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What is LaaS?

Logging as a service (LaaS) is a combination of SaaS (software as a service) and PaaS (platform as a service). It runs like software, but it can be used as a platform to support your entire logging infrastructure. If you don’t already have a logging standard, here is some help understanding why you need one and what LaaS can do for you.

How the Cloud Works with Logging Platforms

if_Menu_Button_1347072The cloud lets you run any program from remote servers over the Internet, but logging in the cloud is a different animal. Logging requires strict security because you don’t want your competitor to one day come across your list of users written to a plain text file. The other difference is that logging must run on the server, so it must interact with different environments and operating systems.

The SaaS part of a LaaS logging system runs on your provider’s infrastructure. The provider houses your logs, and most of them provide you with a graphical interface where you can run reports. Long-time server administrator remembers the days when you had to read line-by-line, page-by-page to find the error that matched the time frame of a given bug. With LaaS, you no longer need to work with these restrictions, and you can query your logs from the browser-based software.

The logs are housed on the provider’s servers, so you don’t need to worry about security, firewalls, or even infrastructure. The LaaS provider does it all for you. The vendor’s servers also store any data. Just like other cloud applications, LaaS reduces overhead and costs associated with equipment to run your logging system.

Even though the server stores reports and data, your provider still needs you to run software on your local servers. Your servers need to know that it should transfer the logs to your LaaS provider. The software that runs on the server depends on your provider, but it’s usually a minimal application that does not take many resources. For instance, if you have a Windows server, a small service runs in the background and sends any events in Event Viewer to the LaaS server.

What Can You Log With LaaS?

if_help_1_134707LaaS is perfect for operations and server management, but it’s also useful for software developers. Operations managers can appreciate reports especially for any notices of software crashes, resource exhaustion, or security notifications. Instead of finding out about an attack weeks after it happens, the right LaaS can send alerts when traffic anomalies occur. Server administrators can review logs or set up notifications for unusual traffic. Use it in conjunction with an antivirus application, and you know as soon as an attack starts.

Software developers have just recently adopted LaaS solutions. Every application has its problems even if they aren’t known to your users. You can have crashes handled and unhandled bugs, notifications and warnings, and alerts when a security issue is found. Developers must be able to either code their own logging solution or use a third-party.

With third-party tools, the cloud application can work directly with the operating system or the application. Some logging solutions let you integrate them into your application and instantiate classes that then handle logging events and methods. It takes much of the hassle of logging errors from developers and allows them to focus on more relevant modules.

Is It Worth the Cost to Incorporate LaaS?

if_registration_193076For a LaaS solution to be worth the cost, you should consider your infrastructure and development platform. If you have critical servers that cost money when they crash, it’s worth finding a solution. Remember that LaaS can send alerts when something happens because it runs in the cloud. It’s a good way to ensure that you know when the server isn’t running properly.

Developers can take a few hours or months to create a logging solution. If your application is large and requires numerous logging modules, LaaS can save development time and money.

To find the right solution, first, find one that supports your operating system. You need a Windows-compatible solution if you develop for Windows. Linux servers need a Linux-compatible solution. After you find a few options, install them and test each one. Most providers give you a 30-day trial version. After you purchase a subscription, install the software, create reports and watch them closely for any issues.

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