Centralized Log Management
Whether to gain insights, troubleshoot issues, or defend against security threats, developers have always managed logs as a way to gain insights or pinpoint issues. However, as log data is produced by nearly every computing device, application, framework, container, and server, it’s impossible to effectively manage the sheer volume of these logs without centralized log management.
What is Centralized Log Management?
To get a complete view of what’s going on across all network elements, across all locations, it becomes quickly unsustainable to log into each server individually, review logs, and perform grep searches on them, especially when it comes to time sensitive problems like crashed servers or security threats.
Centralized Log Management is a system that aggregates logs from all servers, applications, and networking devices into a single location for easy access, control, storage, and analysis, streamlining the logging process and allowing for a complete overview of your environment.
With today’s reality and demands of five nines, it’s necessary to have a centralized log management solution that covers all four necessary features for your team to search, visualize and quickly diagnose the problem.
4 Components of Centralized Logging
1. Log Collection
2. Log Ingestion
Log ingestion is the process of collecting, formatting, and importing logs from external sources like applications, servers, and platforms. To utilize this data in an insightful way, logs should be formatted properly to include timestamps, input type classification, files and directories, network events, sources, and any other information your organization needs to easily find and understand this data in the future. An efficient log management solution has a robust ingestor service, doesn’t drop any lines and keeps up with large volumes and spikes which inevitably happen when production issues arise
3. Log Aggregation
Centralized logging also includes the ability to consolidate logs from different sources, in different formats in a way that can help team members search, analyze, visualize log data. The log lines need to be displayed in order and no lines should be missing so that a user can jump to specific moments in time to see log details from all sources and servers. Live tail is a way to see the log lines in real time as it comes in to get a heart beat of what’s going on end to end. The ability to efficiently index the logs at this point in the process will result in faster search results.
4. Log Analysis
The best log management system will include various features to streamline logging processes, providing value and insight across all activity. This includes custom parsing, log visualization, smart alerting with context, and even role-based access controls so the right personnel only sees logs that pertain to them. This helps your organization gain actionable insights, determine trends, find, and fix issues in real-time.
3 Steps to a Modern, Centralized Logging Solution
Step 1 – Local Logger
You’re at the first step If you’re logging and checking the files locally for your production application. Awareness is important and getting all the info you need to maintain an application in production will help when something unexpected happens. As the log files grow from megabytes to terabytes, grep will start taking a long time to hop to the moment in time when the problem occurred, so will trying to correlate different files to find out where in the stack the root problem is.
Step 2 – Central Logger
Point logs from your servers, operating system, database, application to a centralized log aggregation system. With LiveTail, you will have a real-time end to end view of your stack, wherever it lives around the world without needing to log into each system. The right centralized logging strategy will give you the ability to quickly jump to the right moment in time, search for log lines and quickly identify the problem, no matter where in the stack it is. Set up notifications and alerts and set up visualizations to quickly identify anomalies in behavior.
Step 3 – Super Logger
Shift into becoming a proactive operations team and organization, noticing anomalies, trends and customer behavior and proactively scaling production resources instead of the vicious break-fix cycle. Start making better estimates and service level agreements towards higher availability and the ability to keep growing and building great products.