An immeasurable amount of data, in its raw, unfiltered form, exists all around us. For most of us, to be able to properly categorize and “read” that data, we first must convert it into a format that we can understand – which is where the log viewer comes in. Just as the binary number system – the basis of almost all computers in the world - uses a combination of ones and zeroes, which are then translated into images, sounds, and other commands that we can make sense of, so the log viewer helps us comprehend our computer log files.
So it should go without saying that, when you are choosing the right Log Management tool for you, a good log viewer should definitely be a must-have feature. To help you make an informed decision, here are a couple of things no proper log viewing feature can ever be without.
1. An Intuitive UI – So You Can Easily View Your Log Viewer
We all know how important a clear, professionally designed user interface is to any app. Often, it’s the very first thing we’ll see, and we spend most of our time using an app by navigating its commands and functionalities – in graphical form. For every piece of commercial software, user experience is one of the key pillars, and a well-developed, functional interface is a huge part of that enjoyment in the interaction between human and machine. More than just the mere placement and look of the icons inside an app, excellent UI is characterized by the organic ease by which we maneuver in it – with comfort, speed, and efficiency, never frustration.
2. Viewing Logs in Real-Time
For many IT team members, and especially for system admins and those in cybersecurity, having the ability to view log data in real-time is vital to their job. Often, reacting to any unwanted incursions or suspect changes as soon as possible is critical to operational safety, since logs are used more and more to tighten up security. To distinguish from common false positives and other benign issues, these experts often create their own custom scripts and filters that take these non-issues into account. Testing for possible problems or holes in their security setups is also made much easier by having the option to view logs in this way.
3. The Log Viewer Has a Variety of Reporting Features
No matter if you are looking to meet compliance regulations, or want to present an annual report to the board of directors, having the option to create, customize, and store different kinds of reports is imperative. Because not everyone wants to – or has the time to – read an extensive list of problems that cropped up in the last quarter, these reports have to be able to sumup data in the form of graphs and pie charts. Logs are created constantly, have to be stored for a long time, and can take up considerable amounts of storage space - which means that having them backed-up on the cloud and, ideally, compressed to reduce their size is another important feature.
The log viewer is by far one of the most essential parts of any Log Management tool. It is a gateway to how we perceive and use those logs, and as such, must be functional, comfortable to use, with enough power to show all log data in real-time, and with several different kinds of report options.