Mining and drawing intelligence from large volumes of machine data is difficult and time-consuming. To make the process easier and faster for enterprise teams, Cisco recently developed the Cisco Log Intelligence Platform (CLIP). It brings machine data closer to application developers and administrators, helping them to diagnose, predict, and prevent application performance issues by identifying patterns and using machine-learning techniques.

“CLIP is flexible, distributed, and customized to work for IT functions with small, medium, and large-scale data volumes,” says Ramki Baratam, Manager, Integration Technologies and Systems, Global Architecture and Technology Services (GATS) at Cisco. “It’s a secure enterprise management solution that collates, indexes, and processes huge quantities of machine-generated data to help organizations gain valuable operational intelligence.”

CLIP was built in-house using the latest open-source technologies. Cisco functional teams benefit from our homegrown product features and don’t need to worry about external support or licensing costs.

Enterprise teams use CLIP to manage and capture data from all types of machine and system logs related to applications. The solution stores machine data in scalable and searchable repositories, where it can be managed and maintained (clustered, distributed, backed up, and recovered). Log analysis tooling in CLIP helps enterprise teams search machine data using simple and advanced search queries. The platform also lets them analyze and aggregate data.

Kamal Kumar Konduru, Core Architect behind CLIP says, “CLIP’s correlation engine provides flexible and generic interfaces to connect different data sets based on timestamp, field, relationship, and classification for visibility across different systems and processes.”


CLIP adoption and metrics

The elastic (native cloud) CLIP platform processes 2 TB of data daily, compared to 250 GB last year. So far, it has hosted data for more than 70 small, medium, and large-scale tenants.

Venkat Bongoni, Tech Lead behind CLIP says, “CLIP is a cloud-enabled, elastic, highly available, and high-throughput software as a service (SaaS) platform integrated with enterprise systems and capable of handling billions of entries, millions of queries, and terabytes of data.”

Cisco IT organizations like GATS, Global Infrastructure Services (GIS), Cisco Commerce, Enterprise Data Services, Customer Care, and Customer Strategy and Success are benefiting from the CLIP solution features and capabilities, including:

  • Near real-time analysis of data
  • Simple dashboards with powerful visualization capabilities and metrics
  • Log aggregation from multiple sources
  • Faster issue detection, resulting in issue reduction

Some of the real use cases for CLIP to date include identifying slow drain initiators, blade benchmarking, I/O load balancing, and profiling.

“CLIP is also playing a critical role in Mean Time to Detection (MTTD) and Mean Time to Resolution (MTTR) of operational incidents in Cisco IT,” says Atul Sethi, Director, GATS.

Vineet Jain, a CLIP customer from the GIS Compute Services team, had this to say about the capabilities of the new CLIP tool: “Cisco’s IT infrastructure is complex and multi-layered with various flavors of combination in each layer of the stack. The correlation logic built by CLIP is helping us to correlate data from every discrete endpoint within each infrastructure layer.”

Jain says CLIP also makes it possible to “nail down the complex I/O congestion spots in our fabric with the help of dashboards drawn over the complex correlated data from multiple sources in a single window pane.” Also, the flexibility of CLIP’s dashboard is helping Jain to narrow and filter searches and “incorporate all data from dependent infrastructure elements without worrying about the dependencies.”