Google Releases New Tools for Creating Metrics, Alerts From Log Data

New features bring Google Cloud Monitoring and Cloud Logging services closer to enabling the creation of a variety of system alerts, the company says.

Google Cloud 2

Google has added new features to its Cloud Monitoring and Cloud Logging services in a bid to make it easier for IT administrators to extract value from the log data generated by their cloud- hosted systems and applications.

The three new features, available in beta to Google’s Cloud Platform customers, are a logs-based metrics feature, an advanced log filters capability and a feature dubbed Charts to Logs that allows administrators to go from a chart view to the corresponding log data.

Deepak Tiwari, product manager for Google Cloud Platform, described the updates as critical to helping developers and administrators to identify otherwise hard to discern trends in log data. “It will help them solve problems faster by creating granular metrics and easily drilling down to logs when resolving an incident,” Tiwari wrote in a blog post Wednesday.

Google’s previously announced Cloud Logging capability enables administrators to collect, store, view and export logs from a variety of applications and services running on Cloud Platform.

The company’s Cloud Monitoring service meanwhile, which has been in beta test since January, offers a way for enterprises to monitor the performance, uptime and capacity of Google Compute Engine, Apps Engine and Cloud SQL. Administrators can use the Google Cloud Monitoring service to set specific alerting rules and receive alerts in a variety of ways including via pagers, SMS text messages and email.

According to Tiwari, the new features announced this week bring Cloud Logging and Cloud Monitoring closer.

The new Logs-based Metrics feature for instance, enables administrators to set alert triggers using logs generated by Cloud Logging. In addition to looking at error logs, administrators can use the Logs-based Metrics feature for other things such as counting the number of requests for a specific URL. The collected metrics can then be used to create alerting policies and build dashboards in Google Cloud Monitoring.

The new Logs Filters capability is designed to enable easier selection of specific log entries for metrics-creation purposes. With it, administrators can use Boolean expressions and other terms to choose log entries, including those from multiple sources, Tiwari said.

The Charts to Logs feature provides a way for administrators to drill down to the particular log entries that relate to events in a chart. Google chart menus now have a link that users can click on to review the relevant logs in Cloud Logging.

“We are keenly aware of the cost of context-switching between monitoring and logging tools when you're trying to investigate an issue,” Tiwari said. “So we're working hard to make it easy for you to drill down and navigate information naturally.”

This week’s updates are part of a growing portfolio of tools that Google has introduced recently to simplify the deployment, configuration and management of enterprise application and services in its cloud.

In addition to Cloud Logging and Cloud Monitoring, Google this year also released Cloud Launcher to enable easier deployment of popular, open source software on its Compute Engine cloud service. Google has claimed that its Cloud Launcher allows enterprises to deploy more than 120-open source apps on Cloud Platform with just a single click.

Jaikumar Vijayan

Jaikumar Vijayan

Vijayan is an award-winning independent journalist and tech content creation specialist covering data security and privacy, business intelligence, big data and data analytics.