Scalability is the first challenge and biggest concern in architecting the solution. Most likely there will be significant amounts of data logged. Data retention policies and growth must also be considered. Depending on your use cases, large portions of data may need to be held for very long periods of time. Therefore, consideration should be given to balance your company’s tolerance for risk with their taste for capital investment.
ELM systems typically work one of two ways: data intensive, which gathers all data to be analyzed later and thus need to scale accordingly; and limited collection, which has agents gather only the information considered “interesting.” In the case of the former, storage will be a greater concern; for the latter, processing capabilities will need to be stronger to reduce the chances of introducing latency into transaction processing time.
Many ELM solutions do not use a communications protocol that provides delivery guarantee, and instead use protocols, such as UDP, which can result in some of the data getting lost. Technology and process verifications could be additional requirements to be factored into the design.
Of course, having well-defined expectations will determine the perceived success of the implementation. Implementing such a solution in a company that has limited policies and procedures will have little success, as there will be few rules to correlate the activity against. Define your solution delivery success criteria early and make sure what you choose is measurable. Consider using a governance and management framework such as COBIT 5 to guide the initiative.
Some ELMs come with standard rule sets that can accelerate implementation. Recognizing efforts to refine rule sets to reflect your organization’s corporate policies will drive the migration from focused manual intervention to true problem management. In this manner, not only will ELM implementers see a reduction in time spent resolving incidents, but their responsiveness will be seen as more proactive than reactive. As a result, these shops should see a reduction in incident management costs. And of course, when implemented correctly, security issues will reduce overall and compliance abilities will improve.
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