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    October 2, 2023

    Triangulate: Add Logs to Your Monitoring Mix

    The paradox

    For many IT organizations, triaging or troubleshooting starts with assessing symptoms. As practitioners investigate the causal factors by answering each of the “5 whys,” logs are often where the actual root cause answers lie. This is even more true for issues related to configuration changes, change management, and security. However, diving into log data can be overwhelming as a first step due to the high volume and velocity of logs and missing context. This process can be akin to finding a needle in a haystack.

    ESD_FY23_Academy-Blog.Triangulate.Figure 1

    The power of log data

    Log monitoring holds the key to unlocking an understanding of the internal state of your systems.

    Log monitoring is the process of continuously analyzing log files generated by various components of an IT system to track system events, user activities, and potential issues. Logs provide deep, real-time insights into system performance, operational health, and security.

    Bringing logs together with metrics and alarm data, and correlating these sets of information, provides immediate benefits for your IT team and makes your systems and services more observable. Here are a few of the most significant benefits:

    Faster issue resolution and shorter mean-time-to-detect and remediate

    When there are issues, such as slow response times, poor network connectivity, or infrastructure capacity problems, logs provide a trove of diagnostic information that is indispensable for fast and precise troubleshooting. By using log information in conjunction with alarm and metric data, for example, SREs can confidently pinpoint the source of the issue to enable swift and accurate resolution.

    Proactive monitoring and alerting

    Log monitoring can help IT operations transition from conventional reactive monitoring to a more proactive approach by providing SREs and developers with an internal view of the system. Through artificial intelligence and machine learning, logs can be continually analyzed and correlated against key thresholds so that teams are alerted to potential problems before they escalate and create potential downtime or negative user experiences. This information also helps teams develop a better understanding of root causes and dependencies between systems.

    Improved user experience

    End users expect seamless, uninterrupted experiences when interacting with digital services. With AIOps, logs, metrics, alarms, and business data can be aggregated on-the-fly so that the full end-to-end digital service is observable. Specifically, by using rich log data, potential performance issues, emerging bottlenecks, or imminent resource constraints that may arise along the service journey can be identified and proactively addressed if necessary. Log monitoring helps ensure that systems remain available and responsive so you can maintain high quality user experiences, and bolster customer satisfaction and loyalty.

    Enhanced security and compliance

    Cyber attacks are becoming more sophisticated by the day. Monitoring logs for suspicious activity or unauthorized access can help identify security breaches. This allows for immediate action to mitigate threats and protect sensitive data. Moreover, organizations in many industries and regions are bound by strict regulatory requirements, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Monitoring and storing logs has become essential for compliance since it provides a detailed record of who accessed what data and when. This data trail is invaluable for audits and investigations.

    ESD_FY23_Academy-Blog.Triangulate.Figure 2

    DX Operational Intelligence does the hard work of log ingestion, parsing, and correlation so teams receive the insights they need to predict, detect, diagnose, and remediate issues. The Logs for Triage module in DX Operational Intelligence enables IT operations, SREs, developers, and DevOps teams to:

    • Aggregate relevant logs centrally at enterprise scale
    • Monitor and troubleshoot
    • Automatically correlate logs with alarms and inventory data
    • Automate notifications and remediation

    Log data on its own is valuable. However, without the help of AIOps, mining value from logs and correlating logs with alarms, metrics, and business data (for example, customer experience information) remains a challenge for many.

    In my next blog, I’ll provide information to help you get started with logs in DX Operational Intelligence. In addition, I’ll outline simple best practices that enable IT to tap into the value of logs.

    You can find additional information in the technical documentation for DX Operational Intelligence.

    Pramit Saxena

    Pramit Saxena is a Product Manager for DX Operational Intelligence and focuses on Integration, ITSM, and Data Security for the product. He has extensive experience in building and managing enterprise products across Telco, Cloud, Infrastructure, and Operations verticals.

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