Table of Contents
Why Cloud is Best For Log Management
Log data is the currency for businesses attempting to evolve in the modern digital world. Massive data flowing across multiple sources and environments must be gathered and utilized to satisfy growing customer demands, stringent compliance mandates, and expanding application needs (cloud, on-premises, containers, etc.). Log analysis provides you with valuable insights into the activities of actual users, changes at the code level, and specific information about what’s happening in your IT infrastructure.
It is conceivable to analyze and manage them manually when you only have a small amount of log data and files that are a few MBs in size. However, managing the sheer volume of logs manually in plain text files becomes a nightmare when the size of the data rises to a few gigabytes or terabytes. Such a log monitoring and management procedure is time-consuming and increases the likelihood of running into human errors when analyzing data points.
The cloud has developed into the new norm and essential strategy for the IT ecosystem. One of the most valuable innovations in current IT and business strategies, according to Gartner, is cloud computing.
Logging and log management, however, are not novel ideas. They have always been a crucial component of managing the IT ecosystem. The tools and services used for log management have also changed considerably over time. It has turned out to be more practical to use cloud services and solutions for managing logs than conventional ones. Let’s examine why using cloud-based log management is preferable to installing on-site solutions.
On-premises vs. cloud log management
There are numerous on-premises sources for the logs produced by servers, operating systems, and software programs that are typically recorded in physical data centers. To gather log data from various servers and systems in one location, on-premises log management calls for a fair amount of manual work. To obtain relevant log files for analysis, additional filtering of this aggregated data is required.
You must determine whether your current on-premises environment is compatible with the new program before implementing it, just as you would before implementing a dedicated system for log aggregation or management. In a conventional setup, any new implementation comes at a high cost to the company. It includes not only the setup and use of the system but also its compatibility and interoperability with other connected systems that are already in place.
However, it is a wise decision to implement an automated cloud log management solution to handle end-to-end processes, from log aggregation to log monitoring for your web applications.
A centralized system for storing and analyzing data records of various processes and transactions is offered by cloud-based log monitoring. By enabling remote logging and automated management capabilities, cloud logging and management solutions, unlike on-prem programs, reduce redundant operational tasks and aid in lowering costs and downtime.
Large log files are stored and monitored independently by cloud-based products or solutions without using up your network’s bandwidth. This eliminates the need for on-site data storage as well as downtime or latency issues, giving you a lengthy data retention period.
In use-case scenarios like log management, where you must take into account cost-effectiveness, ease of use, secure accessibility, scalability, automatic updates, and other factors, cloud-based solutions work best. Before discussing “what a cloud log management solution should look like,” let’s talk about how logs could be useful to web app owners.
Why do web app owners need to analyze and manage logs?
To control large volumes of system-generated log messages in various formats, such as event logs, audit trails, application login records, etc., log management involves a set of procedures and guidelines.
These processes include:
- Log collection (in data files)
- Log aggregation in a centralized system
- Log storage and retention (for a long time)
- Log rotation process in which log files are compressed, transferred, renamed, archived, or deleted when they become outdated to make room for new data
- Log analysis in real-time (usually done using log management tools and platforms)
- Log search and reporting
The primary concerns of web application owners are security, system operations, performance, and regulatory compliance. It’s crucial to monitor event and user activity logs to comply with all of these requirements and make sure all applications are acting as expected. Moreover, log generated by web servers not only collects event data or user activities but also logs error messages, failed communication with other apps, and all the critical information such as:
- incoming HTTP requests
- outgoing responses to respective requests
- response time
- the number of failed login attempts, and more
By using this data to analyze the data, you can detect and fix code-level bugs quickly as well as respond to security threats by running routine health checks on the website or web application. Also, centralized log data helps in achieving compliance requirements and ensuring there are no policy breaches in the application stack so you’re audit ready.
Cloud-based log management solutions—What should be your evaluation criteria?
Cloud logging and management services automate log documentation, data aggregation, incident alerting, and other processes involved. This makes it easier for your IT admins to effectively analyze the information, track changes through audit trails, and respond to anomalies proactively.
A corporate “no-cloud” policy will be as uncommon in 2020, predicts Gartner, as a “no-internet” policy is right now. cloud-first, and even cloud-only, is replacing the defensive no-cloud stance that dominated many large providers in recent years.”
To determine whether a cloud-based software or platform meets your company’s needs, you must thoroughly examine its log management capabilities. Consider the following important factors:
- Speed: The solution must be quick enough to compile log data and turn it into insightful information.
- Scalability: It should be able to handle volumes of log data at scale as your data storage needs continue to grow.
- Security: Log data is as sensitive and critical to your business as any other data. Select a solution to protect end-to-end data—from transit to archival.
- Advanced searching and alerting: Delivering quick and accurate logs you’re searching for from a massive dump of aggregated data is what makes a log management tool efficient. Besides, real-time alerts and custom notifications on specific events are other important features.
SyncCore is an end-to-end cloud log management solution to help aggregate, analyze, integrate, and manage logs from all your critical systems and applications. With real-time log tailing, instant email alerts, and HTTP notifications via webhooks, it offers quick and sophisticated searches (a method of alerting about web app behavior and activities in real-time).