log-management

Sanat Singha is a technical writer, an editor, a blogger and a web marketing consultant. Contact him at wsigmas@gmail.com

Development job in a distributed environment is a big pain. You got to work on a pile of data, maintain billions of log messages, track issues across hundreds of tools and applications and do more. The tasks are laborious, time-consuming and can make you work like a watchdog for every data you want to track across the work logs.

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There are better ways of doing things.

Before we know them in detail, let us ask some basic questions to application developers:

  • How do you capture, record, store and monitor development logs in your organization?
  • How do you handle a multitude of logs sourced from a variety of applications using Linux, Windows, Syslog-ng, Logtash?
  • Do you have a centralized log tracking system that supports log entries from web browsers and Javascript clients?
  • Does your log handler support Python Loggings, GoLang loggings, Winston loggings, and application environments using .Net, PHP, Ruby on Rails, etc.?
  • Can you easily ship ELB, S3, CloudTrail, VPC, CloudFront and CloudWatch logs?
  • How do you send and parse any access log files – be them the HTTP Access log (Apache and NGinx), PHP Zend log, or PHP Symphony 2 with Monolog?
  • Is your current log management system device-independent? You may capture logs from both iOS and Android devices alternatively?
  • How do you generate meaningful reports from thousands of logs and make the best use of them for your clients?
  • Do you have the access to faceted search, granular search at log level or real-time search for complex queries?
  • Is there a better way to consume and process bulk data from varied sources and then generate vital insights for key business decisions?

Without deploying a centralized and efficient log management framework that syncs with cross-technology applications and popular loggers, achieving these goals is not possible.

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Developers need easy and quick fixes

Today, organizations adopting DevOps need advanced log management features. They need to overview all the application environments, log entries and engage in precise transaction tracking. Technology-agnostic log handling system has become the need of the hour.  Developers cannot afford to waste time in configuring the logging mechanism for every new technology being introduced.

A good log handling system should have a wide range of built-in integrations with all popular technology frameworks. It must support retrieving log information from any traditional log generation tool driven by any technology.

Dashboards are the integral part of log system

Real-time alerts, clickable and configurable dashboards, cross application-tracking are the other prerequisites to analyze logs in team collaboration. The objective is to help developers automate deployment fixes in less time and produce better quality code.

Manual process is cumbersome

Application Developers have a tough time maintaining web logs, event logs, network logs, syslogs, threshold logs, and audit trails for their day-to-day activities. They spend hours analyzing key metrics and values pulled out of the log data. Consolidated reporting on log messages is also important to monitor performance and process efficiency.

Variety in technology is a bar

Web applications are built on a variety of technology platforms. These platforms use different programming languages like Java, .Net, Python, PHP, and Ruby on Rails. They have their own way of producing logs with different level of accessibility which makes log management even a bitter experience.

So how do you create an amazing log management platform that does every job for you and makes your life easy?

Self-hosted solution is not the right approach

Developing and maintaining log management system on your own is definitely not the solution. Your own custom log management tool may not include best-of-breed features – something that experts can do better and faster than your in-house team. Moreover, the core job of a development team is to write better quality codes – not to get involved in stereotype log capturing and storing job.

There are open source software you can use to develop a log management system. But the process can be too complex. Again, it is not a good idea to put money and skills into doing something you are not confident about or are not worth putting effort at.

Getting into the right sustainable solution

Logmatic – a smart log management tool capable of funneling all logs, metrics and tracking issues from a multitude of data across systems gets the job done.  With Logmatic.io, you can collect, parse, view and analyze logs from almost any application using any platform, any technology or existing log handling systems.

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Logmatic is a powerful proprietary software that helps you get overall insights of your log library as well as trace any single log for issue fixing and performance monitoring.

How Logmatic supports cross-platform logging

Logmatic.io acts as a one-stop solution for capturing log data across a variety of platforms. Whether you need to collect and accumulate logs from blogs, websites, micro-blogging sites, social media sites, forums, community portals or any application on the web, Logmatic fully supports your data harnessing job. Even a pro developer would definitely struggle here.

There are a number of ways developers can send data to Logmatic.io – manual, through applications as well as via log shippers. You can directly send logs to Logmatic from Linux (RSysLog), Windows (via log shipper Nxlog), Syslog-ng (an open source log shipper), as well as using Logstash (a logging and parsing tool) and Fluentd (through a plug-in fluent-plugin-logmatic).

Logmatic.io has developed integrations with multiple tool technologies which make it a universal hub for handling entire information log across teams, departments and organizations.

Now with Logmatic you can send

  • Complex Java logs to Logmatic through direct JSON logging with Log4j2
  • Log entries to Logmatic using web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, IE and JavaScript clients
  • Logs, statistics and events from Docker
  • Python logs to Logmatic using a proper JSON formatter and socket handler
  • Logs directly to Logmatic from Go-Golang
  • .Net Logs by enabling your logging library log into JSON

Logmatic has built-in integrations with PHP -Monolog based application, PHP-Zend log based application, and Ruby on Rails which helps in direct streaming of those logs to Logmatic in JSON format.

Logmatic.io not only excels in log handling but also transforms heterogeneous data into consolidated meaningful reports and dashboards. It has the ability to recognize and parse data using custom parsing rules. This capability makes tracing particular information a lot easier. The dynamic and unique tagging also help developers organize, categorize and find needful information from technology stack of any nature and volume.

The Take Away

If you really want to test how the Logmatic platform works for you, there is a single step you need to follow. Visit http://logmatic.io/, sign up for a free account and enjoy the two-week trial. If you are happy using the tool and it unloads your job loads, just own it.  For a better understanding of how Logmatic supports integrations with varied technologies, read the documentation.