Logging is about what happened in the past. In computing, logging involves data being stored in files organised around precise parameters. Every application has its own logs, and larger organisations typically utilise a large set of applications that are closely related to one another. In this case, logging can be used to identify the flaws and failures of a specific component of the whole.
Keeping a record for your benefit
An application will log many unimportant things, but when there is a failure (or some other reason to refer back to the data) the log information will be useful. Logs are there to let you see what happened, and when. This can be software issues, or it can be data involving people who use it, and certain metrics that can be analysed to help make informed decisions.
But when application sets become bigger and spread across multiple servers, it can become incredibly complex to pinpoint precise pieces of data across the myriad logs that are acquired. This is where centralised logging becomes valuable. This involves consolidating the logs from multiple sources into one single, centralised location, making it quicker and easier to find the log and the data that you need.
A holistic, powerful solution
The ELK stack, which includes ElasticSearch, LogStash and Kibana, is an elegant and effective solution for centralised logging. It enables developers and system administrators to monitor all the relevant applications simultaneously on a single screen. And it delivers the possibility of searching through easily-indexed values between them all, instead of searching for a needle in a haystack every time.
An essential tool for the modern business
Centralised logging is an invaluable tool for the modern developer and system administrator. It allows them to investigate and zero in on problems and failures in clusters of applications. It also delivers the ability visualise and collate product information, which is valuable for reporting. This affords a company far greater insight into what is happening in their fast-growing sets of applications and services.
Logit.io can provide and host an ELK system to facilitate effective centralised logs in your systems. We are experienced experts in our field, and would love to hear from companies looking to optimise their logging systems. If that sounds like you, please get in touch and we'll be happy to discuss how we can help.
If you liked this article on the value in centralised logging for SysAdmins then why not check out our blog for our resource guide on SIEM.