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April 30: Setting up a modern observability stack with Garland Technology, Corelight, and Humio

Studying the Logs - Humio gets an A+ from Lix

With help from Humio, Lix makes cramming for university exams easier

April 11th, 2019
PJ Hagerty

For new businesses and platforms that are constantly monitoring, analyzing, and organizing their logging data, keeping on top of those logs can be a frightful proposition, downright monstrous even. For Lix, the study platform aimed at students pursuing higher education, it was imperative that the company be able to keep track of user demands.

“Like Victor Frankenstein, Humio took the dead piles that were our previous logging data and brought them into the world of the living,” says Simon Stender Boisen, CTO of Lix. “Unlike Frankenstein’s creation, what Humio brings to life is beautiful.”

Rather than lug a heavy backpack from class to class, Lix streamlines studying while also giving students the ability to search, make notes, and highlights within their e-reader, all without marking up a textbook. Lix offers books through their subscription service, letting students read course materials via their e-reader while also offering a number of different features that aid them in their studies.

Since 2017, Lix used Kubernetes’s open-source system. But recently, the company wanted to lower the overhead of maintaining Kubernetes, moving from bare metal to Google Cloud. Logging is an integral part of the toolkit that helps LIX keep an eye on our system and understand why systems are behaving like they are and their UX team regularly conducts interviews with students to better understand how the app can improve their interface. They wanted to keep an agile mindset, emphasizing their customer-driven feature selection and so they went with Humio.

“Humio’s superior dynamic querying and plotting capabilities is what really drew our attention,” says Boisen. “I’m still astonished on a regular basis how incredibly fast Humio is when traversing many gigabytes of log data.”

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For a company that depends so much on its interface with students, logging was an integral part of the toolkit that allowed them to keep an eye on the systems and any bugs that might arise. Combined with the Erlang platform’s superior debugging experience, it was imperative that Lix be able to look at the logs and metrics to help locate the root cause in case of emergencies. They needed a purpose-built, all-in-one log management system that was fast, scalable, and efficient.

“We used Papertrail and explored a number of other products, but everything paled in comparison to Humio,” says Boisen.

Lix depends on their logs to keep abreast of the user experience and how efficiently their app is functioning. In the past, such logging data was extremely difficult, hard to parse and analyze.

“Humio sits firmly as the backbone of our monitoring solution,” Boisen says of the system that helps make logging data an integral part of our day-to-day workflow.

With its amalgamation of predefined and adhoc extracted data points, combined with stack traces and other log messages, Humio is a versatile tool for gaining insight into a company’s systems. So when it comes time for Lix to help students study smarter, Humio gets an A+ on the test.

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