Integrate and Analyze Diagnostic Logs with IBM Cloud Log Analysis

5 min read

By: Henrik Loeser

Integrate and Analyze Diagnostic Logs with IBM Cloud Log Analysis

Analyzing diagnostic logs, monitoring application health and keeping track of security-related events are at the foundation of successfully running apps and services. IBM Cloud offers services for that purpose. Today, I am going to show you how to use IBM Cloud Log Analysis to integrate, search and analyze as well as visualize diagnostic logs in the IBM Cloud.

Donut of Log Events

Donut of Log Events

Overview

IBM Cloud offers three complementary services that help to obtain insights into application health, stability and usage:

  • The IBM Cloud Log Analysis service provides an easy-to-use interface to logs generated by applications running in the IBM Cloud. In the premium plans, external log events can also be fed into the service for consolidated storage and analysis.

  • The Availability Monitoring service can be used to perform regular tests on an application to check availability, including speed.

  • Last, the IBM Cloud Activity Tracker has the capability to capture, store and visualize activities performed by IBM Cloud users and services in your account. Captured events can be stored and analyzed, e.g., to investigate security breaches or unauthorized access.

Generate, Access and Analyze Application Logs

Recently, the IBM Cloud Log Analysis service was rolled out in more regions and new capabilities were added. By default, logs from compute resources, runtimes and select services on the IBM Cloud are automatically routed to the Log Search and Log Storage components of the Log Analysis service. Thus, it is easy to get started once the service has been created. To make it even easier, I created a tutorial on how to generate, access and analyzse application logs. The tutorial utilizes a small app (as shown below) to generate different types of log entries. It walks you through the following steps:

  • Provision the IBM Cloud Log Analysis service

  • Deploy a Python Cloud Foundry application

     

    Generate Log Entries with Python

    Generate Log Entries with Python

  • Generate different types of log entries

  • Access application logs

  • Search and analyze logs

  • Visualize logs

The Log Analysis service allows to route logs from applications and services running outside the IBM Cloud into its logs storage. Thus, all events from complex, hybrid solutions can be integrated in a single place, retained and analyzed. Log searches are the building blocks of visualizations which can be composed to powerful dashboards.

Conclusions

Understanding diagnostic logs is core to successfully running apps. Log Analysis makes it simple to integrate, analyze and visualize those logs. In our tutorial we use a simple app to produce log entries and then show how to generate, access and analyze application logs. An overview of all IBM Cloud solution tutorials is available here.

If you have feedback, suggestions, or questions about this post, please reach out to me on Twitter (@data_henrik) or LinkedIn.

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