10 Best Log Monitoring Tools in 2022

Better Stack Team
Updated on May 4, 2022

There is no doubt that logging your system's activity is essential for its proper function. Logs can give you insight into occurring problems and help you understand how your software performs over time, where it excels, and where it fails.

When every aspect of the infrastructure logs on its own, you can easily have dozens of individual logs to look after, which is nearly impossible - that's why it's always good to use Log monitoring tools.

Centralized logging

Having multiple log sources is inevitable but storing and analyzing them independently is impractical. Centralized logging allows you to oversight multiple log sources at once by:

  • Log collection and transport - To get real-time insight into logs, you need to transport logs using either an API or by configuring individual loggings to log directly into the centralized log manager. At the same time, you need to think about packet loss and how to prevent it.
  • Log storing - Considering data volume and retention period is important when picking a monitoring solution.
  • Log analysis - Comprehensive analysis of individual logs depends on properly distributing them into categories, visualization, and understanding reoccurring patterns or developing trends. This can also help you to baseline your software and set thresholds for other monitors. A lot of this is nowadays handled by AI.
  • Alerting - After setting thresholds and understanding your software's behavior, you can integrate your monitoring solution with common tools. This way, you will be instantly alerted if anything goes south.

Log monitoring is also used in other monitoring practices such as:

  • Server Monitoring
  • Network Monitoring
  • Application Monitoring
  • Database Monitoring
  • Cloud Monitoring

.. and more

The Best Log Monitoring Tools in 2022

Now, let's take a look at the best tools for Log monitoring in 2022.

1. Logtail

Logtail dash

Logtail allows you to query your logs the same way you'd query your database with SQL-compatible structured log management. Thanks to a custom-built data pipeline and ClickHouse you can search & filter petabytes of logs in a moment and set an anomaly detection alert to receive alerts when your logs become out of the ordinary. On top of that, thanks to Logtail’s efficiency you save funds at the same time.

By offering integrations into stacks like Kubernetes, Heroku, Logstash, Rails, Docker, or AWS, and more, you get a broad array of options for monitoring. All the collected data are sent to Grafana for comprehensive visualization and more efficient intel management. Everything is put together in a very well-designed, dark mode UI.

One of the greatest benefits of Logtail is built-in collaboration features, where you can cooperate with your colleagues in a google docs-like environment, save, share, and archive parts of code, and collaborate with your colleagues.

Tighter security is one of the main byproducts of log monitoring, and Logtail itself is one of the most secure tools available. Using industry-standard best practices and cooperating only with data centers compliant with DIN ISO/IEC27001 certifications, your data is safe during both transit and storage.

Main Benefits of Logtail:

  • Advanced Collaboration Features
  • A one-click filter of logs
  • Better Uptime integration for a full-stack monitoring solution

2. Papertrail (SolarWinds)

Papertrail Dash Papertrail aggregates and analyses logs from a variety of sources that come in different types. That includes syslogs, .txt log files, Apache, MySQL, Ruby on Rails, Windows Events, Tomcat, Heroku, or logs from apps, routers, or firewalls.

Logs are scanned for any anomalies or deviations, and if needed, real-time alerts and summaries are displayed. Papertrail offers support for multiple languages and platforms, including Angular, Linux Logging Software and Log Management, Ruby, NGINX, MySQL, Javascript, HAproxy, and Golang. With the ability to create per-user access control protocols, you do not compromise consistency or data security and integrity by giving access to multiple team members.

You can get Papertrail for free with 48 hours search window, seven days archive, and a 16 GB first month bonus followed by a 50 MB/month quota. If you are looking for paid packages, Papertrail's bundles start at $7/month.

Main Benefits of Papertrail:

  • Solarwinds backing
  • Cron Job Monitoring

3. LogDNA

LogDNA dash LogDNA parses major log line types on ingestion and offers Custom Parsing Templates. You can filter your logs based on app, host, or cluster, browse logs from any source instantly, and search through them with simple keywords, exclusion terms, chained expressions, and data ranges. Alerts are set off based on either Presence or Absence, or generate an alert from a saved View and report on them in PagerDuty, Slack, or with a custom Webhook. LogDNA also allows you to save views to access common Filters and Searches and share them.

LogDNA is built on Elasticsearch, providing you with relatively fast and reliable indexing and filtering of your logs. A web-based GUI handles filtering, logs grouping by source, and more. Visualization and custom dashboards are also available, and you can work with user-specific logs. Agentless log collection via Syslog and HTTP(s) with full-text search and visualizations are available.

LogDNA's pricing packages depend on the retention period in days and the number of users. For starters, you can get LogDNA for free for one user and without any logs retention and unlimited saved views.

Main Benefits of LogDNA:

  • Pay-as-you-go pricing model
  • Well designed UI

4. Sematext Logs

Sematext Dashboard Sematext is a monitoring and logging service. It uses a method of centralized logging and provides you with a way to aggregate and store logs from any data source in one location. You can collect data from servers, applications, databases, containers, systems, and more. Sematext allows you to use live time viewing of your logs as they arrive into the cloud from multiple data sources.

It uses Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana for collecting and transforming data, searching, filtering and analyzing, and finally, data managing and visualization. You can troubleshoot faster using real-time alerting on both metrics and logs. Log analyzing and looking for anomalies make the whole process quicker. You can integrate it with email, PagerDuty, Slack, HipChat, BigPanda, OpsGenie, VictorOps, WebHooks, Nagios, Zapier, and more.

Sematext runs on AWS, an infrastructure that follows strict IT security best practices. Your logs are encrypted via HTTPS and sent through TLS/SLL channels. You can also restrict specific permissions to some members of your team.

Main Benefits of Sematext:

  • It brings infrastructure and application performance monitoring together with log management
  • Easy to use with good pre-configured dashboards and reports thus also quick to start
  • No need for a lengthy configuration

5. Sumo Logic

Sumo Logic Dashboard

Sumo Logic offers a complete set of log management tools for the entire stack, whether cloud, on-premises, or hybrid. Centralized data visualization allows you to spot developing trends and disarm any errors before they occur or during damage control, finding the root cause faster. Thanks to anomaly detection, outlier detection, and predictive analytics, you get deep and comprehensive insights into your architecture's performance. Sumo logic offers real-time visibility into AWS, Azure, and GCP cloud applications and infrastructure. Alongside that, you get access to over 150 apps and native integrations to get full out-of-the-box visibility into third-party technologies.

Sumo Logic provides you with two dashboards - a live dashboard and an interactive one. The live dashboard offers numerous real-time data in the order as they come. However, it doesn't provide an option to look back at the older data. That's where the interactive dashboard comes in. In the interactive dashboard, you can view a complete overview of events and trends, focus on the graphs and identify rare events. You can filter for the specific errors and exceptions to be able to focus on them in the future.

Main Benefits of Sumo Logic:

  • A free limited version is provided to you to test out the service
  • It allows you to ingest the logs from your network directly and in real-time
  • The application also offers extensive REST API
  • GUI is easy to grasp, thus making it quicker to start

6. LogicMonitor

LogicMonitor dash LogicMonitor offers log intelligence at scale for hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Your data are centralized, correlated, and contextualized, with an emphasis on data hygiene and internal compliance. LogicMonitor allows you to centralize your monitoring, correlate relevant logs with metrics in a single platform.

It supports more than 2000 integrations, modules, and pre-built templates for on-premises and cloud infrastructures. LogicMonitor is truly user-friendly since it offers query options for all experience levels. It also allows you to access raw data up to 12 months old. Metrics, logs, and log anomalies are all associated with their corresponding devices, cloud instances, and containers.

LogicMonitor manipulates your data with machine learning tools, which decreases troubleshooting times and allows better workflow by sparing your engineers of unproductive tasks. Anomalies are automatically detected and contextualized for easier root cause analysis. LogicMonitor offers Full IT operations lifecycle support via integrations like ServiceNow, CMDB, and Ansible.

One of the biggest disadvantages is the need to communicate your subscription with a sales team. You need to get a custom quote.

Main Benefits of LogicMonitor

  • Heavy usage of automation and machine learning methods
  • Suitable of all experience levels without compromising functions

7. Datadog

Datadog dash

Datadog’s Log management allows you to gain complete visibility into cloud-scale infrastructure. It is capable of aggregating metrics and events from over 500 integrated technologies, tagging and storing them. Using Datadog’s Log Management, you can collect, search, and analyze logs, and then correlate them using specific traces, metric spikes, or security signals.

Datadog is an intuitive platform, allowing you to correlate individual logs and discover patterns. It allows you to visualize data using customizable, drag-and-drop dashboards. Logs querying can be done without the knowledge of any query language. Datadog's alerts are powered by machine learning that automatically detects anomalies and logs errors.

Datadog’s Log management is also capable of identifying potential threats, discovering misconfiguration, and monitoring your logs using threshold and anomaly detection. On top of that, you can monitor the security of all layers of your cloud environment. Datadog tracks the performance impact of every code deployed and automatically maps data flows and dependencies with the service map.

Main Benefits of Datadog:

  • Full-observability achievable
  • Security monitoring capacities

8. Dynatrace

Dynatrace dash Dynatrace offers Log Monitoring as a part of their platform. It allows you to create custom log metrics for smarter and faster troubleshooting and understanding logs in context. Their Log Management solution offers Log data analysis and alerting. Dynatrace allows you to analyze log events across different parts of production and over longer periods of time. Dynatrace leverages artificial intelligence to correlate log messages and problems your monitors register. All of the data is used for root-cause analysis. You can also define custom rules and log metrics to receive notifications if any anomalies or passed thresholds occur. Dynatrace offers two products, Log monitoring v1 and Log monitoring v2 modes and they offer different approaches to log management, whereas the v2 is considered by Dynatrace as newer. V2 removes issues with logs with unrecognized timestamps and offers a generic log data ingestion engine. However, a lot of features are still missing in the v2, such as sensitive info masking, UI configuration files on a host, or on-demand access to log files on the monitored host. However, Dynatrace is not easy to jump into and requires more learning. Dynatrace offers either a full-stack monitoring solution or multiple individual plans.

Main benefits of Dynatrace:

  • The AI-assisted full-stack monitoring solution
  • More than 560 supported technologies
  • Solutions also cover security, Digital Experience or even Business Analytics

9. Splunk

Splunk Dash

Splunk’s Log Observer is a log monitoring solution designed for DevOps. It allows you to integrate with the most popular data sources such as Kubernetes, Fluentd, or multiple AWS services. Splunk’s UI offers a point-and-click interface for rapid investigation of logs, which makes it easy to filter, sort, and explore data based on what you want to see at the moment. Log Observer also offers Live Tail features allowing you to observe and filter logs in real-time. Splunk is fast when searching for short-time data. However, it stays behind when getting data from a longer period of time, or when identifying trends.

Splunk’s log management is a part of the Observability Platform, a complete platform combining Splunk Infrastructure Monitoring, RUM, APM, and On-Call. Splunk is an enterprise-ready solution that reflects mostly on its price. Log observer is billed in two ways. Your bill can be calculated based on the amount of data indexed, or indexed. You can try Splunk Cloud or Enterprise in a free trial period.

Main Benefits of Splunk Log Observer:

  • Splunk’s Observability Platform
  • Enterprise-focused solution

10. Logstash

Logstash Dash Logstash is a free and open server-side data processing pipeline for data ingestion from multiple sources. Logstash is a part of the ELK stack - Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana. Logstash ingests, transforms, and transfers your data of any format or complexity and allows you to derive structure from unstructured data using grok or collect geo coordinates from IP addresses. Logstash supports a variety of outputs that allows you to route your data with flexibility and according to your needs. Thanks to more than 200 plugins, Logstash is quite customizable, and if you won't find what you're looking for, you can always use their API for plugin development.

Elastic is available both as Elastic Cloud, a public cloud managed service available on all the major platforms, or a fully configurable and customizable Elastic Stack available for download. Elastic Cloud starter premium package is Standard and starts at $16/month.

Main Benefits of Logstash:

  • Open source
  • It's an integral part of the ELK stack

Conclusion

In this article, we went over Log Monitoring. We also explained what are the benefits of centralized logging and log monitoring. Then we proposed a list of The Best Log Monitoring Tools in 2022 and their main benefits.

Centralize all your logs into one place.
Analyze, correlate and filter logs with SQL.
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