In this article, we will go through the importance of logging for any kind of application, and what does it take to have a good logging framework put in place in your DevOps pipeline. We will discuss quite a few tools today and also see what advantages these tools bring to the table if they are put in your DevOps pipeline. We will also see the better patterns that we ought to follow for providing all the necessary details for someone who tries to understand if there are any issues and at the same time we will also try to understand how not to overdo something of these kinds where the crucial business data gets spilled all over your application logs using any such log frameworks.
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Logging is a trivial part of the whole software development process, can sometimes be ignored or given the least priority. But let me tell you, from where (the experience and the background) I come, it means a lot to understand what caused an error and what is the sequence of events that caused this. This information is very crucial as the second occurrences of these kinds of issues can be comfortably be suppressed/resolved, if there is a right tool that takes up the responsibility of getting these details to the concerned people. Having said that, let us not delay any further and try to get through the applications/tools and also see their advantages as such.
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With that brief introduction to DevOps and also after understanding the importance of a logging framework, let us now take a look at the available software tools that can suit your DevOps pipeline. We will try to introduce you to the product and then also provide some of the practical advantages that are identified while using the tool as such. Without any further delay, let us get going with the various tools that we are going to analyze today:
Papertrail is a centralized log management tool that helps in tracking down customer problems, error messages, and application requests. It is a tool that is aimed to reduce the burden on the safety compliance side and also aimed to save a business time, money. The same features are also provided in the mobile versions of iOS and Android as well for businesses to check on health and safety requirements. The tool enables us to create and manage thousands of records with utmost ease and also in very lesser amounts of time when compared to the manual inputs of the same.
The platform can act as a hub to almost all the requests like safety inventory, to-do lists, and inspection records and etc. Alongside that, the tool also handles scheduling the mandatory inspections by recording and also by sharing the useful information that it gathers with the respective teams. It has the ability to pass on the responsibility to the concerned teams with little customization from our end either in the configuration or extending the capabilities of the tool itself to make every one of its attempts accountable. Folder access can also be restricted, making it easier to manage users and teams.
Following are some of the advantages of using Papertrail, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
Now bringing our discussion to the next DevOps tool from the exhaustive list is Scalyr, it is a log management service that is capable of aggregating tons of loads of data per day and at the same time searching humongous amounts of data per second. In very simplistic terms, Scalyr is said to be a platform that is used for high-speed server monitoring and log management. The app has been brought to us (for the common public) by the makers of Google Docs, and with it, they’ve brought us the speed and ease of use to this robust server monitoring tool.
Scalyr quickly finishes all the queries fired to it within seconds and the plus point to this is that you don’t really have to go through the pain of learning a new language. Log aggregator module of Scalyr takes up the responsibility of collecting logs (application, web, process, system) and manages their volume by filtering for all sensitive and noisy logs before these are processed to the server. The system then analyzes this data and summarizes the same to the end-users as interactive reports, visualizations.
Following are some of the advantages of using Scalyr, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
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Logz.io is an open-source log analysis platform with a combination of features from ELK (Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana). It is a simple, secure, and scalable service on the cloud for Organizations to take advantage of. It also provides advanced enterprise-grade enhancements and features over and above the ELK stack such as the alerting, user control, archiving, and pre-baked Kibana visualizations that are tailor-made for specific log types. One of the best features that this tool comes up with is the ease of setting it up. It has the provision and also allows to ship logs as many as the Organizations feel that they are needed to secure the data, accessibility to the data generated, and also on providing high availability.
Logz.io as a tool also applies advanced machine learning techniques to reveal critical and uncovered errors and exceptions in real-time along with actionable data for faster resolution. The tool also provides a range of analytics tools and optimization tools which help Organizations reduce the overall logging expenses as the data tend to grow on progression.
Following are some of the advantages of using Logz.io, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
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Fluentd is an open-source data collector, which lets you unify data collection and consumption for better use and understanding of data. Fluentd attempts to solve the problem of collecting the data from various sources and also to unify the formats of all the log files that are generated by various systems of the whole architecture. There are two things that Fluentd does in order to solve the problem as explained earlier – It provides a unified logging layer to separate data sources from backend systems and the next provide a plugin-based architecture that allows us to pretty much do whatever we want with those logs.
Firstly with the unified logging, it provides a single standard format for logs (in the JSON format), and secondly, with the additional plugins, there is a possibility to customize the view even further. With this, we now get machines to handle logs and add the necessary intelligence that helps in deciding when human intervention is required. There is always a possibility to deploy the same in a distributed system to handle all the log requirements.
Following are some of the advantages of using Fluentd, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
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TIBCO LogLogic is a Log Management Intelligence technology that shows a way to universal visibility and control over your data. Comes along with a suite of different products that cater to different requirements from the Tibco suite of products, shines its way on Production when used in conjunction with them. Having said that, there is a tremendous amount of value that is trapped within these logs and machine-generated data in the IT purview. Hence the need for a tool that understands the sensitivity of the data that is being handled and also the care that it should be taking.
Tibco LogLogic log management intelligence helps us to unlock and uncover the unexplored areas and also the value of all such data irrespective of the data being generated physically, virtually, or on a cloud. All of the data can be stored in a centralized location or place, leverage the same to gain actionable details from it. These details can be further provided to Tibco if LogLogic is working with other products from the same suite of products or to 3rd party tools with which is working.
Following are some of the advantages of using TIBCO LogLogic, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
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vRealize Log Insight is yet another open-source tool that delivers heterogeneous and highly scalable log management tools. It comes with intuitive, actionable dashboards, analytics, and broad third-party tool extensibility features as well. The tool in itself provides deep operational visibility and also provides quicker troubleshooting across all physical, virtual, and also in all cloud environments. vRealize Log Insight has the ability to add structure to your unstructured log data and also at the same time promotes the rapid troubleshooting process without even having any prior knowledge of the data itself.
Following are some of the advantages of using vRealize Log Insight, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
Raven, Sentry’s Java Client supports most of the existing major frameworks like Log4J, Log4J2, and Logback with Slf4J and also java.util.logging. There is also a provision to send events directly to Sentry which then helps in logging them for us. Setting up Sentry for Java with Logback, for example, needs to have a certain number of dependencies to be handled via Maven or manually, and with that you are good to go.
Following are some of the advantages of using Sentry, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
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Logstash is a centralized data processing unit of all types which enables the processing of any kind of data from any kind of source at all. It also takes up the responsibility to normalize the varying schemas and formats from various other incoming systems. It extends to the custom log formats pretty quickly and also has the ability to add plugins for custom data sources. There is every possibility for us to cleanse and democratize the data for diverse needs such as downstream analytics or visualization use cases. Capabilities of Logstash are not just limited to log collection and can be extended way beyond that use case.
Following are some of the advantages of using Logstash, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
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SumoLogic, yet another tool that can be classified into tools that bring in power and mettle into the DevOps chain of tools. It enables an enterprise to build analytical power that helps transform daily operations into more intelligent business decisions going further. All in all, in layman's terms, provides artificial intelligence into your orthodox applications. This tool simplifies the way we collect the logs and machine-generated data and analyze them further in order to gain deeper visibility across the whole application and also thereby on your full infrastructure stack. With the help of this tool, there is every possibility for us to accelerate the modern-day application delivery, monitoring, and troubleshooting in real-time and thereby improving security and compliance processes.
Following are some of the advantages of using Sumo Logic, let us now take at each and every one of them:
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Loggly is a cloud-based log management service that is aimed to provide application intelligence delivered to your applications on Cloud. Having said that, it is also classified as a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution for your entire log management and data management. With the help of this service, you will be able to bring logs from the entire infrastructure to a single place and perform a tracking activity or an analysis altogether. Since that Loggly is a managed service altogether, there is no need for any further hardware or software requirements from the customer’s end and provides a provision to scale basis on the customer operations.
Loggly is a best-suited tool that fits technical operations, development, customer service, and even for product management teams. Anybody who wants to gain some insights using just the log data might want to use this service named Loggly. Most of the top used uses of this service are troubleshooting issues, application issues, transaction correlation, deployment monitoring, application analytics, and alerting.
Following are some of the advantages of using Loggly, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
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Graylog is an open-source centralized log management tool that can be comfortably called an alternative to Splunk. Graylog captures, stores real-time search and analysis against loads of machine data (that gets generated from any part of your IT infrastructure). Graylog’s other feature is the Audit Log capability, wherein it records and stores all the actions that are performed by a user or administrator which do make changes to your Graylog system. There is a provision of an archiving functionality in Graylog that allows to store everything older than 30 days on slow storage and allows only to re-import into the Graylog system when it is really required.
Following are some of the advantages of using Graylog, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
In this article, we have seen a brief introduction to DevOps Log Analysis Tools as a process and also the importance of a logging tool in the DevOps pipeline, as it gets tougher and tougher to find out the exact root causes for issues when your application grows bigger. We have also tried to understand what applications or tools can fit in, in this area of DevOps and what are the advantages that each of these tools brings to the table. Hope you have got all the information that you were looking for, from this article itself but it is suggested to visit the parent websites for the specific product that you feel like adding to your DevOps pipeline for all the other required details.
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Ravindra Savaram is a Content Lead at Mindmajix.com. His passion lies in writing articles on the most popular IT platforms including Machine learning, DevOps, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, RPA, Deep Learning, and so on. You can stay up to date on all these technologies by following him on LinkedIn and Twitter.