Top 10 Logstash Alternatives in 2022

Better Stack Team
Updated on July 28, 2022

Logstash dash Logstash is a part of an open-source and free Log Management solution. It’s a server-side data processing pipeline allowing you to ingest, transform and ship your data. Logstash helps you to structurize your logs using grok, decipher geo-coordinates, or anonymize specific data for security and privacy compliance. Logstash supports multiple outputs from all over your infrastructure. You can also use it to parse and transform your data and, finally, choose a stash where you want to see your data. The visualizations are handled by Kibana, another part of the ELK stack. Logstash is a tool of choice when it comes to shipping data to Elasticsearch, but does not work as smoothly with other engines.

Logstash is available for free, and you can get it on Github. However, the real pricing issue emerges with hosting and scaling issues, where Logstash, just like the rest of the ELK stack becomes quite expensive.

Pros:

  • Open-source solution
  • Part of the ELK stack

Cons:

  • Scaling can get quite expensive
  • Easily replaceable with better tools

10 Best Logstash Alternatives in 2022

Logstash, alongside the rest of the Elastic stack, is, without a doubt, a powerful tool. However, that does not mean that there are no more potent alternatives, which are at the same time more resource-efficient and therefore cheaper. That’s why we’ve decided to compile a list of alternatives to Logstash, ranging from open-source and freemium all the way to enterprise-ready behemoths.

1. Logtail

Logtail homepage

Logtail is a full-fledged log management solution from Better Stack and beats Logstash mainly in efficiency and pricing. Compared to ELK stack-based or Logstash based tools, Logtail is often up to 10 times cheaper, since its pricing starts at around $0.25/GB. Another advantage is that you can easily predict the pricing and therefore plan any potential scaling since Logtail’s pricing increases with features and the amount of data.

Logtail offers SQL-compatible structured log management and allows you to search and filter terabytes of data in moments, set anomaly, presence, and absence alerts, and notify you if anything goes south.

By offering integrations into stacks like Kubernetes, Heroku, Logstash, Rails, Docker, 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.

Logtail is built with industry-standard best practices in mind and cooperates only with data centers compliant with DIN ISO/IEC27001 certifications, meaning that your data is safe during both transit and storage.

Main Benefits of Logtail:

2. Fluentd

Fluentd dash Sometimes, you can find the ELK stack variation called the EFK stack, where Fluentd replaces Logstash.

FlutentD is an open-source data collector unifying data collection and consumption enabling you to manage your logs in a more comprehensible and consistent way. Fluentd structures data as JSON as much as possible, allowing you to collect, filter, buffer, and output logs. It offers a flexible plugin system allowing its community to extend its use. Fluentd has a rich community developers community, which gave birth to more than 500 community-contributed plugins allowing you to connect dozens of data sources and data outputs.

Fluentd is written in a combination of C and Ruby, requires very little system resources (approximately 40MB of memory in the vanilla version), and offers an even more lightweight version - Fluent Bit. Nowadays, more than 2000 data-driven companies use Fluentd.

Calyptia is an enterprise-ready log management tool based on the open-source tool Fluentd.

Main Benefits of Calyptia/Fluentd:

  • Community developed plugins
  • Lightweight solution

3. 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

4. Kafka

Kafka web Kafka offers both a more powerful alternative to Logstash, but also offers potential tandem cooperation. However, generally speaking, Kafka is much more powerful than Logstash when it comes to performance and reliability. The main advantage is that Kafka runs as a cluster, whereas Logstash is a single instance and you can multiply these instances, but they will not be aware of each other.

Kafka was originally built over at LinkedIn and then published under an open-source license. It works as an event streaming platform, meaning that it allows you to publish and subscribe to flows of data and therefore remove dependencies. This allows for better reliability and scaling. Kafka is a distributed system consisting of servers and clients that communicate via TCP. Thanks to all this Kafka offers an accurate, fast, reliable, and resilient transport layer.

Main Benefits of Kafka

  • Open-source
  • Employed by 8/10 Fortune 100 companies

5. Beats

Beats web Beats also come from the Elastic stack toolshed. They are lightweight data shippers that you install as agents on your servers. Beats have a smaller footprint and require fewer system resources than Logstash. Beats are open source data shippers sending data to Elasticsearch. Beats can be also integrated with Logstash for further data processing, but if you are looking just for a transport layer, you can exclude Logstash from the equation.

Beats is divided into a “Beats Family” Covering Filebeat, Metricbeat, Packetbeat, Winlogbeat, Auditbeat, Heartbeat, and Functionbeat, each being a shipper for a respective type of data suggested in its name.

Main Benefits of Beats

  • Elastic stack backing, offering a more lightweight and specific solution
  • Open-source

6. Graylog

graylog Graylog operates under multiple models. You can choose from either Graylog open - their open-source solution, Graylog Small Business, or Enterprise. The last option is Graylog cloud, offering the same experience as Graylog Enterprise, however, hosted on the cloud, saving you the funds needed for your own infrastructure.

Graylog offers a log management solution based on Elasticsearch and MongoDB, allowing you to centralize and collect logs from your infrastructure, explore them, trace errors, detect threats and analyze data in a comprehensible way. Graylog allows you to store older data on slow storage in case you’d need to re-import it for further analysis, create alerts based on logs correlation. Graylog also offers advanced anomaly detection features with pre-built security scenarios, risk models, and alerting and correlation engines. All of the data can be visualized using Graylog’s Log View Widget, which helps you to find patterns and track performance-related trends.

Main Benefits of Graylog:

  • Ability to search for different criteria without having to filter out the data manually

7. Logagent

Logagent web Logagent is Sematext’s log shipper, used mainly to send logs to Sematext Logs, a log management solution exposing the Elastisearch API. Logstash offers an easier to grasp but still a complex solution. It can mask sensitive information, enrich GeoIP data based on access logs.

The main disadvantage is that it offers less flexibility than Logstash due to the fact, that it was deployed after Logstash. Logagent works the best with Docker Swarm Datacenter, Cloud, or Amazon EC2, Google Container Engine, and many more. Sematext Logs offers a Log agent as a pre-configured, free-of-charge part of its solution.

Sematext is a monitoring and logging service. It allows for centralized logging, so it provides you 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.

Sematext runs on AWS, whose infrastructure follows strict IT security best practices. Your logs are encrypted via HTTPS and sent through TLS/SLL channels. On top of that, you can restrict specific permissions to some members of your team to increase the integrity and security of your service.

Main Benefits of Logagent:

  • Broad development community

8. rsyslog

rsyslog-web RSYSLOG stands for the rocket fast system for log processing. It can deliver over one million messages every second to local destinations and the performance is still quite stunning also when it comes to remote destinations. Rsyslog is capable to accept inputs from a wide variety of sources, transport them, and output to the results to multiple destinations.

Compared to Logstash, rsyslog is much faster, it’s actually maybe the fastest shipper available. It is also one of the most lightweight parsers. But all this power comes for a price. Usually, rsyslog requires a lot of work to get it right. The documentation is quite complex and hard to navigate, especially for someone without previous expertise. Also, multiple issues emerged when rsyslog updated to 5+ versions when it introduced a different config format. Also, when you finally make it work, you tend to encounter multiple bugs. So

Main Benefits of Rsyslog:

  • rsyslog is really fast
  • lightweight build

9. Syslog-ng

syslog-ng web Syslog-ng offers multiple solutions, including an open-source available on Github. Syslog-ng is capable of collecting, parsing, classification, and correlating of logs from all over your infrastructure and then shipping them to log management and analysis tools of your choice.

Syslog-ng is released under GNU and LGPL licenses and can be extended with plugins to suit your project. You can write your own modules using C, Python, Java, Lua, or Perl.

Syslog also comes with a set of pre-set parsers and patterndb, allowing you to correlate events together and transform results into a unified format. Syslogng also offers support for multiple databases including SQL and MongoDB, or Redis.

Main Benefit of Syslog-ng:

  • Preset parsers and patterndb
  • Open-source licensing

10. 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

Conclusion

In this article, we briefly overviewed Logstash a data processing pipeline from the Elastic stack. We went over its features, strengths, and weaknesses and then proposed a list of the most suitable alternatives. Whether they come from open-source toolsheds, the Elastic Stack itself, or data management companies, each compensates for Logstashes disadvantages in its own way. Nowadays, log managers are an indispensable part of your stack, but while some can make your life much easier, others can easily invite chaos.

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