Every business that operates using network devices, applications, and multiple servers recognizes the importance of an accompanying centralized log management system. Using the right log management solution empowers the business, as well as providing critical insight. The function of log management is not only to streamline IT teams and DevOps, but also guarantee that the organization can efficiently resolve network issues, whether pre-emptively or in real-time.

Elk Stack or Paid Log Analysis Tool? A Brief Comparison

Open source vs. paid log management tools 

There are different types of enterprise log management solutions available today. Paid log management tools and open source solutions are two options often compared. Elk log analysis, an open-source solution, is a popular alternative to paid versions. But what does this choice entail?  

Contrary to the general assumption, an open-source solution like ELK is not free. The user still pays for licensing and support. When it comes down to it, paid log management services like Xpolog is cheaper in the long run. Moreover, a paid enterprise-scale, the commercial product has additional features and robust security.

In terms of data collection and parsing, open-source solutions have several pitfalls. First, the user needs to develop script used in parsing. There is also no interface for data collection. Open source solutions require extensive technical expertise, ongoing maintenance, and upgrades are extremely difficult to deploy. 

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In the case of companies with stricter requirements, an on-premise solution is ideal. Open-source solutions are on-premise, but security features are limited. On the other hand, paid solutions like Xpolog are also on-premise but offers more reliable security. 

Choosing the right log management solution for your company

Each company has unique requirements according to their scalability needs, compliance, and volume of log data. Some of the primary factors to consider in choosing a log management platform are:

  • Volume of log data and retention requirement. In selecting a log management and analysis platform, the first step is figuring out the volume of log data generated. Apart from the quantity, it is also critical to define parameters in storage length, as well as the purpose of log data analysis. Will the logs be retained for regulatory compliance or real-time security and debugging?
  • Flexibility and scalability. The cost of the service usually dictates the scalability and flexibility requirement. One of the most cost-effective options is to pay the service per gig. This way, the solution grows as the needs of the company expands.

These are only two of the essential considerations. In most cases, companies compare the features and the cost to decide which solution best fits the needs of the organization.

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Is a hosted solution better than a self-managed platform?

One of the common causes for debate in the log management industry is whether a hosted solution is better than a self-managed platform. An open-source solution may appear attractive in the beginning, but as it becomes embedded in the network infrastructure of the company, managing an open-source platform will require more training, additional resources, and extensive integration.

In conclusion, a better approach is opting for a paid service that has out-of-the-box solutions which are easy to deploy and integrate with the existing infrastructure. IT and DevOps teams will find it more convenient to use a solution which offers predefined dashboards, real-time alerts, and additional features. It will be easier to use log data in detecting security risks, unusual patterns, and trends that require immediate intervention. The organization will benefit from data used in real-time decision-making.