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Logging and Monitoring in the Google Cloud

Cloud logging and monitoring is the process of storing logs across all Cloud products with the possibility to search, monitor, and alert based on various metrics. You can store, search, analyze, monitor, and alert on log data from services such as Compute Engine instances, Cloud Storage services, Cloud Big Data analytical services, Cloud Functions, AI infrastructure, Cloud CDN, and more. In this article, we will discuss what opportunities Google Cloud offers around Cloud Logging and Monitoring, and the possibilities for integration with third-party tools. 

Google Cloud Logging and Monitoring not only allows you to log and monitor your services running on Google Cloud but also on Amazon Web Services. With Google Cloud Logging and Monitoring (GCLM) being a fully managed service, you do not have to worry about setting up, maintaining, or scaling servers. It can ingest application and system log data from thousands of sources concurrently. Another impressive feature that GCLM has is the ability to analyze this incoming data in real-time while it synchronizes server instances and manages different time zones. 

Log entries are data chunks generated by a service running in Google Cloud, third-party applications, or even your own code. Examples of log entries include a user accessing your storage bucket, details of a Compute Engine instance starting up, a call made to the AI infrastructure, an action to query Cloud SQL or BigQuery, your application code writing to the standard or error output files, and more. GCLM allows you to query these log entries based on parameters such as timestamps, log levels, resource names, namespaces, or any custom parameters you define. 

Google Cloud provides powerful in-house tools such as the Logs Explorer and the Logging API to help in querying and analyzing log entries. If you like, you have the option to export your logs to other Google services such as BigQuery, Cloud Storage, Pub/Sub after which you can export to any storage service of your choice for more advanced analytics, archival purposes, or any other reason.

Integration with 3rd party tools

Google Cloud does not restrict you to using GCLM services only. It allows integration with other third-party tools as discussed below:

  • Prometheus – is a popular open-source monitoring tool that powers metrics and monitoring. Prometheus is often integrated with Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) which allows for external metrics in Cloud Monitoring. Prometheus offers highly dimensional data models and great data visualizations with multiple modes. It allows integration with many client libraries as well. 
  • Datadog – is a monitoring and security tool for cloud applications. Datadog integrates with GCP and can collect metrics from Stack Driver logs, monitor Google Cloud Run, monitor GKE, and monitor Compute and App Engine instances. You can also monitor your Anthos infrastructure with Datadog
  • Grafana – is a tool that helps compose dashboards from log entries and metrics. It has in-built support for Google Cloud Monitoring, hence making it easy to build dashboards for your GCLM metrics. 
  • BindPlane – is an IT operations data management tool that delivers a relationship-aware stream of metrics and logs in real-time. BindPlane integrates with GCP and allows you to view logs and metrics from Google Cloud, other Cloud providers, and on-premise data centers in one place. 
  • FortiAnalyzer – is an analytics-driven security management tool. FortiAnalyzer integrates with Google Cloud to provide centralized logging, analytics, and reporting features. It can be deployed onto a Compute Engine VM instance to allow for collection, correlation, and analysis of geographically and chronologically diverse data.
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