Best cloud logging service | TechRadar

Best cloud logging service

While most servers maintain detailed logs of system events, connection attempts and application errors, it takes a lot of time and skill to go through each one manually.  

Cloud logging services try to make life easier for network admins by automatically monitoring your chosen servers and displaying log alerts via a dedicated dashboard or API.

In this guide, you’ll discover some of the very best cloud logging services online today. We’ve specifically chosen platforms which emphasis easy setup and consolidated information, so even moderately IT literate users can get started immediately.

1. Splunk

Try Splunk’s free tier to see if this is the cloud logging service for you

Free trial

Hybrid integration

Relatively expensive

Splunk produces software for searching, monitoring and analyzing machine-generated big data. They were founded in 2007.

The software offers a wide range of log management tools such as log consolidation, retention, IT operations troubleshooting, application troubleshooting and compliance reporting.

Users can collect, store, index, search, correlate, visualize and report on any machine-generated data. Subscribers can then resolve operational and security issues.

Searches are turned into real-time alerts, reports or dashboards in an easy to use manner.

The software is truly cross-platform and operates on the cloud. It can also operate as a hybrid, integrating on-premise and cloud software.

All data collated is presented on the interface. Users can view data analysis easier, export and import faster for charting purposes.

Splunk is geared towards businesses of any size. It can be adjusted according to a variety of configurations evolving as your organization grows.

The ‘Cloud’ plan offers users a 15-day free trial to search, analyze and visualize 5GB of data. Subscribers need to contact the sales team directly to receive a quote.

The ‘Free’ package includes one users, scale up to 500MB per day, index any machine data, real-time search and analysis.

“Splunk Lite’ starts at $87 (£66.72) per ingested GB per month and is billed annually. This includes up to 5 users, scale up to 20GB of data per day, unlimited searches, deployment on-premises or in your cloud and base support. 

The ‘Enterprise’ package starts at $175 (£134.21) per ingested GB per month and is also billed annually. This includes unlimited users, unlimited data scaling, mission critical performance, scale and reliability.

Online reviewers have noted that the free trial is minimal and the paid price plans being expensive compared to other products.

2. Logentries

Take advantage of Logentries simple setup to view and manage your data today

Free trial

PCA compliance

Some interface issues

Logentries is a software provider for log management and intelligence. They were founded in Dublin, Ireland in 2010.

The platform organizes logs from servers, applications, routers and containers from one central location. Logentries analyzes your log data with no complex setup. All data, can be sent to the company for an immediate search, regardless of the format.

Logs can be viewed in raw format or in a table view for easier interpretation. Logs and performance metrics for applications can be streamed live for real-time analyzes and debugging. Users can create custom tags for spotting important events.

Logentries allows users to securely collect their log data for PCA or HIPAA compliance. This can be searched and reported in real time.

The Logentries DataHub offers users secure transfer of log data along with automatic identification of sensitive information.

There’s a free trial but users must contact Logentries directly for pricing.

Online commentators have said that the interface could be more intuitive.

3. Papertrail

Papertrail simple setup and beginner-friendly interface makes it ideal for less tech savvy users

Variety of plans

User friendly

Some search issues

Solarwinds is a company that develops software for businesses to help manage their networks, systems and information technology infrastructure. They acquired the log management service ‘Papertrail’ in 2014.  

Papertrail allows users to log all apps, text log files and Syslog from one location. Searches and reports are done in real-time. Users can use a command line, browser or API.  

Alerts are sent instantly to users which can then be used to detect trends.  

Papertrail is easy to setup and implement. Users can gain visibility across all their systems quickly. Users can aggregate MySQL, cloud hosting, Apache, Tomcat, Heroku apps, routers and firewalls.

The lowest pricing tier starts at $7 (£5.37) for 1GB per month. This includes 1-week search and 1-year archive.

The mid-range tier starts at $75 (£57.52) for 8GB per month including 8 weeks search and 1-year archive.

The top tier weighs in at $230 (£176.40) for 25GB data per month and includes an additional 16GB for the first month, 2 weeks search and 1-year archive.

Papertrail forces users to save all searches.

4. Sumologic

Sumo may be slow and ponderous but its dashboard displays log data clearly

Real-time monitoring


Relatively slow

Sumologic is a cloud-based log management and analytics service. It was founded in 2010.

The platform provides real time dashboards. Users can manage and monitor all data logs, metrics, assess graphs and generate reports from here. Dashboards can be customized with pie, bar, map and line charts.  

Sumologic’s machine learning uses algorithmic support to arrange the patterns in data and establish any inconsistencies. Users can quickly establish and eliminate any issues that are identified. There is no need to set predefined rules or policies.

The platform allows users to build, run and secure their AWS, Google Cloud Platform or any hybrid applications.

Users can monitor key security metrics and indicators of compromise in real-time. Problems can be resolved faster as a result of this.

‘Sumo Free’ is geared towards individual users and teams undergoing smaller projects. This includes log storage of 4GB and max 500MB of log ingest.

The ‘Professional’ plan is $99 (£75.93) per GB per month for an annual commitment. This includes free metrics, 30GB storage and min 3GB log ingest. It also offers a 30-day free trial.

The ‘Enterprise’ package offers a 30-day free trial. It is $165 (£126.55) per GB per month for an annual commitment.  

Users have noted that Sumo is slow compared to other logging programs.

5. Sematext Logsense

Stay tuned to logging alerts via Sematext’s special custom API

Flexible pricing

Hosted ELK (Elastic Stack)

Some support issues

Sematext builds cloud and on-premises systems for application performance monitoring, log management and analytics. They were founded in 2007.

The platform uses Elasticsearch API and integrated Kibana. It claims to be the first true Hosted ELK (Elastic Stack) Stack.

Log can be inspected via the user interface or Elasticsearch API. They are also kept in one centralized location. ELK maintains and scales everything.

Alerts can be sent via email, ChatOps or WebHooks. Logsense has built-in integrations for PagerDuty, Slack and HipChat amongst others.

Users can save all queries as a ‘Saved Search’ or an ‘Alert Query’.  Saved searches can be custom tagged with labels or colours.

Sematext Logsense offers users a 30-day free trial. Prices are metered and based on plan, daily volume and data retention. Your plan is chosen based on the features you need. The higher volume you choose the lower the cost per GB. All prices are based on a monthly rate. Users need to contact Logsense directly for more information.

Users have complained of some issues when trying to contact support.

Top Image Credit: Uwe Aranas / Wikimedia

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