Logging in Production Systems: Keeping an Eye on Your App

When developing applications for production systems, logging is often overlooked until it’s too late. However, logging is a crucial aspect of any production system, as it helps identify and troubleshoot issues that may arise. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of logging in production systems and best practices to implement.

Why is logging important?

Logging provides visibility into what’s happening within the application and the system it’s running on. It allows developers and system administrators to monitor and diagnose issues such as errors, performance degradation, and security breaches. Without logging, it’s almost impossible to determine the cause of an issue or assess the impact it has on users and the system.

Best practices for logging in production systems

  1. Define log levels: Define different levels of logging based on the severity of the events being logged. This allows you to filter out noise and focus on critical issues.
  2. Log relevant information: Ensure that the logs contain relevant information such as timestamps, user IDs, request URLs, and error messages. This makes it easier to diagnose issues and trace them back to their source.
  3. Use a structured logging format: Structured logging formats make it easier to analyze logs and extract meaningful insights. Use a format like JSON or CSV to make the logs machine-readable.
  4. Implement log rotation: As logs can accumulate quickly, it’s important to implement log rotation to prevent them from filling up the disk space. Configure the system to rotate logs daily or weekly and set a maximum size for log files.
  5. Centralize logging: Centralized logging makes it easier to manage and analyze logs across multiple servers and instances. Use a tool like Elasticsearch or Splunk to store and analyze logs in a centralized location.
  6. Monitor logs: Configure alerts to notify you when critical events are logged. This allows you to proactively address issues before they become bigger problems.

Aggregating logs from multiple pods

In a Kubernetes environment, applications are often deployed across multiple pods. This can make it difficult to aggregate logs from all the pods and analyze them in a centralized location. Here are a few best practices to consider when aggregating logs from multiple pods:

  1. Use a logging agent: A logging agent such as Fluentd or Logstash can collect logs from multiple pods and forward them to a centralized logging system.
  2. Configure Kubernetes logging: Kubernetes provides a logging mechanism that captures logs from all containers running in a pod and saves them to a file. Configure the logging mechanism to forward logs to a centralized location.
  3. Use a container logging driver: Container runtimes such as Docker and CRI-O provide logging drivers that capture logs from containers and forward them to a centralized location. Use a logging driver to send logs to a central location.


Logging is a crucial aspect of any production system. By implementing best practices such as defining log levels, logging relevant information, using a structured logging format, implementing log rotation, centralizing logging, and monitoring logs, you can ensure that you’re keeping an eye on your application and can quickly diagnose and troubleshoot issues as they arise. Remember, a well-logged system is a healthy system!