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August 15, 2015By Daniel Cogan

Centralizing Your Application Log Data

As an application developer, you know how important it is to monitor the health and behavior of your application. In addition to catching stack traces, you know that logging custom app events and metrics will tell you a lot more about what’s happening within your app than simply relying on external observation. Which is why your application logging library is so critical to your app and service.

Your application may be deployed on premises, or on in the cloud. It may be deployed to an IaaS or a PaaS solution such as AWS, Azure or Heroku. Maybe you’re also using a container management tool like Docker. How can you make sure that you continually have visibility into all of your application logs when your application itself could be spread across multiple instances? There is a strong chance that you don’t want to have to worry about how you are managing this mass of distributed application data. You want to focus on developing your app, and not thinking about installing and configuring services to collect and manage application logs and metrics.

For an application with any amount of scale, the simplest and most flexible approach to keep track of these logs and metrics generated by your application is to aggregate them in a centralized location. By sending them directly to a SaaS based monitoring solution, your data will not only be centralized but additionally you will be able to search, analyze and visualize it with custom graphs and dashboards. By doing this, your application is entirely self contained, and is portable across environments and deployment architectures independent of your log collection process. This is also the most DevOps friendly approach because the solution is entirely managed by the application team, and there is no need to manage and maintain a separate production infrastructure simply to monitor your production app.

Engineering teams who rely on SumoLogic to fulfill this role of an all-in-one application monitoring system recognize the necessity of the “direct-to-cloud” approach for in-app logging. And as a result, the Sumo community has helped create solutions for multiple popular logging libraries. The two most recent are custom appenders for the .NET Nlog and Log4net libraries. These appenders can be found on Sumo’s GitHub page along with other open-source projects from the Sumo community (Sumunity?). Application logging integration is also available for Log4j, NodeJS, Docker, Drupal, Fluentd, Dropbox and AWS Kinesis and Cloudwatch. All of these custom logging options extend the capability of Sumo’s generic HTTP Collection API which can be be used for application logging in any language.

Choose a SaaS based application monitoring and troubleshooting solution that makes it easy for you to send your custom application data directly, with whatever technology you might be using.

Help us out by Contributing! If you have developed an Integration with Sumo Logic’s Cloud APIs, please tweet about it to @sumologic, and we will set you up with some cool Sumo Logic gear.

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Daniel Cogan

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