As far as I can tell, there are two types of companies in the Docker ecosystem (and, by extension, in the ecosystems of all rapidly growing projects). The first type of company was born with the vision of delivering something it believes is missing in the project. In the case of Docker, perhaps the epitome of this is Weave, a UK-based startup that identified some glaring holes around networking with Docker and set out to put that right.
On the other side are the companies that see an initiative with traction, and declare their solution, all of a sudden, applicable to that project. These types of companies are either large (read slow, monolithic, and generally blind to innovation) vendors who simply want to be able to "tick a box" for their customers. The other, more unfortunate souls, are those small vendors who, through no fault of their own, were caught out by the ascendency of a project. Their happy little world all of a sudden doesn't exist or is irrevocably changed, and they have no option but to jump on any life raft offered by the upcoming initiative.
It is with these thoughts that I received news that Logentries, a real-time log management and analytics service, is rolling out log centralization, search, and monitoring for Docker. The free (oh yes, free is often part of it) solution makes it easy for organizations to take their new-found love for all things container and wrap it with some monitoring and audit trail. Of course, that free plan has something of a hook. It includes access for 30 days to the Logentries trial, plus a perpetual account for the log centralization, search, and monitoring aspects of the offering.
Now, while I might sound a little cynical, clearly there is a problem to solve here. Those IT teams that have actually adopted containers naturally need some visibility into what those containers are doing. The distribution of modern applications into a myriad of different containers has only increased the amount of log data streaming into an enterprise, wrapping some awareness around that is obviously a good thing.
"We are launching this free logging plan for the Docker Community because we understand the critical role log management and analytics can play in moving to a Docker environment," Trevor Parsons, Logentries's Chief Scientist says. "Using Logentries' elastic logging service provides a scalable and cost-effective approach to easily understanding and optimizing their containers and broader environments."
Using the Logentries free Docker Logging plan, Docker users can collect all of their Docker logs – from GBs to Terabytes - in one place; centralize logs for management and analysis; and search in real-time to pinpoint problems and troubleshoot. And Log entries, obviously, hopes that will be sufficient hook to retain users beyond the 30-day trial.
Of course, Logentries isn't alone, and every log management and monitoring solution on the planet is announcing a Docker or container-specific solution. What this means for Logentries in terms of growth and a potentially new market to tap is yet to be seen. Time will tell.