Logs are a goldmine of information when monitoring a network. Collected logs provide you with a ton of information about performance and security events taking place within your applications/infrastructure. A reliable log analysis platform gives you the capacity to resolve performance issues fast.
Here is our list of the seven best log analysis tools:
- SolarWinds Log Analyzer (FREE TRIAL) – Log analysis tool with real-time charts, graphs, and filters.
- Loggly Proactive Monitoring (FREE TRIAL) – Cloud-based log analysis software with custom dashboards and anomaly detection.
- Paessler PRTG Network Monitor (FREE TRIAL) – Free network monitoring tool with syslog monitoring and Windows Event log monitoring.
- ManageEngine EventLog Analyzer – Free event log monitoring software with custom alerts.
- Splunk – Free log management solution with custom dashboards and threshold-based alerts.
- XpoLog – Free log analytics tool with dashboards, graphs, maps, and AI.
- Datadog – Log analysis tool with automatic log collection and tagging with over 350 integrations and smart alerts.
The Best Log Analysis Tools
SolarWinds Log Analyzer is a log collection tool that allows you to view Syslog, Traps, VMware Events, and Windows Events logs. For an enhanced perspective, you can view log data in real-time through a chart, which displays the number of events that happened and when.
Navigating SolarWinds Log Analyzer is easy. The platform provides you with search and filter features so you can control what logs you view. For example, you can filter the events you see to Forwarded Event or User Logon to look for specific issues within your environment. After applying features you can save the logs and export log results in CSV for further viewing.
The software is integrated with the Orion alerts engine to support fast remediation. The Orion alerts engine allows you to create customizable alerts to determine when notifications are created. For example, you can receive an email if a device is experiencing a security event.
SolarWinds Log Analyzer is a simple and robust log analysis solution designed for enterprise users looking for centralized log monitoring tools. Prices start at $1,495 (£1,132). You can download the 30-day free trial.
Loggly Proactive Monitoring is a cloud-based log monitoring solution that monitors the logs of a range of services including devices, applications, services, and more. From the customizable dashboard, you can see an overview of performance issues across your infrastructure.
The dashboard includes a range of visualizations like graphs and charts that highlight time-series data. Loggly is agentless and compatible with systems ranging from Amazon Cloudfront to Docker, Linux, Python, NGINX, Windows systems logs, and more.
The tool also comes equipped with anomaly detection. Anomaly detection enables the program to automatically detect anomalous behavior in log data and notify you. Notifications can be sent by Slack, HipChat, PagerDuty, VictorOps, or other Webhook-compatible services.
If you’re looking for a log analysis platform with the potential to provide you with deep visibility then Loggly is an excellent option. The Lite version is available for free for one user with a volume of 200 MB/day. Paid versions start at $79 (£59) with the Standard version, which supports up to three users and 1GB worth of data a day. There is a 14-day free trial available.
Paessler PRTG Network Monitor is a free network monitoring software with Syslog and Windows Event log monitoring. The Syslog Receiver Sensor displays the number of received syslog messages per second, number of warning messages per second, number of error messages per second, and number of dropped packets per second (all of these data points are displayed with a table and dials.
A customizable alerts system keeps you notified when there is an event that needs your attention. Notifications can be sent by email, SMS, push, Slack message, syslog message, Microsoft Teams message, SNMP, trap, and more. For automated responses, you can execute a program or HTTP action to follow up.
The software can be configured with little hassle, as it comes with an autodiscovery feature, which automatically discovers devices. Autodiscovery speeds up configuration time so that you can start monitoring your devices without manual configurations eating away at your time.
Paessler PRTG Network Monitor is a tool that’s suitable for companies looking for a cost-effective syslog management tool that’s easy to use. It’s free for the first 100 sensors and supports general network monitoring. Paid versions start at $1,600 (£1,211) for up to 500 sensors. You can download the 30-day free trial.
ManageEngine Eventlog Analyzer is a free log analysis tool for Windows and Linux that allows you to monitor event logs. EventLog Analyzer collects syslog data from Redhat, Debian, Open SUSE, OpenBSD, Ubuntu, Solaris, IBM AIX, HP-UX, and presents it in real-time.
Finding the data you need to monitor is very simple. With the dashboard, you can navigate syslog data by severity and category to look for particular issues. You can also use customized reports to share event data with your team. If you don’t want to create your own reports you can choose from over 1000 out-of-the-box reports instead.
Configure email and SMS alerts to create notifications about changes in your environment. These alerts can be categorized as high, medium, or low so that you know how important it is for you to respond. There are also over 500 predefined alert criteria to help configure notifications quickly.
ManageEngine EventLog Analyzer is free for up to five log sources. If you require additional sources then you can purchase an upgrade. Paid versions start at $595 (£450) for the Premium Edition, which includes features like real-time event correlation, alerts, and compliance reporting. Download the 30-day free trial version here.
Splunk is a free log management solution that monitors logs in real-time from a range of sources including devices, databases, applications, virtual machines, and more. Once you’ve captured data you can use the search bar and the Search Processing Language (SPL) to navigate between data sources and find the relevant information. The tool comes with a search assistant, which offers contextual suggestions to help you out.
When it comes to analyzing data, you can create custom dashboards of log data and integrate charts for greater visibility. Personalized dashboards give members of your team the information that’s most relevant to their roles. Dashboards you create can be accessed whether you’re on a desktop device or on a mobile device.
A threshold-based alerts system tells you about changing performance conditions. Notifications are sent to you by email or RSS to let you know that there’s a problem. To follow up and fix performance problems, you can generate service desk tickets so that your team can resolve any issues found.
Splunk is one of the biggest names in log management because it provides everything you need to monitor system logs effectively in a cost-effective package. The free version supports up to 500mb of data per day and one user. Paid versions offer scalable pricing structured with unlimited volume and users. You can contact the company directly for a quote. Download the free version from this link here.
XpoLog is a free log analytics platform that can collect log data from almost any source including devices, applications, and services. The software is easy to configure and automatically identifies log sources to pull data from.
From then onwards you can view performance data through the dashboard. Dashboards include a range of displays including tables, maps, and graphs. You can enter searches to find log data supported by AI.
AI also enables the program to detect performance anomalies in your data. You can configure the platform to send you an alert if a particular event occurs a specific number of times within a defined time frame. Having this option is useful for helping you to avoid responding to false positives.
XpoLog is a good choice for enterprises that want a log monitoring solution that leverages AI for a more hands-on experience. XpoLog is free with 0.5GB of data per day and five days retention. If you require more data you can purchase a paid version. Prices start at $51.50 (£39) per month for 1GB of data per day and unlimited retention. You can download the program for free from this link here.
Datadog is a popular log analysis tool that allows you to automatically collect logs from connected services and applications. You can create log analytics dashboards with a drag-and-drop feature to customize your point of view. The platform also has over 350 integrations different including AWS, Java, Apache, MongoDB, NGINX, and Docker.
Once you’ve collected data you can search and filter to find the most important information. All of your data is stored centrally so that you can access it whenever you need to. You can also extract log data from any format making Datadog suitable for versatile environments where you want to consolidate lots of sources in one place.
Smart alerts use machine learning to keep you posted about performance changes. The system is easy to configure and can automatically detect anomalous behavior and log errors. Alerts can be sent through tools like Slack and PagerDuty so your team knows when to respond.
Datadog is an affordable advanced log analysis tool that is well equipped to manage performance issues. There is a range of different versions of Datadog available to purchase. The Log Management package starts at $1.27 (£0.96) per million log events, per month with seven days of data retention. You can download the 14-day free trial from this link here.
Choosing the right tool
Monitoring logs is a much easier experience if you have the right software to do the job. Tools with custom dashboards and search functions are great for finding the performance data you need without getting overwhelmed by the mountain of log data you have at your disposal.
Our editor’s pick on this list is SolarWinds Log Analyzer due to its simplicity and ease of use. If you prefer to try a free tool then you’re spoiled for choices. Tools like Paessler PRTG Network Monitor, ManageEngine EventLog Analyzer, and Splunk all have free packages available for you to use with premium features.