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March 28, 2023 By Manas Sharma

What is log management, and why is it important?

What you need to know about retracing your digital footsteps

Logs are like digital footprints or a letter that developers write to themselves for the future. They track every action or event that takes place within your software, applications and IT infrastructures. They provide important information such as when an action took place, host name, type of action, application used and more.

Sometimes you have to retrace your steps or the steps of a user to determine where something went wrong…or where it could start going wrong. Unfortunately, technical teams may have to sift through several systems’ worth of logs because systems and applications create logs for every action, error, file request or file transfer that occurred within them. Log management makes the whole process less painful and time consuming.

How do you manage logs?

There are five steps to log management:

  1. Collect logs. Of course you’ll need to collect the logs before you can manage them. A company’s logs typically exist across servers, applications, infrastructures, network devices, etc. A log collector will collect these logs from all these locations. Loading data into your system as is instead of parsing first will allow you to collect this data quickly because the data going into your system does not have to be organized or uniform until you use it.

  2. Centralize and index your logs. Once you’ve collected your logs, put them in one central location so that your team can easily find and sort through them. Index them to make them searchable.

  3. Search and analyze information within the logs. Your technical team has the option to either analyze the data from these logs manually or use machine learning to spot outliers in patterns.

  4. Monitor the logs and receive alerts of anything unusual. Monitor collected logs for errors or security breaches; use alerts to notify your team when an error is spotted.

  5. Create and share reports and dashboards. Share data via reports and dashboards so that everyone who needs it can see the same information. These reports and dashboards can be used over again without having to recreate them. If you want to limit who can see which reports or dashboards, you can put permissions on them so that only the necessary team members can view them.

To more efficiently follow each of these steps, you will need to take advantage of a log management system.

What is a log management system?

A log management system provides your team with a single place to compile and store all your logs from across servers, applications and devices. From there, you can parse, analyze and organize your logs as needed. These log management tools help DevOps teams in monitoring and improving your system’s performance by identifying issues, bugs and security breaches (or attempted ones) and alerting the appropriate people so that they can address it.

The best log management systems are cloud-based so that they can be accessed anywhere at any time. They also compile all logs into one platform so that you don’t have to sort through several systems and applications to find what you need. Thanks to the elastic scale that cloud offers, they can help manage the seasonality of data.

Sumo Logic offers a cloud-native log management and analytics platform that aggregates log information so you can set up comprehensive, sophisticated monitoring and alerting that employs artificial intelligence to troubleshoot operational issues and detect threats.

Why is log management important?

Log management is important for allowing both your IT and your security teams to:

  • Check the health of applications and infrastructures. With a log management system, you have all your logs in one place and can more easily sort through them to figure out where errors may be. Without a log management system, your team may have to spend hours sifting through various applications or systems or contacting your cloud providers to find the log information you need. Using log management best practices allows you to proactively monitor for potential problems before they arise.

  • Ensure an exceptional customer digital experience by accessing the right data on the reliability and performance of your applications through insights about the user experience. Identify anomalies and resolve issues before users are impacted.

  • Gain insights when there is a security breach. Similar to checking the health of your applications and tech stacks, log management makes it easier to monitor for security breaches because you have all your logs in one centralized location. More visibility means fewer security breaches.

  • Boost customer satisfaction. Should any issues or security breaches arise, your user experience may be impacted. Slower loading speeds, delays in customer service response and complete outages can lead to customer churn. Log management combats these issues.

  • Maintain compliance with policies or requirements. Some companies and organizations have to follow certain cybersecurity, privacy, financial recording or reporting guidelines. Those who don’t comply with their industry’s regulations may face fines, loss of licensing or even imprisonment. Log management helps organizations remain compliant because they can prove compliance through logs.

To get the most out of your log management, you need the right log management software.

Sumo Logic: the key to retracing your digital footsteps

To more accurately and efficiently retrace your digital footsteps and address problems in your tech stacks, you need a scalable cloud-based SaaS platform that provides data analytics to help your company make your applications more reliable and secure. By aggregating logs in one place Sumo Logic breaks down data silos so that you can better monitor, troubleshoot, detect threats and gain key business insights.

Learn how log management and log analytics can help you build and maintain secure and reliable applications.

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Manas Sharma

Manas Sharma

Principal Product Manager

Manas Sharma is a Principal Product Manager at Sumo Logic responsible for Logs and Log Analytics. Manas has 23+(extensive) years of experience in the technology industry, with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in Networking, Embedded Systems, Network Management and Observability. Manas has grown from an Engineer executing cutting-edge projects to leading various product initiatives as a product manager while working at companies such as Network Programs, Broadcom, 4RF, Symbol and HPE.

More posts by Manas Sharma.

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