Log Management - An Introduction

"Keeping track of your activities is quite difficult, but you have a feature that automatically does that for you."

What is log management?

Any software application or website can't be constantly monitored to check its performance. That's a lot of manual labor behind the scenes. On that note, one can't just leave it unnoticed, because it might lead to technical difficulties.

So how do you keep track of the activities or record them all automatically? This can be done easily with the help of logs and log management.

So what are logs? Logs are nothing but files that record and store every minute detail related to your software and application. Even if you fail to keep an eye on it, the logs have got your back because everything gets recorded automatically.

Log management is nothing but the process of maintaining and storing the logs that are generated periodically.

Log management is extremely significant because, these logs contain every minute detail and action related to the software or website.

What is a log file?

The generated logs that record your activities should be maintained in the form of log files for proper documentation purposes. They are typically saved in the form of text files, in which the activities are recorded as texts or lines.

Now that there are various software and applications that make integrating these log files easier. Log management's job is to take care of all the logging files and to provide us with details whenever required.

The main objective of collecting and maintaining logs is to record all the activities that occur within a software or application. Because it will be quite difficult for the developers to manually monitor the tedious process every time.

Process of log management

We do have a series of steps that are involved in generating and storing the logs for future references.

  1. Collect the logs: The basic step of log management is to collect the logs. Every server or application has various actions and events occurring every now and then. Even a small detail shouldn't be missed while collecting information.

    A website, for example, may have customers and users constantly visiting it and its elements and sometimes struggling to use them. For this reason, log collection should be done properly in order to identify and monitor all of the activities.

  2. Storing the logs: The collected logs must be stored securely. Every organization should collect, compress, encrypt and store their log data safely.

    People usually search for log files during technical issues, so this step is extremely crucial. In this case, it may be difficult to resolve the issue.

  3. Searching: Even if the log files are stored safely, the work isn't completed. When it comes to management, we need to be able to easily access the files whenever required.

    For the developers to find and access the log files to identify or resolve any issues, each log file must have a specific file name. In order to make the searching process more easy, you can also add specific tags or filters to make the searching process more easier.

  4. Automated work: Errors should also be highlighted to the developers using log management techniques. This can be done automatically by relating the log management tools with other application software.

  5. Output: Following all the effort behind log management, it is the output that matters. We will be able to use the collected and stored logs in many ways.

    By implementing log management techniques, easy detection of logs, resolving issues at their earliest stage, searching for details and much more can be achieved.

Benefits of log management

Every developer's prime concern is to maintain their designs and products without any errors or bugs. It only takes a small disruption to cause a huge obstruction in the functioning of the system. Therefore, it is always best for developers to have multiple support systems that help monitor their websites and servers at all times.

This application provides every available bit of insight into what happens in the product with the help of log management. Some of log management's benefits include,

  1. Helps to monitor the activities:

    There will be multiple actions and functions that are present in any digital product. Just imagine the amount of work and manpower that will be needed to check and monitor the functions that happen.

    So it is important for log management services to monitor every activity that happens in the company or organization. As an example, if we take the activities that occur in a website,

    • There will be a large number of customers visiting the website.
    • Multiple elements and pages will be accessed.
    • There may be dead links and elements, and much more.

    Log management tools should help in monitoring all these activities and recording them safely.

  2. Resolve the issues:

    What's the point in just identifying the issues or bugs present in the website and servers? There needs to be some measures taken to troubleshoot and resolve the issue for smoother functioning. It is always more convenient for developers if multiple components are present together in a single tool.

    The tools that you choose for log management should also help in identifying and solving issues effectively. The longer the bugs are present in the server, the more critical the issue gets. So it is better if the problems are solved at the time they are identified.

  3. Effective performance:

    Any newly developed software or application that is introduced should help in improving the performance of the services to a substantial extent. There can be no doubt about that with log management techniques and tools.

    As mentioned before, log management helps in monitoring and resolving the issues, bugs and glitches present in the website. By doing this, you can expect a better performance rate and an increase in your productivity.

    The users of your product don't appreciate even a small hindrance in the application. Customers expect a seamless experience. So with log management tools you can find bugs and fix them faster than usual.

Log management and its need

The reasons behind implementing log management techniques can be numerous, if you ask why it is necessary. You can also run your organization without these tools, but all we strive for is an ounce of better performance and effectiveness.

On this note,

  • The tools allow customers who visit the website to have a better experience. Customer satisfaction and fulfilling their needs on time is all they need. The moment you realize an issue, you rectify it, thus giving them the best user experience.

  • Learn more about your website or product. Designing or creating your product comes with various expectations, but only in practice will you truly discover the flaws. Thus, log management tools help in understanding more about the product.

  • Check how your customers behave when they use the website. Some may be really excited, while others won't be interested in your product. Know the reasons behind losing customers through log management techniques.

  • Digital products have various issues related to their security systems. With the help of collected logs and files you can actually find any abnormalities in your website and solve it immediately.

Likewise, the tools of log management and storing of log files have various benefits and advancements when applied to the work space. You should, however, choose the log management practice that is most appropriate for your organization.

Further Reading

  1. What is an API Monitoring?
  2. What are the most common web application issues that you might face day-to-day in your application?
  3. Why map entries are unddressable in Golang?

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