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How to Efficiently Manage Your Log And Data Files

by Josh Biggs in Software on 14th July 2021

Applications and services of this period are running thousands of servers together. Managing the logs they create means following the best practices. It is important to learn how you create log messages and manage logs with the necessary skills to monitor infrastructure and troubleshooting through best practices.

So, want to know about managing log and data files? In this article, we have put together the best practices we should follow for log and data files management efficiently. 

Let’s take a look. 

Best Practices to Efficiently Manage Log And Data Files 

Over the past decade, the development of distribution systems has created new complexities in log and data files management. Current systems can cover millions of server instances or thousands of micro-services, as each creates its own log data. 

Due to the rapid emergence and dominance of cloud-based systems, machine-generated log data is growing rapidly. As a result, log management has become a major part of IT operations. A number of tasks, such as debugging, production monitoring, performance monitoring, support, and troubleshooting, are now essential to log management.

The distribution system itself is often uncertain about where the log data will start or what kind of system will be needed to identify the required log files when providing efficiency for scalability. Those who are IT administrators, DevOps professionals, and manage log security systems and compliance protocols and decentralized log files face challenges. Developers and engineers who debug application-level issues may find themselves restricted by accessing product-level log files. User operations, trends, data scientists, and assistants for trend analysis and problem-solving often lack the technical skills required to extract log data. 

The following practices that we follow in Everconnect are crucial for solving your organization’s logging and data files challenges.

#1. Specify a strategy And Structure The Log Data 

First, consider carefully what you are logging into and why you are logging in. Like any other important IT component, logging needs to have a specific strategy set. When setting up your DevOps or releasing a new feature, make sure you have an organized logging plan. Without a specifically defined strategy, you can manually manage a growing set of log data, but that complicates the process of identifying important information.

When you create the logging strategy, you need to consider which is the most important and above all what value you want from the logs. At the same time, the plan needs to have an idea about the method and equipment of logging. Similarly, you need to include the concept of data hosting location and, above all, the information you are looking for.

It is important to consider the log format as well as the logging technique. Effective logging formats make it difficult to understand the insights of logs if it is difficult to understand. Need to mention, log structures must always be human and machine-readable.

#2. Separate and centralize all log data

Remember, logs should always be collected automatically. At the same time, they have to be separated from the place of production and sent to a concentrated place. Combining log data makes it easier to manage and analyze or cross-analyze. Moreover, it is easy to identify the interrelationships between different data sources. When centralized log data is created in an auto-scaling environment: it also reduces the risk of losing log data.

#3. Practice and correlate end-to-end logging and data sources

Once the common troubleshooting is solved, applications and systems need to be logged in to monitor all components of the system in order to gain insight. Most IT professionals think logging from server logs. For example, Windows Security Log. However, it is important to log from all relevant metrics and events, such as the underlying infrastructure, application layers, and end-user clients.

On the other hand, logging from end-to-end from a specific centralized location allows it to dynamically integrate data flows from different sources – such as applications, servers, users, and CDN metrics. Data attachment always identifies quickly and confidently the events that are causing system errors.

#4. Use unique identifiers and add context

Identifiers can always identify a specific user’s sessions or actions taken by other users. When a user’s unique ID is available, you can filter the search of all tasks taken at a specific time. This allows you to search for many more things in a database query, starting with the user’s first click.

#5. Include context in log messages

Whenever you use logs as data, you need to consider the context of each data point. Sometimes we need more research than just a handful of log messages. In that case, data can be filtered with a unique identifier if there is an IP address and a user ID. Structural logging is usually quite easy when the context is included.

#6. Frequently inspect monitoring audit logs

The issue of safety is very important – that’s why it’s important to keep an eye on monitoring audit logs. To ensure additional security, special equipment such as audit or OSSEC agents need to be set up. The tools mentioned always analyze real-time logs and at the same time generate alert logs indicating possible security. Caution should be defined in those monitoring logs if any suspicious activity is found. It will be informed quickly.

#7. Avoid logging in too much or too little

Maybe the word sounds new but I say there needs to be a proper balance for the number of logs. It is really difficult to get any value from here when you use a lot of logs. When anyone browses this kind of log manually, it seems chaotic. In the same way, very little log is not able to solve the problem. Keep in mind that problem-solving is not very easy, so you need to use enough ingredients.

Conclusion

As the size of applications and systems increases day by day, so does the complexity. So it is becoming necessary for everyone to know the logging solutions.

By focusing on the above I think, you will be able to create useful logs more easily. If I don’t mention any necessary (to you) best practices, don’t forget to let me know.

Categories: Software