5 ways modern log management helps reduce higher education budgets

Reducing monetary and labor strains for IT departments and cybersecurity teams at universities and colleges

June 25th, 2020

Higher Education institutions are kept under constant pressure to perform the same tasks with lower budgets and in less time. IT administrators are faced with tools that do not meet their current needs — much less their future needs. As their institutions continue to undergo digital transformations, adding cloud hosting and connecting with students and staff who are off campus becomes a top priority.

Modern log management solutions like Humio address the challenges these institutions face, replacing complicated tools that require upkeep costs universities cannot afford with a flexible high-performant tool that answers network-wide questions while providing future flexibility.

New log management tools provide a way of searching the data files of a school’s network in real-time to show developers and security personnel what is really going on in the system. And most importantly, they do so as they reduce costs.

How does log management save higher education institutions money?

  1. Minimizes maintenance time

  2. Eliminates need for specialized training

  3. Reduces hardware cost

  4. Limits damage of incidents

  5. Offers competitive license prices and unlimited plans

Minimizes maintenance time

I’ve seen a reduction in the amount of maintenance that is needed to deal with Humio — it’s effectively zero, unless you want to generate some new data source, and that’s pretty easy and straightforward to do.
Rick Miller

Director of Systems Administration at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

Compared to open-source log management solutions which can require multiple dedicated staff to operate, modern log management solutions remove the burden from universities to manage and configure every element of their log management stacks.

Self-managed log management are complex, fragile deployments that may suffer from unexpected crashes. In those circumstances, university IT admins are on the hook to get them back up and running again. Staff will have to dive into the documentation, while meanwhile, the system is going unmonitored and who knows what additional problems are occurring. By contrast, modern log management features virtually no downtime, and provides SaaS options with automatic backups.

Eliminates need for specialized training

The query language and speed of Humio compared to searching logs in Kibana is crazy! Much better experience in my opinion, and makes investigating and caring about logs so much easier.
Kasper Nissen

DevOps Engineer at Lunar

Designed to be simple with a straightforward search language, Humio facilitates easy-to-design and powerful queries right out of the box. SIEM tools with log management capabilities have their own proprietary search language that takes additional training to master. Their certifications and advanced training classes cost departments money while also taking up valuable time. Open source tools often have their own difficult-to-learn proprietary languages that end up costing hours of labor as well.

Reduces hardware costs

We’re much leaner today – fewer nodes, less management. It’s much, much cheaper compared to other leaders in the industry.
Kevin Nejad

CEO of Vijilan

Humio’s index-free design means that indexes don’t need to be created, updated, or stored. And through advanced compression of log data by 10-20x, modern log management reduces the amount of nodes required to run streaming and historical searches of data. Both greatly reduce the amount of storage. Because tools like Humio are able to transfer and search data in its compressed form, it is faster, and requires fewer compute resources.

Limits damage of incidents

Universities deal with a variety of data. The crown jewels for a university is the data that it is the custodian of, and that data comes from the students. That data may be a student's personal reports. That data may be a student's health records. That data may be payments from credit cards. That data has to be protected.
Fatema Bannat Wala

University Security Administrator

Universities are tasked with guarding a variety of valuable data assets. Log management and monitoring solutions provide a system-wide view of these assets in real time. They enable a rapid security response seconds after an alert is triggered, limiting the damage potential of a malicious intrusion. Real-time log search results enable live investigation of an incident as it happens, allowing security response teams to move as quickly as a potential attacker. As security breaches become more and more prevalent, the question is not if you will be attacked, but instead how quickly can you respond to prevent damage to the reputation of your organization and the finances of your students.

Offers competitive license prices and unlimited plans

Humio’s unlimited ingest pricing now enables us to scale our data without worry.

Michigan State University (MSU)

Traditional log management licenses are based on ingest volume — the amount of data that is collected and processed per day or per month. For the first year, costs may be in line with the amount of data. But as data volumes increase, or as new use cases are investigated, costs can go up dramatically. What seemed reasonable at 64 GB per day simply isn’t affordable at 128 GB per day.

When expensive volume-based pricing eclipses the original requirements, administrators are forced to find ways to limit the amount of data they collect. This undermines the goal of system observability, and invariably leads to slower response times, and decreased use of tools that are in place.

Modern log management offers competitive pricing and unlimited licenses which lift the constraints in place and help make it affordable to log everything. Once a plan of logging everything is established, log management becomes a central solution that could be used by all departments across the campus to search data, helping reduce their overall costs and providing correlated, improved analytics.

Centralize log management across the school network to lower overall costs

The opportunities in higher education for consolidating resources and centralizing data management are endless. Unfortunately, many schools have a culture of siloed operations. While this makes it easier to create and implement technology, it can lead to inefficiencies and missing out on the benefits of scale.

Schools are encouraged to approach IT more holistically, and they’re beginning to move from having siloed applications and IT operations that are managed by different departments across the campus. By beginning the process of centralizing systems and operations, each team can benefit from the cost savings coming from scalability, and every group can redirect resources to fulfilling the mission of their organization.

With a centralized log management solution like Humio, you can send everything to it. You get it all in one place and you can search across that much more rapidly than we could previously.
Jeff Collyer

Information Security Engineer at University of Virginia

Log management can accept a high throughput of data — from servers, apps, network devices, customer devices, and almost anything that performs a function — and keep it all in one central location. Even though the data is varied and unstructured, it can still be available to search in real time without indexes. This makes it easier for users across the organization to explore everything they have permissions for, and even join search results from several different data sources, getting results in seconds. In addition to cost savings, this can lead to insights into operational and strategic initiatives that were unavailable before, and can uncover strengths and pain points across the whole system.

It's just completely helped with the speed of change in our infrastructure. Logging has now just become a standardized piece we plug in.
Dirk Norman

Director of IT at Wisconsin Energy Institute

Consider the log and event data being collected and used across the institution. Reach out to other organizations that manage these data sources, and discuss use cases for collecting it centrally and making it available for analysis.

For more information about unlimited log management, visit our website page: Why Unlimited.

Read more about how log management helps universities by reading our How-To: Make networks and data more resilient and secure in higher education

Get an estimate of how much modernizing log management can save your institution on our pricing page.

Hear how three universities gain value from centralized log management by watching our on-demand Higher Education Roundtable webinar.