State of Log Management for AWS

state-of-log-management-for-aws

Introduction

The Log Management industry was traditionally driven by regulatory compliance and security concerns resulting in a multi-billion dollar market focused on security and information event management (SIEM) solutions. However, log management has evolved into a market that is focused on both the management and analytics of log data. Log management technologies are becoming more powerful and dynamic, allowing for data to be easily extracted and analyzed from logs for a much wider range of use cases. For example, unstructured events can be parsed in real-time for important field values, which can be subsequently analyzed and rolled up into metrics dashboards.

As a result, today’s log management technologies can take millions of unstructured events per second, analyze them in real-time and extract key insights for:

  • Debugging during development
  • System monitoring for IT operations
  • Answering questions from support queries
  • Product Usage Analytics
  • Web and Mobile Analytics
  • Business Analytics

“Amazon Web Services offer a complete set of infrastructure and application services that enable you to run virtually everything in the cloud.

Historically, one of the challenges of Log Management and Analytics solutions has been the requirement for end users to have deep technical skills in order to be able to extract such insights. Most solutions have focused on providing users with a powerful, yet complex, query language that can be applied to extract insights from log data. Thus, these solutions have been limited to usage by large enterprise organizations with specialist data analysts and the budget and resources required to up-skill on these technologies.

But the Log Management and Analytics industry is changing and customers today are requiring a better approach to using log management technology; one that is focused on ease of use and quick time to value. Removing the requirement for experts to operate Log Management and Analytics solutions is imperative, and will allow for the extraction of insights from log data to be accessible by a much wider range of organizations of any size. Furthermore, this will be particularly important for users of the cloud i.e. those running systems on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Software as a Service (SaaS) components, since log data is a key resource for better understanding of these systems.

This paper will outline why Log Management and Analytics is an important technology for cloud computing. It will also do a deep dive on logging on Amazon Web Services (AWS) in particular, outlining the different sources of log and machine generated data from the available AWS services and components, as well as detailing how this data can be applied by AWS users for a range of different use cases. Finally, it will review common use cases across AWS end users.

“Logs give you the data you need to understand the true behavior of the system in a production environment.

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Posted in AWS, Log Management, Logentries, Server monitoring

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