Data logging is often talked about as a helpful tool that you can use when trying to maintain your various servers, databases, and other systems that go into an application. So, what is data logging and what does it do that helps you maintain your applications more easily?
Data Logging Defined
Generally speaking, data logging is the recording of data over a period of time by a computer system or a special standalone device that can be tailored to a specific use case. The recorded data can then be retrieved and analyzed to help determine if things ran smoothly during the time the data was being recorded and to help identify what happened if there were any issues that would be in need of further attention. Stand-alone data loggers are used in many familiar environments to gather information such as weather conditions, traffic conditions, wildlife research, and much more. These devices make it possible for the recording of data to take place 24/7 and automatically, without the need for a person to be present with the data logger.
A data logger for a weather station. Source: Wikipedia.
For instance, when performing wildlife research, it can be beneficial to have such automated logging, as wildlife may behave differently when one or more humans are present. For the purposes of application monitoring, data logging records information pertinent to the maintenance of the infrastructure that is required for an application to run.
How Data Logging Helps With App Maintenance
When maintaining apps, it is always helpful to know when and where something went wrong. In many cases, such logging can help you avoid problems by alerting you that an issue may arise soon (a server beginning to respond slowly, for instance). Data logging can also help you keep track of statistics over time, such as the overall uptime, the uptime of specific servers, average response time, and other data that can help you tweak your applications for optimum uptime and performance.