Perfectly reasonable alternative to log aggregation if you don't get one out of the box for your web app
December 28, 2022

Perfectly reasonable alternative to log aggregation if you don't get one out of the box for your web app

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds Papertrail

I inherited a web application that was based on the Heroku stack (a web app deployment stack which, in turn, was based on AWS but provided a bunch of extra convenience features). Heroku did not provide a log buffer out of the box, which necessitated me to use something like SolarWinds Papertrail in order to be able to track and review logs historically. I am using SolarWinds Papertrail to track multiple logs from multiple environments in one location.
  • Log aggregation
  • Setup as a logging endpoint
  • Full-featured CLI for management
  • The CLI was a bit clunky and required some Linux-y thought to get right (obviously more designed with scripting in mind)
  • Tracking logs in real time (think something like `tail`) wasn't wildly intuitive
  • Accessing/searching archives required a lot of CLI-style pulling/extracting/reg-exing
  • I was able to use SolarWinds Papertrail to review and prioritize efficiency issues with my application in order to understand which API calls were taking too long and required an update. This was a critical aspect of my project and contributed materially to its success.
  • Overall, however, the relative company impact has been low. SolarWinds Papertrail was a TACTICALLY important tool at the time, but it will not have much STRATEGIC benefit for us long-term.
  • The good news is that the $5/month level of SolarWinds Papertrail completely fits our needs.
I selected SolarWinds Papertrail because it was cheap and already provided precisely the integration surface required by the Heroku stack. It probably provided the least number of 'useful' features (out of the bunch) due to the nature of my logs and the post-mortem updates that were required to make them usable.

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As a 3rd party endpoint, SolarWinds Papertrail did exactly what it needed to. My hesitation is on the technical aptitude of the colleague receiving the recommendation, as the overall level of command line skill/understanding would have to be high. Web applications are a great solution here, but MOST of them already provide some sort of logging output. The scenario would definitely be in the situation where logging wasn't readily available in the current solution space. IF something like SolarWinds Papertrail was needed, it's probably the de facto thing that I would recommend.