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Maximize Observability of Your CI/CD Pipeline With Loggly

By Aaron Strong 18 Nov 2019

The DevOps engineer is an important role in an organization because he or she is responsible for the success of a software project and its lifecycle. This person typically wears many hats—from software developer to managing system operations. These individuals usually have an extensive background in either software development or system administration.

The DevOps engineer uses many different tools to be successful in their role. They need tools that cover a wide spectrum of the infrastructure and application stack. They need a tool that helps troubleshoot issues quickly, measures the success of deploying automated code, and creates a baseline for the infrastructure to know when anomalies enter the environment.

SolarWinds® Loggly® is this tool because it maximizes observability of the continuous integration (CI)/continuous delivery (CD) pipeline. Loggly is a SaaS-based log management and analysis tool able to dynamically scale with the environment as new systems and applications are introduced. Loggly also provides the ability to baseline and measure software projects across the CI/CD cycle.

Code

Loggly offers documentation on how to integrate GitHub with Loggly. Once the initial setup is complete, you have the option to select what repositories and branches you’ll want to monitor. Having this option allows you to monitor code critical to your business operations.

Once Loggly is monitoring your GitHub repositories, when an application throws a stack trace message, you can use Loggly to quickly search for stack trace exceptions. This is possible because Loggly centrally stores all logs from the application making searching for errors easier. The stack trace will include a link to a dialog box that opens from within Loggly to view the source code from GitHub. The new window includes who authored the code, the commit message, and the day it was committed.

This ability to search for errors and view the source code from a single platform gives the engineer an end-to-end solution for resolving issues quickly. The engineer has visibility into the logs issued from the application and can trace back to the source code of the application with the GitHub integration, allowing them to see if a new push request caused an issue.

Deployment

Moving into CI of code and software projects, developers need a way to automatically test and deploy new code as it’s created. Jenkins is a CI tool many DevOps engineers use to test new features and functionality of software projects. They do this by using automation and building software projects continuously on a schedule or after a new update to a GitHub repository. Jenkins can build these software projects easier than other CI tools because it integrates with other languages and platforms with the use of plugins.

When a new software project is deployed, Jenkins records in a log if the deployment was successful or if there were errors. As a log aggregator, Loggly can pull in logs from Jenkins and thus monitors if a deployment had an issue or if it was successful. Because of its ability to retain history, you can also use Loggly to determine a baseline for the success rates of the deployments from Jenkins before pushing the code to production. By measuring the success rate of a particular branch or repository, you can be more confident and will see a reduction of errors when the code is merged into production.

Operation

When monitoring a particular layer of the stack, a common question is: What does a normal functioning application look like? What does the performance look like and is today’s behavior the same or different from yesterday? To answer these questions in production requires the ability to aggregate logs from both application events as well as system/infrastructure events.

Loggly not only aggregates logs from application events as well as system events, but it also scales with the continuously changing or growing environment and stores the critical historical data so you don’t have to. Having a central location to search for all system and application logs helps engineers resolve issues quickly.

Loggly makes use of dashboards to help team members visualize key metrics from different sources like systems and applications. This visual can help because it shows historical data. An engineer can quickly see if a system or application is behaving the same today as it was yesterday, and can also correlate a system error before it causes an issue with an application. To gain additional in-depth performance metric information, Loggly is also integrated with SolarWinds AppOptics performance tracing for deeper metrics into system and application performance all the way down to the application code itself.

Conclusion

DevOps engineers are widely responsible for the life cycle success of an application. From the birth of the application—by monitoring the source code repository—to the performance of the application when it hits production, DevOps engineers need a tool that can monitor the availability and performance across the life cycle of the application. SolarWinds Loggly has the ability to track the success of code integrations and quickly search for errors across multiple systems and applications from a single location, while also giving operations a continuous picture of the health of the infrastructure and application required to ensure success.

The Loggly and SolarWinds trademarks, service marks, and logos are the exclusive property of SolarWinds Worldwide, LLC or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Aaron Strong

Aaron Strong

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