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Why We Love Log Management (and You Should Too)

· Big Data Zone

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[This article was written by Andrew Capland.]

It doesn’t matter if your title puts you in Ops, Dev, or DevOps, being able to track down the big insights from your data is the secret-sauce every engineer is looking for. Collecting the data is a step in the right direction, but organizing, tagging, monitoring, and reporting from the data provides the insights necessary to make business decisions.

Log data is a huge piece of that puzzle, and a good log management tool can really help your business run more efficiently. Our team loves log management, and internally, we use log data for a wide variety of use cases: from monitoring our own servers and software, to tracking user’s behavior in our platform, as well as applying anomaly detection to let us know when something important has changed.

There’s a lot of reasons to love log management tools, here are a few of our favorites:

They help minimize downtime in production

If you’re looking to monitor production issues and minimize downtime, a log management tool should be a major force in your tool belt. Everyone in Ops knows how bad it feels, to get that call in the middle of the night, informing you about yet another production issue. It affects your team, your sanity, and most importantly, it affects your users’ experience.

Using a centralized log management tool with key features that help your business; like real-time alerting, negative alerting, anomaly detection, and shareable dashboards will be a huge help. You’ll be able to receive real-time alerts on specific error patterns (or lack-of specific patterns), as well as sudden changes in performance metrics. The quicker you get the alerts, the faster your team can respond and decrease the likelihood of the downtime negatively affecting user experience. All of these features will help to minimize downtime in production for you, and decrease time to resolution for your customers.

creating tags in a log management tool

Root cause analysis & debugging

You know what a major impact production errors have. Between wasted time, low employee morale, and lost business opportunities, the aftermath can really pile up. When an error does occur, it’s usually an all-hands on deck response. But, when you’re done fixing the issue, does your team debug after they occur? If not, you should be using your log data for root cause analysis.

Log Management tools can help you avoid grueling manual efforts, when trying to figure out what exactly caused an issue, by giving you the ability to easily search and filter events, without having to log-in to individual servers or instances. Once you’ve identified the culprit, you can tag specific error(s) or events, and then filter in real-time to ensure they’re not still firing. The more layers of your stack you connect to your log management tool, the more data you can analyze and correlate for debugging and troubleshooting.

Track application performance issues 

Every developer is looking to gain more intelligence on their application performance and eliminate slow response times. Once your app gets a poor perception amongst your users, it can be really difficult to turn around. This puts additional pressure on your teams, and can impact bottom line if not corrected immediately.

You can use log management tools to monitor response times and report on KPI’s important to your business; both on the server side, and the client side. For example, you can log response times from an individual browser or operating system. If your tool has the ability to visualize response times, it can be an extremely effective way get data on the metrics that matter most to your business.

log management tool screenshot

The theme here, is that the more you connect, the more you can improve. Log management gives you the tools you need to improve your business. If you haven’t already started to think about how you can improve your business with a log management tool, it’s time to start researching which one is the right fit for your business needs. If you’d like to take Logentries for a test drive, sign up for our free 30 day trial.

Hortonworks DataFlow is an integrated platform that makes data ingestion fast, easy, and secure. Download the white paper now.  Brought to you in partnership with Hortonworks

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Published at DZone with permission of Trevor Parsons, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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