GB2366050A - Aggregation of log data from different operating systems into a central data log - Google Patents

Aggregation of log data from different operating systems into a central data log Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2366050A
GB2366050A GB0108635A GB0108635A GB2366050A GB 2366050 A GB2366050 A GB 2366050A GB 0108635 A GB0108635 A GB 0108635A GB 0108635 A GB0108635 A GB 0108635A GB 2366050 A GB2366050 A GB 2366050A
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United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
log
event
process
computer
system
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
GB0108635A
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GB0108635D0 (en
Inventor
Hugh F Mahon
Fredrick Roeling
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HP Inc
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HP Inc
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Priority to US54740200A priority Critical
Application filed by HP Inc filed Critical HP Inc
Publication of GB0108635D0 publication Critical patent/GB0108635D0/en
Publication of GB2366050A publication Critical patent/GB2366050A/en
Application status is Withdrawn legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L41/00Arrangements for maintenance or administration or management of packet switching networks
    • H04L41/04Architectural aspects of network management arrangements
    • H04L41/044Arrangements involving a hierarchical management structure
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F11/00Error detection; Error correction; Monitoring
    • G06F11/30Monitoring
    • G06F11/34Recording or statistical evaluation of computer activity, e.g. of down time, of input/output operation ; Recording or statistical evaluation of user activity, e.g. usability assessment
    • G06F11/3466Performance evaluation by tracing or monitoring
    • G06F11/3476Data logging
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F11/00Error detection; Error correction; Monitoring
    • G06F11/30Monitoring
    • G06F11/34Recording or statistical evaluation of computer activity, e.g. of down time, of input/output operation ; Recording or statistical evaluation of user activity, e.g. usability assessment
    • G06F11/3466Performance evaluation by tracing or monitoring
    • G06F11/3495Performance evaluation by tracing or monitoring for systems
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L41/00Arrangements for maintenance or administration or management of packet switching networks
    • H04L41/06Arrangements for maintenance or administration or management of packet switching networks involving management of faults or events or alarms
    • H04L41/069Arrangements for maintenance or administration or management of packet switching networks involving management of faults or events or alarms involving storage or log of alarms or notifications or post-processing thereof
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F2201/00Indexing scheme relating to error detection, to error correction, and to monitoring
    • G06F2201/86Event-based monitoring

Abstract

Apparatus and methods for maintaining a centralized data log [105] for a distributed computer system [100] utilizing more than one type of operating system [125,135,165]. The present patent document discloses techniques for transferring and storing log data [300] across different platforms and the aggregation of that log data [300] into one location wherein the processes detecting the log data [300] are executed by operating systems [125,135,165] which are not limited to being of the same type. Thus, this aggregation mechanism is designed to allow multiple processes [130,160] operating on diverse kinds of systems [140,170] to log to a central system [115], which itself may be on any kind of system. An administrator can monitor from a single source the operation of a distributed computer system [100], as for example a distributed management tool, whose components may be distributed across a network [190] and operating on multiple, geographically dispersed computers [140, 170].

Description

2366050 AGGREGATION OF LOG DATA INTO CENTRALIZED DATA LOG

5 FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to networks of computer systems and, more particularly, to the logging of information regarding the activities of the system.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In order to monitor the progress of any system, it is desirable to have infon-nation about the activities of the system. Such information, provided in a manner which collects 15 it over time into one location is called a log. The advent of distributed systems operating on networks, in particular the Internet, has presented new difficulties due to the fact that each individual system maintains its own separate, local log. Thus, in order to investigate operation of the system as a whole, system administrators have been forced to open and read several different logs. The system administrator's job is made especially difficult 20 in trying to correlaf6 the timing of several events which were recorded in differing logs.

As an added complication, some of theseJogs may be stored on computers remotely located from the system administrator. In addition, format of the various logs may differ from one another, as well as the platforms on which the logs are stored.

A utility available on UNIX systems is Syslog which allows multiple dispersed 25 components to log to a single system. However since it is UNIX only, Syslog does not permit systems having operating systems other than UNIX to write to a common log.

Thus, there is a need, in environments made up of multiple components which operate semi-autonomously, to have the log information generated by these components collected into a centrally located log which can be easily accessed by the system 30 administrator.

I SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present patent document discloses techniques for aggregating log data in a distributed system. Previous methods for storing log data have either relied upon 5 maintaining individual logs for each individual process on the local system or a central log for distributed systems wherein each individual system is executed by the same type operating system.

Disclosed in various embodiments are apparatus and methods for gathering event data by a process executed by an operating system on a computer system, transferring 10 that data to a logging process executed by an operating system on another computer system wherein the logging process operating system is intrinsically different from the operating system of the process that detected the event, and storing that data in a data log on the logging process computer system. Provision is also made for gathering, transferring, and storing event data for processes running on the computer system on 15 which the data log is located. A representative data structure for the entries in the data log is also disclosed.

The disclosures of the present patent document provide two primary advantages over the prior art: (1) logging of log data across different platforms and (2) aggregation of log data into one location. This aggregation mechanism is designed to allow multiple 20 elements operating on diverse kinds of systems to log to a central system, which itself may be on any kind of system. An administrator can monitor the operation of a distributed system, as for example a distributed management tool, whose components may be distributed across a network and operating on multiple, geographically dispersed computers.

25 Other aspects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, illustrating by way of example the principles of the invention.

2 BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings provide visual representations which will be used to more fully describe the invention and can be used by those skilled in the art to better 5 understand it and its inherent advantages. In these drawings, like reference numerals Zn identify corresponding elements and:

Figure 1 is a drawing of a distributed computer system having a centralized data Z.

log as described in various representative embodiments of the present patent document.

10 Figure 2 is a drawing of another distributed computer system having centralized data log as described in various representative embodiments of the present patent document.

Figure 3 is a drawing of an entry for a data structure for the centralized data log as described in various representative embodiments of the present patent document.

15 Figure 4 is a flow chart of a method for writing to the centralized data log of figure I as described in various representative embodiments of the present patent document.

k 3 DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

As shown in the drawings for purposes of illustration, the present patent document relates to a novel method for aggregating log data in a distributed system.

5 Previous methods for storing log data for distributed systems have either relied upon maintaining individual logs for each individual process on its own local system or a central log wherein each individual system which accumulates log, data is executed by a member of the same operating system family. Embodiments disclosed herein are not limited by such constraints. In particular, a process accumulating event data for storage 10 in the central log may be running, not only on a r6mote computer, but also on an operating system which differs significantly from the operating system of the logging process. Other processes which accumulate such event data in the distributed system may be further executed by operating systems of even different families or types. In the following detailed description and in the several figures of the drawings, like elements

15 are identified with like reference numerals.

Figure I is a drawing of a distributed computer system 100 having a centralized data log 105 as described in various representative embodiments of the present patent document. In a first preferred embodiment as shown in figure 1, the centralized data log 105, also referred to herein as the data log 105, is stored in a computer memory I 10, also 20 referred to herein as a computer readable memory device 110, on a log computer system 115. A log process 120, also referred to herein as a log program 120, executed by a log operating system 125 stores data in the data log 105. A first computer process 130, also referred to herein as a first computer program 130, is executed by a first operating system on a first computer system 140. The log operating system 125 may differ 25 intrinsically in type from the first operating system 135. When the first computer process detects a first event 145 not shown in figure 1, the first computer process 130 transmits description of the first event 145 as a first event description 150 to the log process 120 via a network 190. However, it is possible that means other than the network could be used to transmit the first event description 150 to the log process 120, as for

0 example storing data on a magnetic disk and physically transferring the disk to the log 4 computer system 115. The log process 120 stores the first event description 150 in the data log 105. In the first preferred embodiment, the log operating system 125 is intrinsically different from the first operating system 135. It is also possible, that the computer memory 110 comprising the data log 105 could be physically located on a 5 computer system located remotely from the log computer system 115.

Also shown in figure I is a second computer process 160, also referred to herein as a second computer program 160, executed by a second operating system 165 on a second computer system 170. The log operating system 125 may or may not intrinsically differ in type from the second operating system 165, and the second operating system 165 10 may or may not intrinsically differ in type from the first operating system 135. When the second computer process 160 detects a second event 175 not shown in figure 1, the second computer process 160 transmits description of the second event 175 as a second event description 180 to the log process 120 via the network 190. However, it is possible that means other than the network 190, as for example storing data on -a magnetic disk 15 and physically transferring the disk to the log computer system 115, could be used to transmit the second event description 180 to the log process 120. The log process 120 stores the second event description 180 in the data log 105. In a representative embodiment, the second operating system 165 is intrinsically different from the first operating system 135. In another representative embodiment, the second operating 20 system 165 is intrinsically different from the log operating system 125. And in yet another representative embodiment, the second operating system 165 is intrinsically different from the first operating system 135 and intrinsically different from the log operating system 125.

Figure 2 is a drawing of another distributed computer system 100 having 25 centralized data log 105 as described in various representative embodiments of the present patent document. In a second preferred embodiment as shown in figure 2, the data log 105 is stored in the computer memory I 10 on the log computer system 115. The log process 120 executed by log operating system 125 stores data in the data log 105.

The first computer process 130 is executed by the first operating system 135 on the first 30 computer system 140. When the first computer process 130 detects the first event 145 not shown in figure 2, the first computer process 130 transmits description of the first event 145 as the first event description 150 to the log process 120 via the network 190.

However, it is possible that means other than the network 190, as for example storing data on a magnetic disk and physically transferring the data to the log computer system 5 115, could be used to transmit the first event description 150 to the log process 120. The log process 120 stores the first event description 150 in the data log 105. In the second preferred embodiment, the log operating system 125 is intrinsically different from the first operating system 135.

Also shown in figure 2 is an additional log system process 260 executed by the 10 log operating system 125 on the log computer system 115. When the additional log process 260 detects an additional event 275 not shown in figure 2, the additional log system process 260 transmits description of the additional event 275 as an additional event description 280 to the log process 120. The log, process 120 stores the additional event description 280 in the data log 105. In a representative embodiment, the additional

15 log system process 260 transmits the additional event description 280 to the log process via the network 190. In another representative embodiment, the additional log system process 265 transmits the additional event description 280 to the log process 120 via paths internal to the log computer system 115.

Figure 3 is a drawing of an entry for a data structure 300 for the centralized data 20 log 105 as described in various representative embodiments of the present patent document. The entry for the data structure 300 comprises a system identification 310 and a component identification 315. The component identification 315 identifies the component which detected the event logged, and the system identification 310 identifies the system on which that component is located. The data structure 300 further comprises 25 event time 320 which specifies the clock time at which the event occurred, and event data 330 which provides information to the log user regarding the nature of the event detected and subsequently recorded in the data log 105. Other items could be included in the data structure 300, as for example operating system and computer system identification. Also, the event time 320 could include the date of the event, as well as the time of day at which 30 the event occurred. Data structure 300 entries into the centralized data log 105 could be 6 entered into the centralized data log 105 in event time 320 order or as received by the centralized data log 105. They could further be grouped by component identification 315 and/or system identification 310. In practice, the component could be, for example, a software agent, and the system could be the physical system hardware on which the 5 software agent is operating.

Figure 4 is a flow chart of a method 400 for writing to the centralized data log 105 of figure 1 as described in various representative embodiments of the present patent document. The method 400 of figure 4 could be implemented as software processes on distributed computer system 100.

10 In block 410 the first computer process 130 executed by the first operating system detects the first event 145. Block 410 then transfers control to block 420.

In block 420 the first computer process 130 prepares the first event description

150. Block 420 then transfers control to block 430.

In block 430 the first event description 150 is transmitted to the log process 120

15 executed on the log computer system 115 by the log operating system 125. Block 430 then transfers control to block 440.

In block 440 the log process 120 receives the first event description 150 from the first computer process 130. Block 440 then transfers control to block 450, In block 450 the log process 120 stores the event information in the data log 105.

20 Block 450 is the terminating step in the method.

While the method 400 of figure 4 has been described in terms of the first computer process 130 executed by the first operating system 135 on the first computer system 140, it will be understood that the identical method can be followed for the second computer process 160 of figure I executed by the second operating system 165 on the 25 second computer system 170, as well as for the additional log system process 260 of figure 2 executed by the log operating system 125 on the log computer system 115.

In representative embodiments the present patent document describes methods wherein data can be logged across systems of diverse implementations to a log on any kind of system. Thus, the implementations provide two primary advantages over the 30 prior art: (1) logging of log data across different computer platforms and (2) aggregation

7 of log data into one location. This aggregation mechanism is designed to allow multiple elements operating on diverse kinds of systems to log to a central system, which itself may be on any kind of system. An administrator can monitor the operation of a distributed system, as for example a distributed management tool, whose components 5 may be distributed across a network and operating on multiple, geographically dispersed computers.

While the present invention has been described in detail in relation to preferred embodiments thereof, the described embodiments have been presented by way of example and not by way of limitation. It will be understood by those skilled in the art 10 that various changes may be made in the form and details of the described embodiments resulting in equivalent embodiments that remain within the scope of the appended claims.

8

Claims (4)

  1. What is claimed is:
    I A computer program storage medium readable by a computer, tangibly 2 embodying a computer program of instructions executable by the computer to perform method steps for storing event data [3301 in a 4 centralized data log [105] in a distributed computer system [1001, the steps comprising:
    6 detecting a first event [1451 by a first computer process [1301, 8 wherein the first computer process [1301 is executable by a first operating system [135]; preparing a first event description [150], wherein the first event 12 description [1501 describes the first event [145]; 14 transmitting the first event description [1501,to a log process [1201, wherein the log process [1201 is executable by a log 16 operating system [1251, wherein the log operating system [1251 differs intrinsically in type from the first operating system [135]; 18 receiving the first event description [1501 by the log process 20 [120]; and CIA storing the first event description [1501 in the centralized data log 22 11051.
  2. 2. The computer program storage medium as recited in claim 1, providing 2 the first event description [1501 is transmitted from the first computer process [1301 to the log process 1120] via a network [1901.
  3. 3. The computer program storage medium as recited in claim 1, the steps 2 further comprising:
    4 detecting a second event [1751 by a second computer process [160], wherein the second computer process [1601 is executable by a second 6 operating system [1651; 8 preparing a second event description [1801, wherein the second event description [1801 describes the second event [1751; transmitting the second event description [180] to the log process [1201; 12 receiviRg the second event description [1801 by the log process [1201; and 14 storing the second event description 1180] in the centralized data log 16 1105].
  4. 4.
    4. The computer program storage medium as recited in claim 3, providing 2 the second event description [180] is transmitted from the second computer process [1601 to the log process [1201 via a network [1901.
    5. The computer program storage medium as recited in claim 3, providing 2 the second operating system [165] differs intrinsically in type from the first operating system 11351.
    6. The computer program storage medium as recited in claim 3, providing 2 the second operating system [1651 differs intrinsically in type from the log operating system [1251.
    7. A computer readable memory device [1101 encoded with a data structure 2 [300] for transferring data between a first computer process [1301 and a log process [1201, the first computer process [1301 having functions for 4 transferring an event description [150] to the log process 11201, the functions having associated parameters, the data structure [3001 having 6 entries, each entry containing:
    event data [3301, wherein the event data [3301 describes a detected event [1451; a component identification 13151, wherein the component identification 12 13151 identifies a component detecting the event 11451 and wherein the event [1451 is described by the event description [150]; and 14 a system identification [3101, wherein the system identification [3101 16 identifies a system, wherein "the system comprises the component detecting the event [145].
    8. The computer readable memory device [110] as recited in claim 7, 2 providing the data structure [300] further contains an event time [320], wherein the event time [3201 is the clock time of event [1451 occurrence.
    9. A distributed computer system 11001 for storing data, comprising:
    2 a first computer process [1301 executable by a first operating system 4 11351; 6 a log process [1201 executable by a log operating system [1251, wherein the log operating system [1251 differs intrinsically from the first operating 8 system [135]; and 10 a centralized data log [1051 stored in a computer memory [1101, wherein the first computer process [130] comprises functions for transmitting a 12 first event description [1501 to the log process 11201 and wherein the log process [1201 comprises functions for receiving the first event description 14 [1501 from the first computer process [1301 and for storing the first event description [1501 in the data log [1051.
    10. The distributed computer system [1001 as recited in claim 9, wherein the 2 first event description [150] is transmitted from the first computer process [1301 to the log process [120] via a network [1901.
GB0108635A 2000-04-11 2001-04-05 Aggregation of log data from different operating systems into a central data log Withdrawn GB2366050A (en)

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US8181111B1 (en) 2007-12-31 2012-05-15 Synchronoss Technologies, Inc. System and method for providing social context to digital activity
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US8611873B2 (en) 2004-05-12 2013-12-17 Synchronoss Technologies, Inc. Advanced contact identification system
US9542076B1 (en) 2004-05-12 2017-01-10 Synchronoss Technologies, Inc. System for and method of updating a personal profile
US8181111B1 (en) 2007-12-31 2012-05-15 Synchronoss Technologies, Inc. System and method for providing social context to digital activity
US8868601B2 (en) * 2009-08-17 2014-10-21 International Business Machines Corporation Distributed file system logging
US20110040811A1 (en) * 2009-08-17 2011-02-17 International Business Machines Corporation Distributed file system logging
US8255006B1 (en) 2009-11-10 2012-08-28 Fusionone, Inc. Event dependent notification system and method
US8943428B2 (en) 2010-11-01 2015-01-27 Synchronoss Technologies, Inc. System for and method of field mapping
US9361433B2 (en) 2012-08-03 2016-06-07 Synchronoss Technologies, Inc Enterprise leasing license algorithm

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