Logging Vs. Monitoring: What is the Difference?

Logging Vs. Monitoring: What is the Difference?

Over time, the technologies have kept on evolving and becoming more complex than ever before. Complicated things always demand to monitor if things are working right or not. 

Where there are various aspects to monitor and manage when it comes to an IT enterprise, logs have been one of the vital elements in the enterprise to record and monitor. Logs are nothing but records of events taking place in a particular device over a while. 

Logs are recorded into files known as Log Files. A log file is a computer-generated file that holds information such as user activities, usage patterns, system information within a given system, server, operating system, or any device. 

Policies like Security Information Management (SIM), Security Event Monitoring (SEM) or any analytics tool can help IT organizations to monitor and manage the log files coming from an entire cloud computing environment. 

When it comes to Monitoring, it is one unified umbrella word where many facets fall under. Considering the reference here, it comes to monitoring the application, also known as Application Performance Monitoring (APM). 

APM is a practice of configuring the application to combine, collect, and study the metrics to evaluate the usage of the system, response time, application time consumption, memory usage, and CPU health. 

Monitoring systems depend on the metrics so that the IT teams could be alarmed in case anything goes wrong in the application. For example, Motadata comes with one such monitoring system that monitors every single entity that comes with organization. It notifies IT team and help you keep running your application and enterprise running. 

What is logging, and why it is important?

Logging is nothing but a practice of storing and managing the log data from various sources like your application or infrastructure. As it is a practice, it is a combination of multiple processes. 

  1. Log shipping is the process of collecting the logs from various locations and shipping them to one central location. 
  2. The next comes storing the received log data. After storing the logs, it needs to have applied the perfect strategy to determine the log data’s life cycle and set up an automation to delete them after a certain period.  
  3. Managing the quality of stored log data by checking the missing entries, redundant logs, out-of-sync timestamps, etc. 
  4. When it comes to the vast amount of log data that can have confidential and vital information, it becomes evident to secure the logs and ensure their privacy. 
  5. Analyzing the logs, which can be part of monitoring as well.  But to make sure the records are in a presentable manner could be the last process of logging. 

The logging activity depends on several factors such as the number of logs to be managed, the size of the enterprise (highly distributes or hybrid infrastructure), the types of log data sources, etc. Certain kinds of services produce lesser log data compare to others. 

What is Monitoring, and why it is Important? 

In ordinary words, monitoring is a method of ensuring smooth communication between the application and the user; a smooth communication occurs within an acceptable amount of time and when the application is up and running all the time. Furthermore, monitoring includes optimizing codes and making cost-optimizing infrastructures also. 

The monitoring solutions help achieve goals such as if the application or the service is responding at all, how fast it is responding, and how much network bandwidth, CPU time, or memory it consumes. Monitoring comes with various approaches and techniques depending on the types of monitoring tools you use and the features you attach.

Monitoring itself is a vast subject where anything and everything in the organization can be monitored, such as network, server, application, middleware, log, and anything with metrics that can be monitored. 

  1. Real User Monitoring, also known as RUM, uses the actual and real-time user data and the health of the application/infrastructure. This practice is for the digital businesses that analyze users’ digital experience by how online visitors interact with the website, the amount of time they spend on the particular part of the site, user’s response time, and every metric that can be associated with the user. 
  2. Network monitoring is done to check the network traffic, health and make sure the availability of devices connected in the network. 
  3. On the one hand, logging needs specific processes and protocols; monitoring the same logs is another method altogether. The more metrics you record from the logs and monitor, it can be helpful in multiple aspects. Monitoring the logs can help you troubleshoot the errors. 

Logging and Monitoring can be part of your organization side by side. One cannot monitor the data if there is no recorded data. Just like that, the recorded log data is not worthy if it is not monitored. However, logging is the fundamental practice for monitoring the log data specifically.

The detailed recorded logs with multiple metrics can provide you with one robust insight report of your application or the enterprise. The monitoring solutions can learn from the historical pattern and alerts you before any potential errors cause any damage. 


Nitya is a freelance content writer. She writes for many Blogging sites. She has 5 years of experience as a Content Marketer. She always researches on latest things on the Internet and inks out everything with blogging.

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