Log Management Solutions: A Look at 11 That You Need To Know

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The days of logging as a mere troubleshooting mechanism are past gone. Nowadays, log management solution is a must.

In today’s post, we’ll present you with a list of 11 log management solutions worth checking out.

Let’s dig in.

Splunk Log Management Solution

The first log management tool in our list is Splunk, which is a comprehensive utility very well-known by sysadmins. It’s available as a downloadable tool for Linux, Windows, and macOS X. A cloud version also exists, as well as a free version with limited capabilities.

Pros

Splunk is a complete solution with an extensive list of features, which includes machine data indexing, real-time and historical searching, advanced reporting functionalities, and more.

As already mentioned, Splunk is a popular tool among system administrators. Since the community is so large, you have many other fellow users who ask for help. This might also make the onboarding of new team members easier: it’s probable that they already know the solution.

Cons

Splunk is probably a better fit for organizations with larger budgets. Despite offering a free version, most of the more desirable features are only available for users of the Enterprise edition. Splunk is also somewhat harder to learn than its competitors, which is relevant when thinking about TCO.

The Verdict

Splunk might be an excellent fit for organizations that are searching for reliable technology and a consolidated brand and have the budget for it.

Log Management Using ELK Stack

ELK is an acronym that stands for Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana. Elasticsearch is a search and analysis tool. Logstash is a “data processing pipeline.” It’s used to ingest data from many different sources, such as databases, CSV files, and logs.

Kibana is known as the charting tool for the ELK stack. It provides search and data visualization functionalities for data indexed on Elasticsearch.

Pros

As letters in the acronym refer to open-source solutions, you can deploy your own ELK stack without having to pay for it, which may prove a good alternative for organizations on tighter budgets.

Cons

ELK’s setup is labor-intensive, and it presents high storage and computation requirements. Also, the open-source version doesn’t offer some desirable features, such as alerting and monitoring capabilities, which would require the Gold tier in their subscription model.

Verdict

This solution might be better suited to organizations who like the flexibility of open-source and can afford in a more DIY approach. ELK might also be the natural choice for small development teams who already use Elasticsearch for other needs.

SumoLogic Log Manager

SumoLogic is a cloud-based platform which provides centralized log analytics service. It uses machine learning to detect patterns from your logs in real-time, allowing you to gain insights into your application’s behavior.

Pros

SumoLogic doesn’t require a labor-intensive install processing. It’s easy to set up and start using and doesn’t require a lot of upfront costs.

SumoLogic is a unified platform for all your logs and metrics. It presents an extensive list of features, which includes great search capabilities and the use of advanced analytics by leveraging machine learning and predictive algorithms.

Cons

Probably the major con of SumoLogic is its pricing model around log data retention. With the free and trial accounts, you get seven and three days, respectively. To retain data for longer periods, you’d need a professional or enterprise account, which can get prohibitive depending on your organization’s budget.

Verdict

SumoLogic is a feature-rich and convenient—due to being SaaS—solution. That, combined with the way its pricing model works in regards to log data retention, makes it an interesting choice for small, cloud-only organizations starting with a small number of logs.

Loggly

Loggly is another cloud-based solution. It’s a log aggregation and analytics service that allows you to analyze all your log data in real-time from a single place.

Pros

Loggly comes with good search capabilities, combined with the capacity to collect and analyze logs from many different sources from a centralized place. In the visualization department, Loggly comes with pre-configured dashboards covering popular technologies but allows you to combine its advanced charts into customized dashboards.

Cons

Despite having good search capabilities and great visualization tools, Loggly might not be as feature-rich as some of the other tools on this list.

Verdict

Loggly might be the best fit for organizations looking to deploy primarily to cloud instead of on-prem and also can do without more advanced features.

Logz.io

Next, we have yet another cloud solution: Logz.io. This solution is a SaaS platform backed by the Elastic Stack. It uses machine-learning, clustering, and crowd-sourcing to identify issues faster. Because it comes with a default dashboard and built-in integrations, organizations can get started quickly.

Pros

Logz.io boasts a super-fast five minutes setup time. Since it uses the Elastic stack as a service, it can leverage the great searching and filtering capabilities of the services on that stack.

Cons

Logz.io’s pricing model could use more tiers. For instance, users who require longer retention periods have to use the Pro plan, which starts at $34 dollars per GB per month for three days of retention, even if they don’t need all of its more advanced features. If they need longer periods, that quickly adds up to amounts that might get prohibitive.

Verdict

Given the lack of variety in their pricing tiers, Logz.io is probably more suited for enterprises wanting to monitor cloud-based apps, and that can afford the Enterprise plan.

Humio

Humio comes in two versions. You can use the self-hosted option, running it yourself on the infrastructure of your choice. If you don’t feel like doing that, you can use the SaaS version.

Pros

Humio’s self-hosted plan comes with unlimited data retention, as does the Humio Unlimited plan, which might make it a solid choice for organizations working with larger amounts of log data.

Cons

Humio’s price model might not be well-suited for startups and other smaller companies. The tool could use some work on its UX, though. There is room to improve when it comes to configuring dashboard widgets, using its custom query language, and working with structured logging.

Verdict

Humio is a strong contender when it comes to data retention, having two plans that offer unlimited retention. So, it might be the solution for cloud-oriented organizations that have this particular need.

Logentries

Logentries is yet another log management solution based on the cloud. It has a quick “getting started” process, making it easier for all relevant people in the organization to access log data.

Pros

Logentries has good real-time searching and alerting capabilities, which includes contextual view, custom tags, regex support, and live-tail searching. Also, when it comes to retention, Logentries offers 30 days with its starting Standard plan.

Cons

Logentries is not as feature-rich as some of the other entries on this list. Also, besides offering more data retention, its starting plan is somewhat more expensive than some of its competitors. It also comes with a limit of characters for each log entry.

Verdict

Logentries has a higher-priced starting plan than many competitors. However, it offers more retention. So, if your organization prioritizes a longer data retention period over more advanced features, Logentries might be the tool for you.

Graylog

Graylog is a log management solution available in both open-source and enterprise editions.

The solution runs on a number of Linux distributions. Through a VM, you can run it on Windows, and it’s possible to install it on Amazon AWS.

Pros

Graylog makes it easy to aggregate log data from many different sources and data centers and then summarize that data into simple dashboards by using its intuitive UI. Its pricing model allows you to use the Enterprise edition for free if you ingest up to 5 GB of logs a day.

Cons

Graylog is a complete tool with many features centered around collecting and analyzing log data. However, all of this power doesn’t come for free: the tool has a somewhat steep learning curve.

Verdict

Because its Enterprise edition is free for organizations with daily log ingestion smaller than 5 GB, Graylog might be a great fit for companies with a low volume of log data but looking for a feature-rich solution.

Sentry

Sentry is not only a log management tool and more of an error management solution. It helps individual developers and teams to quickly find and solve defects within their applications.

Pros

Sentry’s main selling points are its quick setup, easy integration with third-party services, its detailed error reporting, and comprehensive alerting and notifications capabilities.

Cons

Sentry’s main con is that, since it’s not a “proper” log management solution, it doesn’t come with the advanced capabilities of some of the other tools in the list.

Verdict

Sentry is a lightweight error monitoring tool with a quick setup and affordable pricing model. So, it might be a great fit for companies that don’t require the advanced log analysis capabilities of some of the more heavy-weight items on our list.

Papertrail

Papertrail is a log management service that allows real-time aggregating, collecting, and analyzing of any type of log file.

Also, Papertrail offers integration with messaging services like Slack and also email. That way, you can set up alerts and be notified of any relevant incident.

Pros

Papertrail is a cloud-hosted solution, so you don’t incur the costs and overhead related to installing and maintaining a traditional tool, with another of its main selling points being its fast setup and its clean and intuitive user interface.

Cons

Papertrail is easy to get started with and use, and that’s probably due to the tool not being as feature-rich as some of the other items on the list.

Verdict

Papertrail is a good fit for you if your organization is a smaller company looking for a quick start and doesn’t have a need for more sophisticated features.

XPLG Log Management Solution

XpoLog is a fully automated log management platform, which makes use of AI to learn your environment and warns you about potential problems.

Pros

XpoLog is a feature-rich platform that is easy to maintain and deploy. It contains a marketplace featuring apps for a wide array of platforms.

The tool offers algorithms that automate analysis. Its AI-powered analysis layer allows teams to discover issues quicker.

When it comes to the pricing model, XpoLog is an affordable tool with great ROI and TCO.

Cons

XpoLog has a smaller community than other solutions on this list, so finding help might be slightly harder. Also, its focus is on IT and security and less on business insights like some of the competitors.

In short, XpoLog is a great solution, but not as known as some of the more high-profile items on this list.

Verdict

XpoLog is a great fit for enterprises and SMEs that look for an affordable solution with quick deployment,  but make a point of having great monitoring technology for their apps and IT infrastructure.

Conclusion

In this post, we’ve covered some of the main log management solutions you should know about. All tools we’ve covered have their merits and each one is best suited to a different scenario.

However, if I had to pick a winner, it’d certainly be XpoLog. A recurrent theme on this list is that solutions are either feature-rich or easy to use, but rarely both. XpoLog is the exception to the rule. It has great features, but it’s also easy to set up and use. It’s also affordable, which makes it a perfect choice for companies that look for better value on their dollars.

This post was written by Carlos Schults. Carlos is a .NET software developer with experience in both desktop and web development, and he’s now trying his hand at mobile. He has a passion for writing clean and concise code, and he’s interested in practices that help you improve app health, such as code review, automated testing, and continuous build.