Published on August 22nd, 2018 | by Sunit Nandi0
How to Choose the Right Log Management Tool
With today’s advancement of distributed systems, the management of log data has become so complex. Cloud-based systems, micro-service containers, hardware, servers and other systems continue to generate huge volumes of log data that demand an advanced level of management.
Without this, the use of logs in monitoring, debugging, support and troubleshooting will not be any effective. Luckily, you don’t need to manually sift through the plain text log files any longer because there are numerous log management tools at your disposal.
Log management analyzers sift through your logs line after line to give you a better view by aggregating similar errors, generating graphs or simply giving you contextual data of when events happened.
Considering the importance of a good log management strategy in your expanding infrastructure, you will need to get it right when choosing a log management tool. So, how do you go about choosing the right one?
Ease of use
If you think that log management is the preserve of the tech geeks, then you are wrong. With a good log management tool, you actually need very little knowledge to understand and monitor your entire IT infrastructure.
This is the case when you use a tool that gathers all log data in one place and has built-in alerting and reporting features. The charts and dashboards should also be configurable to make it easy to monitor and understand your metrics.
The tool should be easy to setup irrespective of an existing logging setup and with a user interface that is intuitive and simple to use.
The type of logs that your infrastructure generates
What type of log data does your infrastructure generate and what is their overall volume? There are different logging formats including Syslog, Windows Event Logs, Netflow and SNMP and even small organizations are capable of generating dozens of them.
While log management tools normalize these formats, your tool should be able to analyze a well-arranged view of comprehensive information across many different sources. You may also have to look at the languages and platforms, integrations and prices that are associated with each.
Self-hosted or Cloud?
Cloud logging management has gained popularity in recent years as businesses and enterprises of all sizes continue to move their infrastructures from on-site to either hybrid or completely cloud-based system.
This comes with the advantages of low cost, easy implementation, and storage where it can handle large bursts of data especially when your logs spike up. You may have a free choice of simply downloading and self-hosting a log management solution, but you should be able to take charge of managing and customizing your tool.
Log management solutions are not the same when it comes to tracking down issues in your IT infrastructure. You need a tool that will pinpoint the cause of your system issues faster and easier.
Depending on the features that you consider important, you may have to choose a tool with a combination of features like excellent log search, easy setup, log aggregation across multiple machines and simple interface against the one that is free, scalable, powerful filtering and proper documentation. Real-time monitoring is also a feature that allows you to detect issues as they occur and this allows system administrators to respond faster.
For successful log management, you will need a good log management tool and adherence to good logging practices. No one solution has the answer to everything, but each has its own robust capabilities so that you can choose depending on your needs. The good part is that these solutions have a free trial period for you to test and see if it is the right one for you.