Choosing the Best Log Management Tool

Choosing the Best Log Management Tool

What happens when your business is put “on pause,” as far as online access and sales are concerned? It’s simple: you lose money with every passing minute, and it also sends a poor customer service signal to potential customers who may never come back once blocked by an “event” that causes your website to malfunction or otherwise experience down time.

In one famous incident in 2013, Amazon lost almost $2 million in 30 minutes’ time when their site went offline. Smaller companies would obviously lose less, but the impact can still be extreme. This underscores the importance of maintaining 24/7 online usability.

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A log management tool is one of the key ways to help prevent this kind of disaster – especially for SaaS businesses, but for any business with a website, really, which is to say almost everyone.

What Exactly Is a Log Management Tool?

Log management tools help you track, identify, filter, and find solutions to software issues so you can provide continuous service to your clients. This is important from day to day and from minute to minute, but it especially becomes crucial whenever you implement new features, updates, or platforms.

Log management finds errors and helps you troubleshoot them to avoid crashes or to get up again fast post-crash. It speeds up this process significantly. And it helps you quickly compare old and new versions of your website or software to give direction on what changes should be made in the future.

What to Look for in Log Management Software?

Not all log management software is the same, and you generally get what you pay for. There are free versions that work well for many small businesses, and there are more full-orbed packages you can buy that will help you do more.

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But whatever your exact needs, here are 7 features to look for in choosing the log management tool that works best for you:

  1. Simple to use. Most people are not professional developers but ordinary business men and women. You want a log management tool that’s user friendly even for beginners. It should have an easy to read dashboard with a “visual summary” of all relevant data.
  2. Efficiency. Most log management works about the same way, but some software just works faster and is more thorough. Some systems make it far easier to pinpoint the root cause of an error, while others drown you in a “sea of data.”
  3. Real time. You’ll want to be able to do log management in real time. A real time log stream is far better than a mere HTML report. It lets you monitor constantly and respond immediately to any problems that crop up.
  4. Cloud based. While you may want the option to download and self-host your log management software, all in all, it’s far more affordable and saves you time and effort to use cloud-based logging. But consider a software company that offers both so you have that flexibility.
  5. Event log tagging. Tools that allow you to color code (tag) data greatly simplify the search, filter, and issue identification process. This kind of visual aid is a great touch that you’ll much appreciate.
  6. Customized alerts. A log manager that includes not just alerts but lets you customize alerts to your own exact preferences is, well, to be preferred. This includes when to send an alert and how to send it.
  7. Collaboration features. For SaaS developers and anytime two or more people will be doing log management, be sure to get a software that supports team collaboration.

Using these seven, and other, criteria, you can be a smart log management tool shopper for your business. And the single biggest factor in getting the most benefit out of log management is simply selecting the best tool to begin with.

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