What the Best Log Analysis Tools Have in Common

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Log analysis tools are one of many platforms that let managers check in on the efficiency and performance of their networks. Not only do they help busy managers know what’s happening system-wide, but they’re able to see problems that are about ready to pop up. Having a handle on malfunctions in their very early stages means being able to spot and prevent tiny issues from becoming disasters.

Some Are Better Than Others

It’s a fact of life that all the apps and devices that comprise a company’s system produce log files, almost all of which end up revealing various performance parameters. There’s really no other way to capture and view this sort of information, which is one of the unique advantages of logging. The analyzing part of the cycle comes in when the tool creates a readable, understandable set of data that possess concrete meaning. Like many other computer programs and applications, these powerful tools that reduce logged information into user-friendly formats that human eyes can quickly scan and understand come in hundreds of shapes and sizes. Some, of course, are better than others, but they’re all different and come with their own strengths and weaknesses.

Where Does SEO Come In?

Managers who want to maximize the power of their sites’ attractiveness to search engines always have SEO on their minds. Log analysis for SEO purposes is one of the best uses anyone can get from logged data. It reveals exactly, and numerically, how many pages and sections of a website were visited and how often. Every IT manager wants to know which pages the search engines prefer. That kind of information can make or break a marketing campaign.

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Is Free a Bad Word?

Some decision-makers avoid any IT add-on, app, or tool that comes without a cost, adhering to the philosophy that you get what you pay for. There’s another adage that applies in this case, however, and it is that the best things in life are free. Any way you look at it, there are some excellent free log analysis tools out there that don’t cost a dime but do get the job done. The question is, what should business owners and IT folks look for in terms of features?

Defining Excellence by Features and Capabilities

Whether you can get them for free or end up paying a modest price for the software, here are some of the features to look for in any log analysis tools you consider:

  • Automated report writing
  • Multiple kinds of reports, including STIG, ISO, HIPAA, DISA, CIP, FERPA, and others
  • Free trials for any of the non-free offerings
  • Live alerts
  • Troubleshooting capability
  • Full-scale event monitors
  • Adaptability for Linux, Windows, and others OS options
  • Syslog receivers and event-based capability
  • AI-based functionality that can spot intruders and program errors
  • Both paid and free versions for different levels of users
  • Worthwhile threat response
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Ease of setup
  • Readable, understandable dashboard
  • Customizable features
  • Drag-and-drop customization features
  • Retention of historical data
  • Multiple filters for paring down data sets
  • Ability for user to set their own alerts
  • Centralized data storage

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