Data logging is the process of recording events or measurements to monitor real-time data. To be precise it involves collecting machine data with the purpose of identifying security incidents and providing information about unusual conditions across multiple infrastructure components, such as network devices (Firewall, Router, Switch, Load Balancer etc.), server infra (Windows, Linux, Hyper-V, VMware, AWS, Azure etc.) and applications (Apache, Nginx, IIS, Active Directory, Tomcat, ActiveMQ, Oracle, MSSQL, PostgreSQL etc.).
Here let us discuss about the important questions around DATA LOGGING.
- How important is data logging for your organization?
- What are the Instances where Event can be Used for Data Logging?
- What are different formats of data logging?
- How Motadata incorporates data logging to effectively monitor your network?
But before we delve deeper into each section, you must keep in mind that the big responsibility lies on the IT heads to ensure consistency in recording logs for individual application as well as for all the applications in the organization’s portfolio.
How important is data logging for your organization?
Maintaining data logs is a proactive way for an organization to keep a close watch on the performance of all the critical applications in their IT infrastructure. While logs can be an overwhelming and extensive chunk of data, it serves as a gold mine that provides system administrators with insightful operational intelligence.
A strong data logging mechanism in place can give system administrators red flags about performance and security issues ahead of time before the entire system crashes and eventually freeze your operations.
Digging out useful information is a difficult task, but that should not deter you from collecting data logs.
In certain situations, extensive data logging can turn out to be critical for troubleshooting. This can save organizations time, money and resources to pinpoint the exact problem in a complex network of nodes.
It helps to track all the interactions through which data is stored, accessed, or modified on a storage device. The industrial applications and scientific experiments that require collection of information quickly and accurately than manual processes utilize data logging technology.
When utilized well, the data of logs can turn into operational intelligence. Data logging allows you to keep a close watch on the business processes such as cart abandonment, transactions, connections, etc., in case of an e-commerce business, and so on. You can keep a better pulse on your business with an efficient data logging mechanism.
What are the Instances where Event can be Used for Data Logging?
When you have log data to work with, it becomes easy to use a log management solution to swiftly identify abnormalities. This brings emphasis to the types of events to consider for data logging.
Collecting log data for security and performance monitoring events is always a top priority. In addition, an organization should also log data of events relating to audit trails. This gives insights into activities such as data modification, deletion, and exports.
The type of events selected to record data logs for tends to differ based on the organization’s requirements. However, logging certain data requires prior consent and may be illegal. Use your discretion before deciding on the events for data logging.
For turning the theory of data log events into practice for your organization, you need to first investigate the purposes for which you will require data logging. This is the most important aspect for designing a data logging mechanism that is efficient at providing meaningful insights and for proactively approaching various issues.
However, with a wide range of data logging sources comes another challenge, which is, easy access of log data for the developers.
A central management of logs from multiple sources with user-base access control improves the productivity of your team. They can solve the issue rather than spending time in locating the data logs of the potentially compromised hosts.
What are different formats of data logging?
The most used formats for data exchange are XML and JSON. These two formats are universal because they can store numerous types of data. However, there is more to these log data formats, which make them a preferred choice. XML and JSON are plain text file format, which makes it possible to open them in Notepad and easily read.
There are other formats to consider like:
- Vendor specific Firewall logs apart from standard Syslog messages.
- Routing logs such as BGP routing protocol
- Application specific logs such as database audit, slow query, application exception on application servers, FTP logs, access logs from web servers, custom application logs
- Server logs such as Windows, Linux, VMware etc.
- Audit logs such login/log out, failed login across network, server and application infrastructure.
For a more structured data, you can opt in for other log data formats. Using binary formats is one of them. However, lack of universal binary file formats might make you give it a second thought.
The word of caution here is not to use a log data format that you can’t consistently use across your applications.
How Motadata incorporates data logging to effectively monitor your network?
Motadata’s Log Management Solution can collect, aggregate, and intelligently index all the log data irrespective of its format. This way, you are storing machine data understandable to humans, in a structured or unstructured format.
It has rich Data Analytics capabilities that allows you to perform correlation analysis studies to efficiently gather reports on operational and security risks.
Motadata provides the ideal solution required to manage the challenges of today’s increasingly complex as well as multifaceted business operations and IT infrastructure management.
Leveraging its comprehensive data collection & aggregation capabilities, alongside intelligent indexing and a fluid search interface, your IT teams can systematically optimize log file practices in your firm while adhering to the highest standards of compliance and operational efficiency.