Driving Innovation in LogRhythm R&D Hackathons

Twice a year, the LogRhythm Research and Development team hosts an internal hackathon to give our engineers an opportunity to work together, share innovative projects, and get awarded for their ideas. During this event, engineers have a few days to work on any project of their choosing that has some relevance to LogRhythm.

The results from past hackathon projects have produced some amazing things, including everything from prototypes of our most popular features (Warm Nodes), to novel products Phishing Intelligence Engine), to internal tools (phone home functionality in NetMon).

“Hackathons are a time for you to let your imagination run wild and explore risky ideas that have a lot of potential!” according to Joel Holsteen, senior software engineer, LogRhythm.

Each team delivers a five-minute presentation to LogRhythm Engineering to compete for one of several prizes. The judges are a mix of LogRhythm product leadership.

Our most recent hackathon just wrapped up. Here are the winners:

Hackathon Award No. 1: Most Shippable

This category is for projects that are “ready to go” as a product feature. We commit to shipping the feature in a release within the next 12 months.

Winner: Cloud Sync

Presented by Sriram Kosuri and Steve Kaufman

Sriram and Steve built an Elastic plugin that enables off-site replication of Elastic index data. This plugin will help customers who might want to move from an on-prem solution to LogRhythm Cloud. It’ll also open the door for a disaster recovery approach for Data Indexers! Look for this component to roll out later this year.

Runner Up: AI Audit

Presented by Bruce Deakyne and James Clair

Bruce and James developed an innovative approach to auditing AI Engine rule creation, enablement, updates, and retires. The audit trail feeds right back into the SIEM. Bruce says, “It was inspired by customers! After many Feature Requests and community posts on the topic, we figured it would be an achievable goal that would make a lot of customers very happy if it shipped.”

In addition, they developed a SmartResponse™ to gather full rule details to attach to an event created by the audit. We’re evaluating the results now to see if this can be incorporated into the next LogRhythm release.

Hackathon Award No. 2: Most Strategic

This category is meant for technology demonstration projects, deep thinking, and out-of-the-box ideas that help form and drive our strategic technical roadmap.

Winner: Dashboard/Widget Marketplace

Presented by Seth Perry and Nicholas Boll

This team built a proof of concept marketplace for creating, sharing, and importing new Web Console dashboards and Web Console widgets.

Runner Up: Knowledge Base for the Next Gen SIEM

Presented by Taylor Andrews and Chuck Grindel

Taylor and Chuck developed a prototype for using Docker containers as a content delivery vehicle. This research may show up in our new Open Collectors very soon!

Hackathon Award No. 3: Best Internal Tool

This category is meant for projects that improve our ability to develop, test, deliver, and support LogRhythm, or that just make the lives of the R&D team better.

Winner: Easy Sizing Guide

Presented by Steve Kaufman and Brian Ballenger

Steve and Brian developed a new platform sizing tool that takes inputs of message per second (MPS), log size, and time to life (TTL), and then kicks out the target platforms. This new approach to sizing may be rolling out soon to our field team and our partners.

Runner Up: NextGen Deployment Intelligence

Presented by Joel Holsteen and Dan Kaslovsky

This team leveraged our new centralized metrics (a previous hackathon project!) and linked the data to a central platform, complete with analytics and alarms. This new platform may help our support teams proactively diagnose issues on a customer site remotely.

Everyone who participates in the hackathon votes for their favorite projects. This category is reserved for the projects that most resonate with the R&D team.

Winner: NetMon ES and Kibana Upgrade

Presented by Craig Cogdill, Elizabeth Jarret, John Gress, and Josh Cogdill

Most of our NetMon team decided to accelerate its roadmap, developing a version of NetMon running on ES 6 and Kibana 6.6. They also figured out a full data migration path. This project would have won the most shippable category, but we limit the winners to one category only.

Runner Up: LogRhythm HTML Help

Presented by Jennifer Swallow, Kia Braha, Brian Beglin, Shailesh Pandey, and Praveer Kumar

The team completely replaced our static old school .chm help file with a dynamic, web-based approach that has a stronger search and content display. Look for improved help with our next release.

Hackathon Award No. 5: Founder’s Award

Chris Petersen, LogRhythm’s chief product & technology officer and co-founder, and Phil Villella, LogRhythm’s chief scientist and co-founder, determine the recipients of the Founders Award. The award goes to the project they feel best exemplifies LogRhythm in values, culture, strategic direction, and business impact.

Winner: A Turing Test for Logs

Presented by David Shaub and Nehal Kamat

David and Nehal leveraged LogRhythm CloudAI to develop algorithms that can separate out pure system accounts, pure user accounts, and user accounts that are being used for automation (acting like system accounts).

Subscribe to the LogRhythm blog to see more un-constrained innovation from our next hackathon in the fall!