Cloud Chronicles: Leverage a Log Aggregator for Enhanced Cloud Operations

Griff Shelley 缩略图
Griff Shelley
Published May 09, 2024

The current digital age we’re in is evolving rapidly. And cloud teams working to keep up with this evolution need to maintain robust multicloud, Web App and API Protection (WAAP), and application delivery solutions. It’s widely acknowledged that organizations are under more pressure than ever to deliver secure and reliable digital experiences to users, all while facing near-constant threats from cyberattacks. And though a lot of organizations are able to provide this level of service to users, they face the challenge of adapting to these myriad and growing demands. Consequently, developing a process to understand their cloud assets and optimize both their security and performance abilities continues to be a top priority. A cloud data log aggregator is an indispensable part of this process.

The term “cloud data log aggregator” is an interesting one, to be sure. Let’s demystify it a bit first, because in the era of data privacy and a very problematic number of data leaks and breaches (not to mention the increasingly scary threat landscape), the idea of a “data aggregator” might understandably raise some suspicions at first glance. It may sound somewhat like Big Brother. But fear not. The data discussed here isn’t personal information; instead, it refers to data on what is happening to an application in its cloud living space.

Tools like the Global Log Receiver (GLR) for F5 Distributed Cloud Services collect and offload logs from cloud services—application delivery and security services, most commonly. They assist log data collectors, such as Splunk and Datadog, in providing cloud teams with visibility into network and security events. This makes them a vital component for any team that wants to understand where and how they can secure and optimize their network. To put it another way: imagine being able to index and review every event that happened in and around your workflow for a month. How valuable would it be to get that data to a solution that could turn it into actionable intelligence?

It's not too good to be true, but how does it work? How does a data log aggregator or receiver help cloud teams respond to and prepare for attacks while optimizing day-to-day operations?

  1. Enhancing visibility: Log aggregators and receivers can provide the means through which comprehensive visibility of app traffic, across diverse regions, may be attained and then sent to a collector to be stored. This empowers teams to analyze client IPs, geolocation, user agents, and more—an activity that is crucial for ensuring an application’s availability and reliability. This also makes data logs an invaluable resource for hardening app security services, so teams can stay ahead of potential security issues by identifying and mitigating threats before they can do damage.

  2. Facilitating scalability: As the business grows, so will the need for more extensive log retention and analysis capabilities. Because log aggregators and receivers can offload huge amounts of cloud log data to dedicated collectors, growing enterprises are able use this information to understand how to scale and accommodate increased traffic, ensuring application accessibility for users.

  3. Improving troubleshooting: With growth also comes the potential for complications and the need to quickly diagnose problems with a cloud service. Whether it's a slowdown in application delivery or an issue with an API, the detailed logs gathered by an aggregator and delivered to a log collector can help pinpoint the root of the problem quickly and efficiently, maximizing application uptime.

  4. Assuring compliance: Many industries are required to maintain logs for auditing purposes; such records are often necessary for maintaining compliance with regulatory frameworks like PCI-DSS or HIPAA. Tools like GLR for F5 Distributed Cloud Services can help provide ready access to secure, long-term storage for data logs to avoid penalties and build trust with customers and users. Logs are also useful for reviewing events like database access records, server logins, or successful/failed API requests.

Data becomes information, information becomes intelligence, intelligence empowers action in the most efficient, robust ways to improve the application experience for users. A tool to aid in the process of turning that data into actionable intelligence needs to be a staple in every cloud operation team’s toolkit.

GLR for F5 Distributed Cloud Services fits in that toolkit for any team working to better understand their WAAP solution. Having log data telemetry is great—being able to send it to a solution that lets teams convert that data into actionable intelligence is what helps transform data into something more insightful.

If you want to learn more about what GLR for F5 Distributed Cloud Services can do for you, reach out to us, or check out the solution overview.