10 Best Splunk's Log Observer Alternatives in 2022

Better Stack Team
Updated on May 4, 2022

Splunk dash Splunk is a logs management and analysis tool allowing you to observe in real-time, search and navigate, analyze, report, and visualize your data. Splunk allows you to reach full-observability of your infrastructure and comes and offers multiple solutions.

Using Splunk’s log you can ingest and index data from a variety of platforms and create integrations with the most popular log streaming services such as AWS Cloudwatch, Kubernetes, Fluentd, and more.

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.

Pros:

  • Splunk Observability Platform
  • Enterprise-focused solution

Cons:

  • Not suitable for smaller projects

The Best Splunk Alternatives in 2022

1. Logtail

Logtail dash Logtail is a log management and analysis tool from Better Stack. It allows you to query your logs the same way you'd query your database with SQL-compatible structured log management. Logtail allows you to 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.

By offering integrations into stacks like Kubernetes, Heroku, Logstash, Rails, Docker, AWS, and more, you get a broad array of options for monitoring. Thanks to custom-built technology and ClickHouse, you can work with your logs more efficiently and save funds. All the collected data are sent to Grafana for comprehensive visualization and more efficient intel management.

Using Logtail’s advanced Collaboration features you can archive important log fragments, comment, and share logs with your colleagues. On top of that, everything is put together in a simple, purpose-driven, Dark-mode UI.

Tighter security is one of the main priorities in 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.

If you need a log monitoring solution for your hobby project, Logtail is available for free. You get access to 1 GB of storage a month, with 3-day data retention. For $24/month, you get access to the Freelancer package, with 30 GB of log storage and 15-day data retention.

Main Benefits of Logtail:

  • A one-click filter of logs in a structured format
  • Better Uptime integration for a full-stack monitoring solution

2. Logstash

Logstash dash

The "L" in ELK stack, Logstash, offers a free and open server-side data processing tool for data ingestion from multiple sources, transformation, and transport into a "stash" of your choice. Since Logstash is open-source, you have to deploy it on your own machine. Logstash is often used as a part of the ELK stack with Elasticsearch and Kibana. However, a wide array of different options is available, like Graphite, Librato, or Datadog. ELK stack is a powerful solution as a whole, so Logstash does not really offer a plethora of features on its own. Logstash supports JavaScript, Elasticsearch, Kibana and has its own REST API and JSON templates.

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 don't find what you're looking for, you can always use their API for plugin development.

Main benefits of Logstash:

  • It is an integral part of the ELK stack ecosystem
  • Elastic Maps Server
  • Advanced alerting tools

3. Logz.io

Logz.io Dash Logz.io is based on open source tools and heavily emphasizes the necessity of "giving back to the community”, maybe that's why their free subscription plan is called Community. Logz.io is ELK-stack-based, which promises performance and reliability at a certain price. Its crowdsourcing and machine learning features can help you discover otherwise invisible events. It also provides a live tail feature to observe data in real-time, providing you with an option to monitor and analyze data from multiple sources at once.

Using query language, you can create custom and flexible alerts to be the first one to know about any bugs, threats, or anomalies. Kibana's query language provides you with more features such as identifying specific events, customizing alert formats, or grouping options by fields.

Logz.io provides a safe way to store your in-transit data with its support for SSL encryption and robust AES 256-bit encryption.

Main Benefits of Logz.io:

  • It's based on open-source tools
  • ELK-stack provides a wide array of tools
  • Reasonable pricing model

4. LogDNA

LogDna dash LogDNA is a scalable log management solution built on the ELK-stack. It supports logs coming from any source, including those from applications, cloud systems, Kubernetes, and more. Thanks to its scalability, you can use LogDNA on any platform, architecture and infrastructure, and language.

A fully-featured web UI provides an interface for live tail, queries, visualization, or alerting. LogDNA allows you to filter logs by key fields or group them by source. You are also able to create custom dashboards or user-specific logs. It also provides an option for agentless log collection via Syslog and HTTP(S) with full-text search and visualizations. Their "secret sauce" architecture, as they call it, uses a microservice-based architecture to split tasks into two roles - log ingestion and log retrieval.

Main Benefits of LogDNA:

  • Option to embed views and share logs outside the organization
  • Automatically parses standard log formats
  • Simple UI, easy to understand

5. Datadog

datadog dash Datadog allows you to monitor logs sources, such as apps, systems, or services. Thanks to hundreds of built-in and supported integrations, Datadog is both scalable and suitable for most situations. You can track your entire service's performance from one place thanks to auto-generated service views and a rather pleasant GUI.

Datadog automatically parses JSON logs and lets users choose how to parse records from different formats via the Grok Parser. You can use MySQL, JSON, Windows Event Logs, W3C Log Formats, and other various log formats throughout the board. It also provides a view of all IIS log files, which can help you discover multiple patterns and trends. You can search them by date, IP address, and more, eliminating the need to search through many different files.

For price focused buyers it might be better to consider the other alternatives first.

Main Benefits of Datadog:

  • Quick to start
  • Team collaboration tools
  • Full API access
  • Alert notifications

6. Sematext

Sematext Logs Dash 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.

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 with real-time alerting on both metrics and logs. Log analyzing and looking for anomalies are used to 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, 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 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;

7. Papertrail

Papertrail dash Coming from the SolarWinds toolshed, Papertrail allows you to collate text log files from multiple sources and visualize them in one place. Papertrail's dashboard organizes and visualizes application logs, text log data, and syslog.

Papertrail, while we ignore its web, customer support, and website issues, remains one of the most powerful and popular tools to extract, parse, and query logs. Papertrail supports a wide array of languages and platforms such as Android, C#, .NET, Docker, Java, JavaScript, MySQL, Node, and many more. Papertrail supports real-time log collection and visualization.

Papertrail offers a log-lasting and available, detailed view of your archives. They are stored in the .tsv format, which helps with the compression. It can show duplicate or similar messages, download archives through API key, or retrieve multiple archives on one requirement.

Main Benefits of Papertrail:

  • Free starting plan
  • Configurable alerts
  • Intuitive and easy to use
  • Fast search speed

8. Loggly

Loggly dash Loggly is a yet another alternative to Splunk, coming from SolarWinds’ toolshed. It is currently one of the most commonly used solutions on the market. Loggly is an agentless log analyzer gathering data directly from application servers. Using a token, or the standard Syslog with HTTP(s), Loggly can retrieve data from pre-existing software.

It can work with txt based logs from any source and support multiple languages and platforms. We can find support for Ruby, Java, Python JavaScript, PHP, Apache HTTP Server, Tomcat, MySQL, Syslog-ng, rsyslog, and many more. Loggly's primary focus is on solving and fixing operational problems. Customizable dashboards, documentation, and a vast array of useful tools make Loggly a powerful log analyzing tool.

Main Benefits of Loggly:

  • SolarWinds Backing

9. Graylog

Graylog Dash 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 engine. All of the data can be visualized using Graylog’s Log View Widget, which helps you to find patterns and track performance-related trends.

Thanks to Graylog's multiple deployment options, you can run and manage it on your own, or have it hosted, which gives you more flexibility and control.

Main Benefits of Graylog:

  • Ability to search for different criteria without having to filter out the data manually
  • Open-source option available

10. 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. Dynatrace also offers a quite unique pricing model based on the Davis data units, also known as DDUs. Basically, each log record (line, message, entry) deducts 0.0005DDU from your available quota - 1 million log records multiplied by a DDU weight of 0.0005 consume a total of 500 DDUs.

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

Conclusion

We tried to cover the biggest market trends when it comes to Splunk alternatives. We discussed its strengths and weaknesses. Now, it is certain that having a good Log Management solution is a must, so the question is not when should you start, but which tool should you use.

Centralize all your logs into one place.
Analyze, correlate and filter logs with SQL.
Create actionable
dashboards with Grafana.
Share and comment with built-in collaboration.
Got an article suggestion? Let us know
Explore more
Licensed under CC-BY-NC-SA

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

We are hiring.

Software is our way of making the world a tiny bit better. We build tools for the makers of tomorrow.

Explore all positions →

Reliability is the
ultimate feature

Delightful observability tools that turn your logs & monitoring into a secret weapon for shipping better software faster.

Explore Better Stack