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Builder beware: The opportunity costs of log management solutions

By Pranay Kamat 24 May 2017

Would you wait in line in the hot sun for hours to get a free slice of pizza? Probably not, because there is an opportunity cost to that. In simple terms, opportunity cost is the value of something you give up because you chose an alternative action.

Similarly building, configuring, and deploying your own production-grade log management and analytics solution involves huge opportunity costs. Paying close attention to these opportunity costs helps you identify what really matters to you.

Innovate inside your product

Most likely, your business is not making money from selling log management solutions. So, do you want to build new features for log management and analytics or focus on your own product? Think about it.

  • If you are an e-commerce business, would you have your best engineers design a better shopping recommendation algorithm, or instead develop and manage algorithms for detecting anomalies in your logs?
  • If you are a SaaS marketplace business helping your customers find services they are looking for, do you prefer building a powerful search for your customers or figuring out index management for your Elasticsearch?
  • If you are a game developer, would you rather launch a new game or have your ops team build alerting for monitoring logs?

Your sales reps will struggle to sell your product if you prioritize implementing and managing the coolest logging tools and integrations over your product. Make their lives easier and help them sell with new, exciting features in your product.

When Loggly comes out with a new feature, it just shows up. We don’t need to worry about dependencies or upgrade agents. And, anyone can log into Loggly from anywhere.

Jeremy Koerber Jeremy Koerber Senior Systems Engineer at Creative Market

Scale for your business growth

Adoption of cloud-based infrastructure and platform services is a very natural choice for a large number of growing businesses today. Using Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and other cloud services, a small business with 20-30 employees can scale at a global scale and provide high quality services to millions of users. Even large enterprise players have warmed up to cloud services and are now actively adopting them to reinvent themselves in the modern era.

Should log management and analytics be any different? Think whether you want your ops teams to get paged in the middle of the night to manage Elasticsearch indexes, do shard allocation, or provision additional capacity because one of your servers is spitting out a ton of logs. Or, would you rather have them paged for adding more capacity to handle the high transaction volume on your website?

Loggly is able to serve thousands of customers sending hundreds of GBs per day with high reliability. Don’t think of log data volume as a cost management variable. Instead, think of log data volume as a growth variable. Let log management experts worry about scaling for your logs while you manage scaling your own applications.

Your investors and shareholders will find it difficult to support your business if you choose to spend on building scale for your logs and not your core business. Help them see your growth potential by scaling and preparing systems for growth in your core business.

We spent weeks trying to build our own logging and indexing solution for large JSON strings. Our volume of data is so high that it cost us ten times more than Loggly, and our data retention time was three times worse.

Albert Ho Albert Ho Executive Producer/Product Manager for Platform, Rumble Entertainment

Invest in your user experience

Every product or service has bugs and performance issues. Users expect to see some of them, but if you keep them waiting long for any resolution, then it can quickly lead to customer dissatisfaction and eventually they will leave you.

Do you want to improve your product experience on different browsers, mobile devices, and screen resolutions or actually have your most skilled engineers try out different regular expressions to automatically parse and analyze your logs? Our engineers love solving mapping conflicts in search indexes for your logs and making sure they are handled well. Meanwhile, I think your engineers would love solving real customer issues around your core business such as complex search algorithms, incorporating machine learning, managing complex data transformation issues, or making payments quick and easy.

Loggly engineers have years of experience designing solutions for troubleshooting with logs. Our team, which includes engineering, DevOps, support reps, and even product managers, uses the product themselves to solve our production problems or track other metrics, so we all can relate to your desire for faster troubleshooting.

Most importantly, your customers will appreciate every improvement in their user experience however small it is. A delightful user experience leads to happy customers. Let your log management vendor figure out how to make your troubleshooting sessions more productive and your data easier to analyze while you invest time and money using that data to create a better experience for your users. Every bug resolved faster also helps improve customer satisfaction.

Running a log management infrastructure in-house is actually not cheap. And Loggly helps us focus on what is most important for us.

Pedro Gomes Pedro Gomes Director of Apps Club Business Unit, Bemobi

Don’t put the cart before the horse

Logging is important for every developer and ops team member in your company. But innovation in log management is not. So reward your customers, colleagues, and investors by focusing on your core business. Maximize your agility and scale for your core business. When you calculate the cost of getting an on-premise or cloud-based log management solution, always look beyond data volume and retention. The price you pay is far lower when you consider these lost opportunities to grow and invest in your core business. But if you still choose to become a log management champion, then welcome to the club!

Pranay Kamat

Pranay Kamat

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