Startup Of The Week: LogRhythm Makes Logs And Events Dance For IT

Log and event management are critical to security and network operations, and a must for compliance.
Reviewing log data is like going to the gym--everyone should do it more often. LogRhythm's log and event management appliances make it easy to collect, analyze, and archive logs from many sources. Administrators can mine logs to troubleshoot problems, get real-time security alerts, and comply with regulations. --Andrew Conry-Murray

Petersen and Villella see gold in log data

Petersen and Villella see gold in log data

HEADQUARTERS: Boulder, Colo.

PRODUCTS: LogRhythm 4.0

PRINCIPALS: Chris Petersen, co-founder and CTO; Phillip Villella, co-founder and chief scientist; Andy Grolnick, president and CEO

INVESTORS: Access Venture Partners, The Colorado Fund, Croghan Investments

EARLY CUSTOMERS: Kroger, AIG, Coalfire Systems

LogRhythm straddles two categories--log management and security event management. SEM products generally focus on real-time security activity, while log management products store logs for review or historical reporting. LogRhythm does both. The latest version supports logs from financial systems to identify suspicious transactions.

Co-founder Petersen literally bet the ranch on LogRhythm. "I sold my house and funded the company based on that," he says. He and Villella wanted to focus on building the product rather than courting VCs. Petersen was formerly a senior consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Villella has a doctorate in condensed matter physics. Much of his thesis research focused on building software for numerical simulations and data analysis--good training for log management.

LogRhythm competes in a crowded market. LogLogic, Q1 Labs' Slim, and Splunk are leaders in log management. ArcSight, Intellitactics, NetForensics, and SenSage are major SEM players.

Log management has become a hot topic. Many regulations and compliance initiatives, such as the credit card industry's PCI standards, require log collection and review. Compliance and security teams are usually the first groups in a company to call on LogRhythm, but it doesn't stop there. "We show them other ways they can use the product, and the ROI goes up," Petersen says. He predicts that network operations groups will be a major opportunity for the company in the next two years.

This story was updated March 31 to correct the spelling of Chris Petersen's name.

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