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Blog > Flexible Log Filtering

Flexible Log Filtering

Posted by By telliott on September 18, 2015

The set of interesting log messages changes depending on the context. Log
messages which are useful while in the middle of an outage, or to debug a kernel error, can be noise during day-to-day operations. As of today, it’s easier to choose the messages which are currently useful to you.

Flexible, Centralized Filters

It’s common to use systems and services with logging behavior that can’t be
modified, like systems with strict change control, managed services, and
closed-source apps. Even when senders can be changed, Papertrail offers a
central place to apply flexible filters to many log streams. Log filters are
a way to drop unnecessary messages and pay only for the messages you find useful.

Over time, the filters (regular expressions) became long and hard to read. Log filters can now be broken into their component parts and each can have a note describing its purpose.

Disable or Enable Filters

A new feature in this release is a way to toggle an individual filter. This is
especially useful for logs that are noise during normal operation but are
critical during an incident or to debug a system. It effectively becomes a way to change log verbosity without touching the systems themselves.

For instance, the JVM garbage collection logs can be very noisy, but are very
helpful in tuning the GC. Filtering these logs in Papertrail means GC log collection can be enabled while only seeing those log messages at the times they’re needed. No restart of the JVM process required.

Head to your Papertrail account and click Filter logs and get rid
of those useless logs today.