Retrospective Log Viewer & Analyzer

Retrospective

Retrospective against the world

There are basically two types of log analysis solutions: a typical desktop application and a full blown SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) product. At first, both may seem quite similar since when it comes down to essentials, they are all about processing log files. But when you start analyzing specs sheets, you’ll very soon find out that they are actually totally different.

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Retrospective 3.0.0 has become reality

Retrospective 3.0 is out and it’s bigger, faster and better. Version 3.0 brings new looks and a lot of new features.
As the user interface is an essential piece of the user experience puzzle, new Retrospective simplifies the design making it even more practical and convenient to use. I’m sure you’ll like the new icons and general improvements and the overall look and feel.

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Striving for excellence

It’s hard to say exactly when Retrospective Log Analyzer was created. It all started many years ago when some of our staff on a customer site had to deal with a highly complex integration project with hundreds of servers and even more log files created daily by the servers’ software. Of course we tested many open source tools and tried to find an already existing product that would enable a quick configuration of data sources on local and remote servers.  Our expectations were high, though; which we admit. The tool we were looking for had to be able to search logs quickly and present results from different sources in a unified, time-ordered fashion, and narrowing down the criteria and outlining individual elements visually had to be possible. Also we didn’t want a complex SIEM solution but a compact and cost-effective tool!

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When SIEM is too much...

Recently I've noticed that in certain circles everyone seems to be going crazy about SIEM - Security Information and Event Management. Maybe it's not as popular as IT industry's equivalent of Justin Bieber - cloud computing, but it’s still very well known as anytime someone asks for a convenient solution to monitor their server logs, people suggest Splunk, Sumo Logic, XpoLog or a similar product. Sure SIEM does have its advantages but it’s simply not for everyone.

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Retrospective 2.2.0 is out!

Guess what? New Retrospective release is out and it brings some new features to further improve the user experience. Download Retrospective 2.2.0: http://www.retrospective.centeractive.com/windows-log-viewer

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Managing server farm configuration in Retrospective

We are becoming more and more dependent on technology. And it doesn’t look like this will change in the near future. Even if you’re not with Google (estimated around 1 million servers), it’s very probable that you have tens of different servers in your lab. Keeping an eye on so many is itself quite challenging, so you should get Retrospective to tail and search such configurations.

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History of Retrospective Log Analyzer

The Retrospective log analyzer was not born out of an idea we happened to have while contemplating  hypothetical issues. It was initially created to help our staff on customer site involved in the complex work of software development, system integration and operation support. We had an intricate integration project with a multitude of servers such as parallel CRM instances, integration and message broker engines, redundant work-flow servers and, of course, a bunch of COTS and custom applications. As we integrated data and business processes within that environment, every functioning piece of software on our servers created log files.

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Log files and the ugly truth

We are all familiar with the concept of outsourcing, right? You're not the best at dusting furniture and washing the dishes, so you outsource those activities to your significant other - just to put it simply.
In general, companies also decide to outsource to save money, which usually works for them quite well. But this one guy decided to take this idea to another level (micro-outsourcing?) and outsource his very own developer's responsibilities to a whole development team in China for mere 20% of his salary. Brilliant deal for him, not so much for his employer, who basically paid the guy for sitting in the office, doing nothing. I got to give it to him that he must have had some nerve to pull that off...

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Version 2.1.4 - short descriptions of features and improvements

Restrospective 2.1.4 introduces a few usability enhancements as well as new features which influence user experience.
Now you can conveniently open the Profiles tab from the Search tab to configure selected profile.

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Running Retrospective in production environments is safe!

Running Retrospective in production environments is safe!
We have recently been asked  what the runtime requirements of Retrospective are and whether it is safe to use the tool in production environment.
Here's a short elaboration on this topic: Retrospective uses an SFTP client to browse the file system. Then it uses an SSH client to execute the remote commands.
The invoked commands are: head, tail, grep, zgrep, cat, zcat, bzcat, tar, unzip, awk.
No additional tools need to be installed on the servers in order to use Retrospective - the aforementioned commands are the standard tools that are normally preinstalled on an average Linux distribution.

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Try it out now!

We are confident that Retrospective is the best log viewer on the market and we think that you will agree with us after you’ve had a chance to try out all the great features that we’ve built in for you.

Please download the trial version, have a play and we are sure that Retrospective will soon become one of the most invaluable tools in your toolbox!

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