Despite millions of R&D dollars on “enterprise application management” suites and spiffy operations centers with giant plasma monitors showing color-coded network maps, good old log files are still the most reliable, versatile information vehicle. It’s worth a chuckle once in a while to realize that here we are, in the 21st century, and log files are still one of our most valuable tools.

Logging is certainly a white-box technology; it must be integrated pervasively into the source code. Nevertheless, logging is ubiquitous for a number of good reasons. Log files reflect activity within an application. Therefore, they reveal the instantaneous behavior of that application. They are also persistent, so they can be examined to understand ...

Get Release It! now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.