What are logs?

Logs are a key source of information for developers wanting to understand how their applications are running. Logs can help developers troubleshoot issues with applications and services, and aid in the detection of problems or opportunities for improvement.

Logs are a key component of observability, and there is a ton of valuable information stored in log files. Traditionally, log management can be challenging due to the sheer volume of data to sift through, and the fact that 99% of log entries can look exactly the same. Storing and analyzing logs - especially at scale - is rarely easy or fast, and it can be difficult to extract meaning and insight from raw log data.

What is Loki?

Loki is a service running on the Platform that collects, aggregates, and stores logs. Loki is an open-source, centralized logging solution from Grafana Labs (the makers of the powerful Grafana dashboard and the Prometheus monitoring system).

Loki aims to solve some of the traditional challenges of log management by leveraging powerful technologies developed in other Grafana products. For more background and technical information on why we think Loki is so awesome, see here.

How do I view and consume logs collected with Loki?

Loki integrates seamlessly with Grafana as a frontend user interface that can be used to view, search, query, parse, and analyze logs. Additionally, Loki comes with a powerful query language - LogQL - which offers advanced syntax and regular expressions for looking deeply into the content of logs to find exactly what you’re looking for. Loki can also be queried directly against its API, allowing developers to create automation or scripts that help them to add further instrumentation that can extract the value that log data provides.

Use the following links to learn how to use Loki and Grafana.