If you maintain a regular practice of keeping log data, you probably have an established way of observing event logs in real time or you do it by using batch processing. There are two ways you can monitor event logs: manually and automatically. By monitoring event logs, you can gain deeper insight into system metrics, localize process bottlenecks, and detect security vulnerabilities. What are some other advantages of event log monitoring, and how can you get the most out of it? Benefits include:
- Centralized log data
- Improved system performance
- Time-efficient monitoring
- Automated issue troubleshooting
Monitor All Events in One Place
While performing manual log monitoring can work well in a small environment, having a large network and system makes it exponentially harder to efficiently monitor event logs manually. Log monitoring software lets you not only keep track of local events but also monitor remote events in other parts of the network. This way you can centralize event monitoring and keep all logs in one place. By creating a custom set of rules, you can choose how event logs will be processed and parsed, and which events will trigger a response. Centralized event log monitoring has many advantages, one of which is increased security. In case of a security breach on one machine, the intruder won't be able to access and compromise its event logs, and they will have a hard time covering up their tracks.
Improve System Performance
Software for monitoring event logs keeps all past logs archived, providing an excellent source of data for analyzing system behavior. By keeping all past event logs in one place, you can use this data to your advantage and diagnose system vulnerabilities. For instance, archived event logs can help you understand which processes tend to create bottlenecks or waste resources, so you can fix these issues and improve performance and resource management. The same goes for current events, and by monitoring event logs in real time, you can detect a minor issue and prevent it from creating additional problems that can lead to something more severe. Since you can customize the way you perform event log monitoring, you can create a system that works best for your infrastructure and weed out logs with minor significance to be able to focus on the real issues.
The traditional approach to monitoring event logs is to perform manual monitoring and take action when you detect an issue. The downside of this approach is the need to have someone constantly monitoring event logs, which calls for more people working in shifts or leaves you with the option to only partially monitor the system during certain working hours. If a critical issue occurs outside of working hours and you don't have a dedicated person for handling emergencies, this can mean hours of downtime before someone is available to tackle the problem. Depending on the nature of your business, such events can cause an increase in customer churn rate, which is something you want to avoid at all costs.
By choosing software for monitoring log events, you can avoid this problem and cut down the time needed to detect and fix an issue. Event logs can get bulky and hard to manually navigate, which is one more reason to automate this process and make it faster. If you consider that time is of the essence when a security breach takes place, automated monitoring can help you react in time by sending real-time alerts as soon as there is a security issue.
One of the possibly most useful features of automated event log monitoring is the possibility to set the monitoring software to automatically perform an action whenever a certain type of warning is detected.
Correct Issues Automatically
Another great benefit of opting for automated log monitoring is being able to set the monitoring software to take action when a certain event occurs. For some events, there is a simple and universal solution every time the event takes place. This helps eliminate the time to detect the event and decide on the most appropriate action, and ensures system uptime without the need for human supervision. For example, some events issue a low memory warning, which can be fixed by restarting the problematic process or the whole system. By setting up an automatic action - for instance, to restart a process every time it triggers a low memory warning- you can save significant time between detecting a warning in the event log and fixing the issue.
At the end of the day, the decision to implement event log monitoring is entirely up to you, but we at Graylog firmly believe that the benefits of monitoring significantly outweigh the costs in time and manpower (if you opt for manual monitoring) or money (if you choose paid event log monitoring software). If you decide to go with event log monitoring software, make sure to compare different products and features before making the final decision.