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About Rainer Gerhards

Written by Rainer Gerhards on 08.08.2007 at 18:31 Uhr.

Rainer Gerhards

Hi, welcome to my personal page. I am Rainer Gerhards, chief software engineer at Adiscon. I am a bit paranoid, so please do not expect too much personal on this page (just the essentials you will find on the web anyhow;)). The main aim of this page is to provide some of my professional background and serve as a bucket for pointers to interesting content I have created. I have recently started a syslog blog, so if you are up for news on this boring issue, this might be the right place for you.

I am in the IT field since 1983. I have started as a software developer, than turned into a data center guy and then into a data center guy building local area networks. For some years, I have served as a consultant, often as a consultant doing some custom programming. This was an enjoable time, but I am back to pure software development for some years now. Occasionally, I do some consulting, but that's more for the fun of it. During all those years, I was always working close to the system level.

For those interested in these nasty things: I was one of the first CNEs and MCNEs over here (yes, that was Drake portable testing in the beginning, coming once a month to the Novell headquarter...). I also was one of the first Windows NT MCPs, which was quite funny at that time. I am now no longer certified for either, simply because it is not relevant enough to what I am currently doing (and, honestly, I do not really find it important enough...).

I am a member of the ACM, the German Informatics Society, the ISOC, and the IETF syslog working group.

I live in the lovely village of Grossrinderfeld, close to Frankfurt, Nürnberg and Stuttgart. In my personal life, I am a hobby astronomer, interested in all kinds of nature sciences and like to travel. I also try to make everyday living a bit better. In my small environment over here, I try to help out with community work in our small village. I also support a group of gifted children's parents (site in German). If you know a little German, you can also visit my personal web site. Among others, that site contains my german-language pages on the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn as well as an astronomy and space newsletter specifically targeted to kids.

I can be contacted at rgerhards at adiscon.com. 

I am also a (somewhat) frequent blogger, both in english as well as in german.

This page is currently under construction. And as I know myself, it will probably stay in this state for quite some while...

Open Source Projects I am involved in

  • rsyslog - an enhanced syslogd for Linux and BSD natively supporting MySQL and syslog/tcp
  • liblogging - an easy to use logging library for RFC 3195 compliant applications
  • phpLogCon - a web interface to syslog data (not my best project ;))


Many of my publications and talks below are in German language. For these, I have quoted the orginal German titles and also used German format.

  • Using Header Files To Enhance Portability, C User's Journal, January 1990
  • Modulare Fileserver (mit NetWare), PC-Magazin, 22. April 1992, S. 48ff
  • Anatomie einer Mailbox-Einführung, BTS (Basten Verlag), Juli/August 1992, S. 27ff
  • Praxisanforderungen an ein modernes Bürokommunikationssystem, PC-Magazin, 21. Oktober 1992, S. 50
  • Verwaltung heterogener Netze überfordert Netz und Anwender (Netzwerk-Management), Computerwoche, 8. Januar 1993, S. 17f
  • Einfache, effiziente und Schnelle Kommunikation mit Herstellern (Compuserve in der Praxis), PC-Magazin, 10. Februar 1993, S. 62ff
  • Zuverlässigkeit und Stabilität geht vor Benutzerfreundlichkeit (3270-Emulationen unter Windows), PC-Magazin, 17. März 1993, S. 60ff
  • Standardisierung fördert die Produktivität (PC-Einsatzkonzepte), PC-Magazin, 21. April 1993, S. 52ff
  • Was ist bei Einsatz von PC-Standardsoftware zu beachten? (Das europäische Software-Lizenzrecht und seine Auswirkungen für den Anwender), VDMA-Schriftenreihe "Informatik", J. K. Kottenbrink, J. Busse, H. Frey, R. Gerhards, L. Heinken, B. Krumme, R. Pesek, M. Schwarz, R. Sperl, B. Stampp, Wessendorf, Februar 1994
  • Lessons learned from the SQL Slammer worm, January 2003, http://www.monitorware.com/Common/en/Articles/SQLSlammer-Learnings.php
  • The Needle in the Haystack - or how to approach log data, February 2003, http://www.monitorware.com/en/workinprogress/Needle-in-Haystack.php
  • Remotely Monitoring IIS Log Files, Rainer Gerhards & Dr. Tina Bird, March 2003, http://www.monitorware.com/Common/en/SecurityReference/Monitoring-IIS-Logs.pdf
  • On the Nature of Syslog Data, March 2004, http://www.monitorware.com/en/workinprogress/nature-of-syslog-data.php
  • syslog-protocol, an IETF Internet-Draft specifying the core syslog protocol format, so far June 2005 (to be updated)

Talks I have given

  • Geschichte einer Windows-Einführung - Hintergründe, Methoden und Bewertungen, VDMA, Tagung "PC im Maschinenbau '92", 1992-09-16
  • Netzmanagement im Mittelstand, Networld Europe, Frankfurt, 1993-05-26
  • Transition to NetWare 4.x - A Review of Features and Benefits, 1-day Tutorial, Networld+Interop, Frankfurt, Germany, 1995-05-31
  • Content-Scanning mit Sybari Antigen, Viren-Informations-Sicherheits-Tage (VIST), Neustadt a. d. Weinstraße, Germany, 2002-11-23
  • Layered Syslog Architecture, 59th IETF Conference, Seoul, Korea, March 2004 (talk given by Chris Lonvick as proxy),  http://www.ietf.org/proceedings/04mar/slides/syslog-1.pdf
  • Logfile-Auswertung, Viren-Informations-Sicherheits-Tage (VIST), Sasbachwalden, 2004-11-26
  • Neue Entwicklungen in Syslog, LinuxTag  2005 conference in Karlsruhe, Germany, 2005-06-24
  • rsyslog: going up from 40K messages per second to 250K, Conference Paper Linux Kongress 2010, Nuremberg, Germany, 2010-09-24

I have wrangled with quite some IT systems since I started in this business. Some of them are long-forgotten, but I really like all of them. Among others, I have worked with

  • IBM Mainframes (VM, VSE, CMS, CICS, SNA)
  • Unisys Mainframes(OS 1100, TIP, CMS, DMS 1100)
  • Bull GCOS/HVX
  • Unix (e. g. AIX, SCO) and Linux
  • Network Technology (Physical Layer, Protocols & Applications)
  • Software Development (all important languages)
  • Novell NetWare and NDS
  • Microsoft Operating Systems and Backoffice

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