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LogLogic adds open-source foundation

Software company hopes open-source tool will be useful to others and ultimately boost sales of its own products.

LogLogic plans to release an open-source project called Project Lasso on Monday in a bid to boost its existing business selling software designed to extract useful information from server log files.

The Lasso software runs on a central server and harvests information from log files on Windows servers in a computer network, said Andy Lark, chief marketing officer for the San Jose, Calif.-based company. At that point, higher-level software can use the information for a variety of tasks--ensuring computer system compliance with federal regulations, confirming the completion of required system maintenance, or scrutiny to see if an employee transferred data out of the corporate network.

LogLogic hopes the Lasso project will prove useful to people building software that needs to scrutinize logs--and that the spread of the free software will lead to more sales of its own higher-level analysis and compliance-monitoring products.

Lark likened Lasso to a dam that collects water in the process of generating hydroelectric power. "Nobody makes money from collecting water. You make money by converting it to energy. We make money by converting log data to useful information," Lark said.

The project is based on another open-source log-monitoring package called Snare, but LogLogic programmers have significantly departed from that origin over the last seven months. For example, they adapted it to run on a central server so it wouldn't tax the processors of individual machines whose logs are monitored, Lark said.

The software is governed by the General Public License (GPL). LogLogic's products compete with other products, including Splunk and Microsoft's Windows log management software.