location information for IP addresses – both external and internal, and in real time. For internal IP addresses, AccelOps derives the identity information by combining Active Directory discovery, domain logon information, DHCP events, Wireless and VPN logons and the location information from Wireless and VPN logons and AccelOps own layer 2 discoveries. The challenge here is that each source of information is partial, e.g. DHCP address assignments provides (IP Address, MAC address and Host name), domain logon provide (IP Address, Host name, User name) etc. The various pieces need to be strewn together into one consistent identity and location entry and it should also dynamically reflect the changes as they occur as the user moves around. AccelOps has a novel in-memory database based approach for merging the pieces various identity and location information on a first and last seen time basis. This contextual information is available to the user for every IP address displayed on the user interface. AccelOps binds the user identity and location information to events to allow for historical analysis.

For external IP address, AccelOps provide information such as geo-location, whois lookup and trace-route information. Also with a single click, administrator can find out whether this ip is a part of already known spam databases using tools like SAN StormCenter, Cisco Senderbase or HoneyPot database.

For more details on this feature, please see the blog entry, SIEM – The Importance of Displaying Contextual Information with an IP address.

#8. How do I prioritize my alerts in AccelOps?

AccelOps has the notion of a business service that is a smart container of network devices, servers and applications serving a common business purpose. Every incident is tagged with the affected business service and can be used to prioritize incidents. AccelOps goes beyond traditional event severity by providing users business impact context to incidents.

#9. As I investigate my incidents, I would also like to know additional context. For example, when there are lots of denied connections to a server, I would like to know the CPU, memory usage on the server and what are the changes if any on the server in a preceding time period. Can I quickly do that in AccelOps itself or I have to jump to another console?

This is easily possible in AccelOps since all aspects of a device are monitored. All the user needs to do is to discover the device and set up monitoring. Then the basic system level CPU/memory/disk space/disk I/O/network interface utilization, the top applications consuming most resources on that server as well as the changes made on that server are all available within 1 click. The information is also kept up to date on a periodic basis.

#10. I would like to create reports in PDF format with nice charts that I can show to my manager. I would also like to customized various dashboards. My current SIEM cannot do this.

AccelOps supports the exporting of real-time, historic and saved search results / reports in both PDF and CSV formats. The PDF reports contains multiple colored trend charts and can be customized with customer logos and custom notes. The CSV format can be exported directly into spreadsheet products or can be used to feed to other applications easily. Furthermore, saved reports are available as templates that can be used as dashboard widgets – enabling fully customized dashboards.

Please see the sample PDF and CSV files.

top-fw-report login-failed-report login-failed-report as CSV

#11. We like seeing a topology map, but the topology supplied with our current SIEM product is inflexible to the point of being largely useless. My manager tells me that the topology diagrams look like “ball of yarn”. Do you have a better solution?

AccelOps’ user interface is built using a Web 2.0, Adobe Flex RIA (Rich Internet Application) framework. This framework allows us to present a more engaging desktop application experience, while still running within any browser, and offering universal anytime, anywhere accessibility.

This more flexible user-interface technology allows AccelOps to generate more dynamic, up-to-date layer 3 and 2 network topology maps with interactive alerts, service overlays, filters and drill-through details.

See more information about our topology map feature here

#12. How flexible is your reporting framework? How many system reports do you ship with the product? Can I issue a simple Google-like search to find keywords in order to perform root cause analysis?

AccelOps features an advanced SQL-like search and cross-correlation engine with multiple patterns and advanced filtering and aggregation capabilities that can be computed in a distributed manner. This enables support of IT infrastructure, availability, performance, change and security scenarios, as well as allowing compliance requirements to be handled in a unified manner.

AccelOps ships with more than 850 (and growing) of built-in and extensible reports spanning availability, performance, security and change management, as well as compliance and inventory.

We support simple keyword Google-like searches with operators such as AND, NOT, etc, and also feature the capability of searching through real-time event data using either structured (condition-based), or simple keyword queries

#13. What is your database architecture and how scalable is it? Do I need to worry about purging and other issues? Can I add more storage capacity to the system as I expand my data centers? How good is the system performance when you have millions of events coming in and are performing queries on the data simultaneously?

AccelOps uses a hybrid database, storing events in indexed flat-files, and storing device configuration in an embedded commercial relational database (PostgreSQL). AccelOps has a patent-pending, multi-tiered, clustered architecture, where computing and storage can be seamlessly added to the cluster to increase performance and event storage capacity. This combination of proprietary database and parallel processing gives AccelOps the dual advantage of unlimited low cost storage and high event analysis performance that other monitoring solutions strive for.

Sign up for a 14 day free trial and see it by yourself.