Log management in plain text is so yesterday. Despite the fact that plain-text data has its uses, investing in dependable log management tools and systems that can empower your business workflow is the best option for doing in-depth analysis, gathering valuable data about your infrastructure, and ultimately leading to better code quality.
Although they might be a pain to manage, production systems cannot function without logs. Instead of sifting through a maze of text files scattered across your system, it’s far simpler to use a log management application when you’re facing a challenging situation.
Use cases for Log Analysis technologies include security, compliance & audit, IT operations, DevOps, and managed security service provider (MSSP). Log management is essential for effective resource management, troubleshooting of applications, regulatory compliance and SIEM, business analytics, and marketing insights.
Top Log Management Softwares Of 2023:
Splunk is a versatile tool that can receive and process both logs and metrics from various sources. Logs are typically generated by applications, servers, and other systems, while metrics are typically generated by monitoring tools and devices. Splunk can receive and analyze both log and metric data together, providing a comprehensive view of an organization’s IT environment.
One benefit of Splunk is the ability to analyze large amounts of data quickly and efficiently. The platform uses advanced search and indexing capabilities to enable users to easily search and analyze log and metric data. Splunk also includes a wide range of pre-built dashboards and visualizations, enabling users to quickly identify trends and patterns in their data.
- This product boasts a powerful search and analytics language.
- Search-time field extraction beyond parsing at ingestion time.
- It automatically moves frequently-accessed data to fast storage and less-used data to slower storage.
- The free version is limited to 500MB per day, while paid plans are available upon request, starting at $150/month for 1GB.
- The product is mature and offers a wide range of features.
- It provides good data compression for most use-cases, assuming limited indexing.
- It allows users to access logs and metrics in one place.
- The product can be expensive.
- Long-range queries may be slow if indexing is limited.
- It may be less efficient for storing metrics compared to monitoring-focused tools
2. Sumo Logic
Sumo Logic is a cloud-based log management software that offers real-time log and metric monitoring capabilities. Its user-friendly platform allows users to store, search, and analyze logs and metrics from various sources. This makes it easy for organizations to gain insights from their data and quickly troubleshoot issues.
One of its key strengths is its search syntax, which uses a UNIX pipe-like syntax that is both powerful and easy to use. This syntax allows users to define complex search operations, filter data, group data, and aggregate data in real-time. This enables users to gain insights into their system’s performance and identify issues more quickly. In addition to its powerful search syntax, Sumo Logic provides a rich library of pre-built dashboards and visualizations. This makes it easy for users to quickly identify trends and patterns in their data, which can help them optimize their systems and avoid issues before they occur.
- Powerful query capabilities and advanced log analytics features
- With LogReduce, users can easily detect common patterns in their logs
- LogCompare enables trend detection for log patterns.
- The platform also offers centralized management of agents, making it easy to monitor logs from various sources.
- Sumo Logic has a free plan with a daily data ingestion limit of 500MB. Paid plans start at $324 per month and offer 3GB/day ingestion and 10 days (30GB) of storage.
- The software is easy to set up and provides good query and visualization functions.
- It’s also spike-friendly, averaging out ingestion over a month.
- It is not available for on-premises use
- Some users have reported performance issues when querying large amounts of data or experiencing latency delays between sending logs and seeing them in search.
- Additionally, there is no overage support, so higher plan or custom plan is required for a larger quota.
SolarWinds is a software company that offers a variety of tools and services designed for IT operations. One of their key offerings is Log Analyzer, which is a comprehensive logging solution designed to help organizations monitor and manage their IT infrastructure more effectively.
However, SolarWinds is perhaps better known for its acquisition of two popular logging services: PaperTrail and Loggly. PaperTrail is a simple and easy-to-use logging solution that offers a logging experience similar to the terminal. Users can send data over syslog, which allows them to easily tail and search it within the service’s user interface.
In addition to its user-friendly interface, PaperTrail also offers a range of features that make it a popular choice among IT professionals. For example, the service offers real-time log tailing, which allows users to see new log entries as they are added. PaperTrail also offers powerful search capabilities, making it easy for users to find specific log entries quickly and efficiently.
- PaperTrail offers a simple and user-friendly interface.
- The service includes built-in archiving to help users manage their logs more effectively.
- The platform is spike-friendly, as volumes are averaged per month.
- The free plan allows for up to 50MB of logging per month.
- Paid plans start at $7/month and offer 1GB/month ingestion, 1-week searchable storage, and 1-year archive.
- PaperTrail is quick and easy to set up, allowing users to start logging immediately.
- The platform’s intuitive user interface makes it easy to search and analyze logs.
- The service is affordable for organizations with low log volumes.
- PaperTrail does not offer any visualizations beyond log volume.
- Pricing for higher log volumes can be more expensive than other logging services, such as Sematext Cloud.
- PaperTrail charges a +30% overage cost, which is limited to 200% of the base plan
ManageEngine EventLog Analyzer is an on-premises log management software that is designed to help organizations monitor and analyze their log data. The software runs on Windows operating systems, but it is capable of accepting logs from both Windows and UNIX sources. This makes it a versatile tool for organizations that use a combination of different operating systems.
In addition to the typical log monitoring and analysis features such as log search, visualization, alerting, and reporting, EventLog Analyzer also provides some Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) capabilities, particularly for Windows environments. This allows organizations to detect and respond to potential security threats in real-time.
- ManageEngine EventLog Analyzer offers agentless log collection, allowing it to pull events from Windows hosts without the need for additional software installation.
- The software also includes host auto-discovery, making it easy to identify and configure new log sources.
- Query-time field extraction enables users to extract specific fields from log data at the time of query, making it easier to analyze and understand log data.
- Event correlation for threat detection is another key feature of EventLog Analyzer, allowing users to detect potential security threats in real-time, such as brute force attacks based on multiple failed login attempts.
- The free edition of EventLog Analyzer supports up to 5 log sources.
- Paid editions start at $595/year.
- EventLog Analyzer offers good support for Windows logging, making it a powerful tool for Windows environments.
- The software includes common log format parsing out of the box, especially for Windows services such as IIS, DHCP, and MS SQL, saving users time and effort in configuring log sources.
- EventLog Analyzer is only available as an on-premises solution and is limited to Windows operating systems.
- Deploying EventLog Analyzer on multiple servers requires a more expensive “Distributed” license
Datadog is a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that originally started as an Application Performance Monitoring (APM) tool, but has since expanded its capabilities to include log management.
Users can choose to send logs through existing log shippers such as rsyslog, syslog-ng, or Logstash, or use Datadog’s own agent to send logs to the platform. Its log management capabilities are built around the concept of “Logging without Limits™,” which allows users to send an unlimited amount of logs to the platform without incurring any additional costs. This can be a double-edged sword, as it can make it harder to predict and manage costs. However, Datadog’s pay-as-you-use pricing model allows users to only pay for the logs they actually use.
- The log management tool provides a server-side processing pipeline for parsing and enriching logs, along with automatic detection of common log patterns for easier analysis.
- Users can archive logs to popular cloud storage platforms such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, and rehydrate them later as needed.
The pricing model separates processing from storage costs, with processing starting at $0.10 per ingested GB per month and storage starting at $1.59 for 3 days for 1 million events.
- Easy search with good autocomplete (based on facets)
- Integration with DataDog metrics and traces are among the key pros of the tool.
- It is not available on premises.
- Some users have complained about the cost getting out of control due to flexible pricing. Daily processing quotas can be set to mitigate this issue.
Logz.io is a cloud-based log management that provides the ELK stack (Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana) for log collection, processing, and visualization. It accepts logs via Logstash protocol and syslog, and provides a user-friendly interface for searching and analyzing logs using Kibana. In addition to the standard ELK stack features, Logz.io offers advanced features like alerting to notify users about important events in real-time. It also provides additional integrations with other services like AWS, Docker, and Kubernetes to simplify log management for users.
- Built on top of the ELK stack, allowing Logstash protocol for log ingestion and Kibana for visualization.
- Combination of logs and metrics in one place (beta version for metrics as of April 2020).
- Automatically parses common log formats.
- Free plan includes 1GB/day and 1 day retention.
Paid plans start at $82/month+taxes for 2GB/day and 3 days retention.
- Fully hosted service providing ELK stack’s flexibility without the hassle of managing/scale Elasticsearch.
- Pre-built dashboards available as “ELK apps”.
- Easy-to-use UI for defining new parsing rules for server-side parsing.
- No on-premises deployment available.
- API only available with Enterprise plan.
- Unable to combine logs and metrics on the same dashboard, as metrics are visualized with Grafana.
7. Logentries (now Rapid7 InsightOps)
InsightOps, formerly known as Logentries, is a log management tool that was acquired by Rapid7 and integrated into their product line. The platform offers a comprehensive set of features, including the ability to send data via TCP/TLS, which includes syslog. Users can easily search through logs, visualize them, and set up alerts.
In addition to its logging capabilities, InsightOps has a strong focus on security and automation. The platform allows users to correlate log data with security events to identify potential threats, and also provides automation capabilities to help streamline workflows and reduce manual effort.
- Offers a query language similar to SQL.
- Provides a user-friendly interface for search and dashboard creation.
- Provides a monthly volume quota, which makes it easier to handle daily usage spikes.
- Starts at $58 per month, including 30GB of monthly data ingestion and 30-day retention.
- The agent can run on Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems.
- Can automatically parse syslog, Apache, and NGINX logs.
- Provides an affordable solution for users looking for 30-day retention.
- The REST API for searches, alerts, etc. is currently in beta.
- Retention is fixed at 30 days unless users opt for a custom plan.
- The service is not available for on-premises use.
Scalyr is a software platform that helps companies keep track of what’s happening with their computer systems. It does this by collecting and storing logs and metrics – which are essentially data points that tell you what your system is doing. Unlike other similar software that uses an indexing system, Scalyr has its own way of storing this data called a columnar data store.
To make sure everything works properly, Scalyr has its own agent that helps standardize the process of getting the data into the system. This makes things easier for the customers who use Scalyr because they don’t have to worry about different formats or methods of getting the data into the system. Scalyr’s unique approach means they can offer a single solution that works well for all their customers’ needs.
- Scalyr has a powerful query syntax that helps users find what they’re looking for quickly and easily.
- Scalyr brings logs and metrics together in one place, giving users a comprehensive view of their system’s performance.
Scalyr’s pricing is considered reasonable, starting at $35/month for 1GB/day average data ingestion and 7 days retention. Additional data incurs a 10% increase in cost over the “base” volume.
- Scalyr allows users to parse data on the server-side and create custom rules for their logs.
- Setting up Scalyr is easy thanks to its proprietary agent.
- Scalyr provides users with good API access.
- Scalyr is not available for on-premises installation.
- Users are required to install Scalyr’s agent and there’s no support for popular tools and protocols like syslog, although you can send syslog to Scalyr’s agent.
Graylog is an open-source log management tool that provides users with a comprehensive and powerful platform for managing logs. Similar to the ELK stack, Graylog uses Elasticsearch as its storage engine, which allows users to store, search, and analyze log data quickly and efficiently.
What sets Graylog apart from the ELK stack is its architecture. Unlike the ELK stack, which is built from individual components like Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana, Graylog is built as a complete package that provides all necessary log management functions in one unified platform. This means that users can access all of the features they need to manage their logs in one place, without having to deal with the complexity of multiple components.
- Graylog provides a comprehensive package for log processing that includes all essential functions such as collecting, parsing, buffering, indexing, searching, and analyzing logs.
- The platform offers additional features that are not included in the open-source ELK stack, such as role-based access control and alerts.
Graylog is available as a free and open-source solution, with an Enterprise version also available (pricing upon request).
- Graylog is an all-in-one solution that meets the needs of most centralized log management use-cases.
- It is easy to scale both the storage (Elasticsearch) and the ingestion pipeline of Graylog to handle large volumes of log data.
- Graylog’s visualization capabilities are limited when compared to ELK’s Kibana.
- Users cannot utilize the entire ELK ecosystem directly as Graylog has its own API instead of accessing the Elasticsearch API.
GoAccess is a powerful and flexible log analysis and monitoring tool that is designed to work specifically with web log formats such as Nginx, Apache, and Amazon S3. This free and open source software allows users to quickly and easily analyze their web server logs, monitor traffic, and gain valuable insights into their web traffic patterns.
One of the key benefits of GoAccess is its ability to render dashboards directly in your *nix terminal or in your web browser. This allows users to quickly and easily view real-time metrics, track their web traffic, and identify trends or anomalies. In addition, GoAccess also provides detailed reports that can be exported and shared with other members of your team or organization.
- GoAccess is a user-friendly log analysis and monitoring tool that is easy to use and get started with. Users simply need to point it to any supported log file to begin.
- The tool is designed to be lean and efficient, written in C and only depending on ncurses.
- GoAccess specializes in web log formats such as Nginx, Apache, and Amazon S3, but also supports custom log formats.
- Dashboards can be rendered directly in the terminal.
GoAccess is available as a free and open-source tool.
- GoAccess is an effective tool for monitoring key web traffic metrics and gaining valuable insights into web traffic patterns.
- The ability to render dashboards directly in the terminal is a unique feature that provides users with a simple and intuitive way to monitor and analyze their web traffic.
- GoAccess is intended only for web logs, although it does support custom log formats.
- The tool is limited in scale due to its in-memory storage (hash tables) that can spill to disk being the only storage option.
Loki is a log management system that offers an alternative to the ELK stack with a different architecture and trade-offs. Instead of indexing all fields, Loki only indexes specific fields known as “labels.” This approach allows for a different architecture, where the main write component (Ingester) keeps chunks of logs in memory for faster recent queries. As chunks of logs age, they are written to two separate locations: a key-value store (such as Cassandra) for labels and an object store (such as Amazon S3) for the chunk data. Neither of these locations require background maintenance as new data is added, unlike Elasticsearch or Solr which need to perform merges.
When querying older data, users typically filter by labels and timeframe. This filtering process restricts the number of chunks that need to be retrieved from long term storage, making queries faster and more efficient.
- Loki is an alternative to ELK stack that makes different trade-offs. It indexes only some fields (labels), resulting in a different architecture that is faster for recent queries.
- Stores chunks of logs in memory in its main write component (Ingester), making recent queries fast. As chunks get older, they are written in two places: a key-values store (e.g. Cassandra) for labels and an object store (e.g. Amazon S3) for the chunk data.
- Loki offers logs and metrics in the same UI (Grafana), with labels that can be consistent with Prometheus labels.
Pricing is free and open source, and there’s also Grafana Cloud, offering Loki as SaaS with on-premises option. Prices start at $49 for 100GB of log storage (30 days retention) and 3000 metrics series.
- Ingestion is faster compared to ELK due to less indexing and no merging.
- Has a small storage footprint because data is only written once to the long term storage, which typically has built-in replication.
- Uses cheaper storage options, such as AWS S3.
- Queries and analytics for longer time frames are slower compared to ELK.
- Offers fewer log shipper options compared to ELK, such as Promtail or Fluentd.
- Loki is less mature than ELK and can be more difficult to install.
Logstash is part of the Elastic Stack, which includes Elasticsearch and Kibana, and is designed to work seamlessly with them. Its primary function is to ship data to Elasticsearch, where it can be searched, analyzed, and visualized using Kibana. Logstash supports a wide variety of data sources and has over 200 plugins, making it easy to ingest data from various sources such as databases, web servers, file systems, and messaging systems.
With Logstash, data can be transformed and enhanced using filters such as grok, mutate, and geoip. These filters can parse data, extract fields, add or remove fields, and enrich data with additional information. Once the data is processed, it can be sent to a defined output, such as Elasticsearch, a file, or a message broker. It provides a variety of input plugins to receive data, including file, syslog, TCP, UDP, and HTTP. It also supports various output plugins such as Elasticsearch, file, stdout, and many others. In addition, Logstash can be configured to scale horizontally using multiple instances and can be managed using tools like Ansible, Puppet, or Chef.
- Offers an extensive range of built-in plugins for input, filter/transform, and output.
- Provides a flexible configuration format, allowing users to add in-line scripts, include other configuration files, and more.
- Logstash is Free and Open Source.
- Enables users to start easily and scale to complex configurations, making it versatile.
- Its flexible nature makes it suitable for a variety of logging use-cases, as well as non-logging data.
- Offers well-written documentation and an abundance of how-to guides available online.
- Uses high resources, which may be a drawback when compared to other log shippers.
- Compared to its alternatives, it has lower performance.
Fluentd is a popular choice for DevOps and is considered a great alternative to Logstash. It has a rich plugin library, making it a favorite among Kubernetes deployments. Similar to Logstash, Fluentd can structure data as JSON and perform various log data processing tasks such as collecting, parsing, buffering, and outputting data from multiple sources to multiple destinations.
- Fluentd is an open-source log collector that has gained popularity among DevOps engineers, especially for managing Kubernetes deployments.
- It provides good integrations with libraries and Kubernetes and has a rich library of built-in plugins, with the ability to create new ones easily. The tool is free to use.
- The main advantages of Fluentd are its good performance and resource usage, strong plugin ecosystem, easy-to-use configuration, and well-documented features.
- Fluentd lacks buffering before parsing, which can cause back pressure in the logging pipeline
- Has limited support for data transformation compared to Logstash and rsyslog.
Unveiling the world of log management tools! Dive into the abyss of log data processing and analysis with these powerful tools designed to help you collect, parse, and visualize your logs. Explore a plethora of options, each with its unique features and capabilities, and discover the perfect fit for your needs.
Why settle for traditional log management when you can leverage the power of these tools and gain deeper insights into your system’s performance and security?
So whether you’re a seasoned DevOps professional or a curious newcomer, join us on this adventure and take your log management skills to the next level!
Can log management software be used for compliance purposes?
Yes, log management software can help organizations comply with regulations by providing auditable logs, tracking user activity, and monitoring system changes.
Can log management software be used for security purposes?
Yes, log management software can help in enhancing security by identifying and alerting on potential security threats, monitoring user activity, and detecting anomalous behavior.
Is log management software expensive?
The cost of log management software varies depending on the features, functionality, and vendor. Some log management software options are open-source and free, while others require a license fee or a subscription.
How do I choose the right log management software for my organization?
When choosing log management software, consider factors such as the size of your organization, the complexity of your systems and applications, your budget, and your specific use cases and requirements. It’s also important to evaluate the ease of use, scalability, and support options offered by the software.