Channel technologies, MSP

LogicNow Big Data for MSPs: One Year Later

Dana Bullister
Dana Bullister
LinkedIn: HarmonyPSA Chairman Alistair Forbes

While much of the IT channel was late to big data, LogicNow certainly timed the wave very well. The MSP-centric software company, now part of SolarWinds MSP, quietly built a data scientist team in recent years. Then, LogicNow unveiled LOGICcards roughly one year ago this week.

The vision was simple: LOGICcards essentially is a big data and machine learning platform. Based on data from millions of managed nodes worldwide, LOGICcards can predict which IT services a small business will need next, Data Scientist Dana Bullister told me during the platform's launch.

Plenty of big IT vendors have strong big data and cognitive computing brands. You certainly know IBM Watson and perhaps you've heard about HP Enterprise's The Machine. But LOGICcards is something a bit different. MSPs don't need to hire a bunch of data scientists to use the technology. Instead, LogicNow handles all the R&D and IQ work -- and then unlocks the results for MSPs to help build their businesses.

LogicNow LOGICcards: First-Year Milestones

But how is LOGICcards performing in the market? It sounds like LogicNow has made continual progress with the platform over the past year. A roadmap with a range of enhancements surfaced in November 2015. And SolarWinds' buyout of LogicNow, announced in June 2016, will surely connect the dots between the machine learning system and SolarWinds' additional management products, including the SolarWinds N-able family.

Managing Director Alistair Forbes is working on the overall unified roadmap, which includes LogicCards. "In our mind, LOGICcards has always been the first step on the analytics journey and we are building out the next phases of that at the moment," said Forbes." We’ll have some more developments to share in this area as we go through the remainder of this year."

Among the platform's key directions, LogicNow has been building out the "diversity and sophistication of available LOGICcards such to cater to the often complex needs of our MSP users," adds Bullister. In addition to more refined modeling, that has also involved integrating data sources from outside the company's core remote monitoring data sets, she notes.

An Example LOGICcard: Typosquatting

For example, a new "Typosquatting" card (below), scans external, publicly available domain registration data and combines this with customers' business information to determine whether bad guys are registering domains similar to MSP-managed domains. Those rogue users, in fact, may intend to impersonate email identities to commit identity theft, seek confidential information, or attempt device compromise.

"This especially subtle and dangerous behavior has been -- and still is -- actively employed by those with malicious intent," Bullister says. "LOGICcards is the first instance of which I am aware that uses machine intelligence to proactively warn users of potential threats of this nature."

Other cards leverage LogicNow's data on dashboard user IPs -- along with automated algorithms -- to flag instances of anomalous behavior that could point to account compromise.

Like a virtual banker handing out Monopoly cards, Bullister emailed me screen shots of numerous LOGICcards that the company has developed over the past year. The key takeaway: The BI system isn't just about data monetization. It also focuses quite heavily on corporate asset protection.

Big Data for the IT Channel

Even before we launched ChannelE2E in September 2015, Amy Katz and I were on the road at big data-oriented conferences -- watching and wondering if/when channel partners would start to show up.

There certainly are global systems integrators and boutique consulting firms at Strata+Hadoop World, Hadoop Summit and other BI events. And if you poke around conferences like Continuum Navigate 2016, you'll see companies like BrightGauge promoting analytics tools to MSPs.

No doubt, channel partners are making progress with BI and Big Data. LogicNow and LOGICcards deserve plenty of credit for driving the discussion and associated adoption over the past year.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.