Managing log events can be a challenge for a number of reasons, not least the sheer volume of datapoints, the number of applications involved, and reverse engineering identified errors to their source for correction.
Cloud logging services aim to do this, by providing an interface through which your server logs are routed so that they can be identified, sorted, and highlighted as required.
By using the cloud it means that monitoring remains independent of your network, meaning it would be slowed by any errors or failures. Additionally, storing your data in the cloud means it's not simply a case of keeping everything in one place to manage, but also save any historical datapoints you may need to reference later.
By themselves these should be enough reasons for it, but additional ones include the ability to integrate not just with other cloud services, but also useful applications for not just sending and receiving alerts, but allowing for team collaboration in dealing with them.
Here then are the best in cloud logging services.
- We've also highlighted the best cloud web hosting services
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Splunk produces software for searching, monitoring and analyzing machine-generated big data. They were founded in 2007.
The software offers a wide range of log management tools such as log consolidation, retention, IT operations troubleshooting, application troubleshooting and compliance reporting.
Users can collect, store, index, search, correlate, visualize and report on any machine-generated data. Subscribers can then resolve operational and security issues.
Searches are turned into real-time alerts, reports or dashboards in an easy to use manner.
The software is truly cross-platform and operates on the cloud. It can also operate as a hybrid, integrating on-premise and cloud software.
All data collated is presented on the interface. Users can view data analysis easier, export and import faster for charting purposes.
Splunk is geared towards businesses of any size. It can be adjusted according to a variety of configurations evolving as your organization grows.
The ‘Cloud’ plan offers users a 15-day free trial to search, analyze and visualize 5GB of data. Subscribers need to contact the sales team directly to receive a quote.
The ‘Free’ package includes one users, scale up to 500MB per day, index any machine data, real-time search and analysis.
Online reviewers have noted that the free trial is minimal and the paid price plans being expensive compared to other products.
InsightOps from Rapid7 (formerly Logentries) aim to make cloud logging management easy by centralizing data, allowing easy visualization of metrics for monitoring, and using natural-language questions to identify problems for troubleshooting.
InsightOps collects logs across all cloud services, as well as directly from servers, not least for applications, DNS requests, VPNs, databases, and firewalls. It then normalizes even unstructured data into a consistent format. You can then monitor how much CPU and memory each asset is using to ensure smooth performance. Auditing logs makes it easier to ensure compliance, and InsightOps can easily integrate into your DevOps stack for automation.
There are visualization options for drilling down through data, and the Endpoint Interrogator allows the user to ask specific questions about what resources each asset is using. There are also alerts available, and the dashboard refreshes automatically in real-time.
Overall, InsightOps is easy to deploy across any network, and because it monitors the entire system, it's easy to spot malicious activity on any part of the network, even at file level.
InsightOps is available with a free trial.
Solarwinds is a company that develops software for businesses to help manage their networks, systems and information technology infrastructure. They acquired the log management service ‘Papertrail’ in 2014.
Papertrail allows users to log all apps, text log files and Syslog from one location. Searches and reports are done in real-time. Users can use a command line, browser or API.
Alerts are sent instantly to users which can then be used to detect trends.
Papertrail is easy to setup and implement. Users can gain visibility across all their systems quickly. Users can aggregate MySQL, cloud hosting, Apache, Tomcat, Heroku apps, routers and firewalls.
The lowest pricing tier starts at $7 for 1GB per month. This includes 1-week search and 1-year archive.
The mid-range tier starts at $75 for 8GB per month including 8 weeks search and 1-year archive.
The top tier weighs in at $230 for 25GB data per month and includes an additional 16GB for the first month, 2 weeks search and 1-year archive.
Papertrail forces users to save all searches.
Sumologic is a cloud-based log management and analytics service. It was founded in 2010.
The platform provides real time dashboards. Users can manage and monitor all data logs, metrics, assess graphs and generate reports from here. Dashboards can be customized with pie, bar, map and line charts.
Sumologic’s machine learning uses algorithmic support to arrange the patterns in data and establish any inconsistencies. Users can quickly establish and eliminate any issues that are identified. There is no need to set predefined rules or policies.
The platform allows users to build, run and secure their AWS, Google Cloud Platform or any hybrid applications.
Users can monitor key security metrics and indicators of compromise in real-time. Problems can be resolved faster as a result of this.
‘Sumo Free’ is geared towards individual users and teams undergoing smaller projects. This includes log storage of 4GB and max 500MB of log ingest.
The ‘Professional’ plan is $99 per GB per month for an annual commitment. This includes free metrics, 30GB storage and min 3GB log ingest. It also offers a 30-day free trial.
The ‘Enterprise’ package offers a 30-day free trial. It is $165 per GB per month for an annual commitment.
Users have noted that Sumo is slow compared to other logging programs.
Sematext builds cloud and on-premises systems for application performance monitoring, log management and analytics. They were founded in 2007.
The platform uses Elasticsearch API and integrated Kibana. It claims to be the first true Hosted ELK (Elastic Stack) Stack.
Log can be inspected via the user interface or Elasticsearch API. They are also kept in one centralized location. ELK maintains and scales everything.
Alerts can be sent via email, ChatOps or WebHooks. Logsense has built-in integrations for PagerDuty, Slack and HipChat amongst others.
Users can save all queries as a ‘Saved Search’ or an ‘Alert Query’. Saved searches can be custom tagged with labels or colours.
Sematext Logsense offers users a 30-day free trial. Prices are metered and based on plan, daily volume and data retention. Your plan is chosen based on the features you need. The higher volume you choose the lower the cost per GB. All prices are based on a monthly rate. Users need to contact Logsense directly for more information.
Users have complained of some issues when trying to contact support.