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Learn how to – Log monitoring explained: The benefits of tracking events in apps & infrastructure

Learn how to – Log monitoring explained: The benefits of tracking events in apps & infrastructure.

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When you run a web or a desktop application, it always comes with introducing improvements, fixing bugs, and investigating ad hoc cases when something is not working as expected. Keeping event logs that gather the application data is of great help for diagnostics and troubleshooting. But to take full advantage of logging events, it’s necessary to organize log monitoring. 

If you consider the application logs, most probably you will want to have it in real-time to ensure the high uptime and keep log statistics to monitor overall system health. Usually, small teams start with manual log monitoring, but when there are many events and places they are coming from, it gets harder to keep everything organized. Here’s where the necessity of automation tools comes into play. 

Automation tools for log monitoring, like Papertrail’s software, can help you spend less effort on monitoring and receive more value from gathering the logs as it allows filter the logs and search archive if a need would be. You can also find even more specialized tools, such as Loggly and Appoptics, which focus on monitoring Kubernetes clusters.

Let’s dive deeper into the benefits of introducing log monitoring for your application infrastructure:

Centralized management 

With log monitoring, you will gather all the application events in one place, so your team can save time searching for necessary log entries. No surprise here, as it’s much easier to detect the root cause of the issue when you don’t need to collect small pieces of information scattered all over the system one by one. It also makes bug fixing and handling critical incidents more effective. 

A broader view on the system performance

By keeping the log statistics and analyzing the number of downtimes, critical failures, and errors, you can receive a broader picture of the system stability. This will allow you to outline problematic areas in your application and focus on fixing them. 

Optimized work processes 

With automated log monitoring, you do not need to allocate additional workforce as you would do for the manual monitoring mode. Thus there will be no need to have someone keeping an eye on them 24/7. To make sure nothing is missed, it’s possible to configure log processing depending on your needs. This may be separating errors and warnings from other logs and setting up custom alerts, so your team members will be notified only in cases that require some actions.

Improved Security 

Monitoring security logs improves the security of your application. When you collect data on authentication, authorization, access logs, file upload patterns, etc, and set up automatic actions based on them (e.g locking an account after three failed logins), you can track and prevent security breaches. In the case of centralized log monitoring, the data is kept on a separate server. So, even if the slightest security incident happens, it will be easy to track its source and mitigate the risks.

Before deciding on the solution, you will use, don’t forget about the primary research and comparing several options against the main criteria. These include but are not limited to compliance with personal data protection laws, consolidating logs from different places, charts and graphs dashboards for visual data representation, and last but not least, system backups (preferably in the cloud, for more reliability). There are tons of tools available on the market that enable automation log monitoring with different functionality, both free and paid ones, so you can pick up the one that corresponds to your budget and your organization’s needs. 


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