To resolve problems and ensure applications run smoothly, effective log management is essential to every organisation - indeed, it can make the difference between success and failure. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to ensuring your log management does not spell disaster for your business.

To begin with, it’s important to make sure your system runs round-the-clock. Failure to do this will hamper your ability to troubleshoot issues if and when they occur. In worst case scenarios, this can lead to downtime, performance failure, and even security breaches. Therefore, installing continuously-running log analytics means you will be better-equipped to combat any specific problems attacking your system.

The best way to set up round-the-clock analytics is ELK - Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana - Stack. ELK is an open-source, rapidly growing log management platform, with many colourful admirers. Its recent adoption by stellar multi-nationals such as Bloomberg and Netflix is a testament to the efficiency and utility of the platform. Here is a quick overview of how it can assist in your log management.

In essence, any successful ELK implementation must:

1. index and save all log files it receives
2. still function when system is overloaded – the time when the vast majority of issues occur
3. protect log data from unauthorized access
4. develop maintainable and consistent approaches to policies on the retention of data and upgrades.

It’s also important to note, when troubleshooting a problem or going over a set of occurrences, one absent log line can lead to incorrect results, so make sure you capture every log event.

One final point is to make sure you stay on top of bursts. When machines start to pile up, data expands, and of course log files grow accordingly. Then, with the addition of more applications, products, developers and operations you will accumulate further logs. This process demands a significant storage capacity to enable your system to process them. Generally speaking, most log management solutions take up considerable amounts of CPU, memory, and storage. To exacerbate this, when a genuine production issue occurs, many systems report these automatically, causing the generation of ever more logs. It is at moments like these in particular, that log management systems such as ELK Stack can really save the day.