Syslog Server Guide and 5 Recommended Tools

By SolarWinds on July 21, 2021


To optimize the performance of your network devices, you must gather and analyze all your network data. Usually, this information comes in the form of logs or syslog messages. Syslog is a form of messaging protocol used by network devices to collect statuses, events, logins, failures, and other important data. The critical data found in syslog messages could help diagnose and troubleshoot issues present in your IT environment—but only if you know how to properly sort through the thousands of syslog messages generated each day.

Use a syslog server to accurately collect and dissect syslog data, yielding discoveries that could help you optimize your IT infrastructure’s health and performance. SolarWinds® Kiwi Syslog® Server is a top industry pick, enabling you to filter and search syslog messages on a centralized console complete with customizable log views, dashboards, and visualizations, plus compliance reports. You can download a 14-day free trial of Kiwi Syslog Server.

What Is Syslog Server?

Syslog servers are built to collect syslog messages from across your IT infrastructure and bring them to a centralized location. Centralizing your network’s syslog messages makes it easier to manage and monitor syslog data, as you can coordinate and combine logs from different systems and devices. Since syslog is supported by many different devices, syslog servers are excellent tools for normalizing network data to perform thorough and accurate data analysis.

It’s important to keep syslog information saved and organized, as this data could help you improve network performance, adhere to compliance and regulations, and save time when security audits are necessary.

What Is the Primary Purpose of a Syslog Server?

The primary purpose of a syslog server is to aggregate syslog data from across your IT environment, bringing it to a centralized location for optimized network monitoring. By standardizing logs into a consistent format, you can easily view network metrics and pinpoint irregularities. You can further explore network fluctuations to find an issue’s root source and detect underlying problems in your IT environment.

Syslog servers are designed to improve network monitoring and management along with centralizing and normalizing log data. Many enable search functions, increasing your ability to quickly find network specifics. They’re also often built to send you notifications, which can alert you of log data variations.

A syslog server can keep event logs for long periods of time, enabling you to access historical events when necessary—many are designed to rotate logs and create new files periodically to keep logs organized. Some also have severity level indicators for newly gathered syslog messages.

Choosing a syslog server tool can be challenging—there are loads of excellent options available, including some free syslog server options. We’ve collected our top picks for syslog server tools, starting with our number one choice.

Syslog Server Guide and 5 Recommended Tools

1.   SolarWinds Kiwi Syslog Server

SolarWinds Kiwi Syslog Server

© 2021 SolarWinds Worldwide, LLC. All rights reserved.

SolarWinds Kiwi Syslog Server enables you to filter network-wide syslog messages based on factors including time, hostname, severity, and more. Kiwi Syslog Server is designed to create trend graphics that clearly display critical syslog information and support up to 25 simultaneous log views. You can customize these log views according to personal criteria and easily access them on Kiwi Syslog Server’s centralized platform.

Kiwi Syslog Server’s easy-to-use web console enables you to easily integrate syslog data for metric comparison, expediting change monitoring. The centralized interface also enables you to search for specific syslog messages, aiding troubleshooting and saving valuable time. Search through real-time syslog messages and historical syslog archives, which Kiwi Syslog Server is designed to consistently organize with an archival system.

Kiwi Syslog Server is built to schedule log archival and cleanup, which also helps your business demonstrate regulatory compliance with the likes of HIPAA, SOX, FISMA, PCI DSS, and more. Send compliance statements and other reports across your IT environment with Kiwi Syslog Server, which can forward syslog messages and support more built-in actions like triggered notifications, post-alarm scripts, and external programs.

You can view critical syslog data 24/7 with Kiwi Syslog Server, which enables safe web access for remote syslog monitoring. Through this remote syslog server, you can access essential real-time and historical syslog data the moment you need it. You can Download a 14-day free trial of Kiwi Syslog Server. There’s also a Kiwi Syslog Server Free Edition that supports syslog monitoring for up to five devices.

2.   Progress WhatsUp Gold

Progress WhatsUp Gold

Copyright © 2021 Progress Software Corporation and/or its subsidiaries or affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

Progress WhatsUp Gold has built a syslog server designed to integrate with its other packages. This tool can perform basic syslog server operations, such as capturing and storing syslog information in event logs. WhatsUp Gold also enables you to forward messages to other applications, save specific records to different files, and filter and sort live data to focus on a particular message type.

WhatsUp Gold Syslog Server is built to support custom searches—search through logs by type, dates, machine name, field values, and more to quickly get the details you need. WhatsUp Gold enables you to save these searches and export results for simple, hassle-free collaboration. You can set up notifications, alerts, and custom warnings designed to go off when specified thresholds are crossed.

Gather syslog messages from all your network devices using WhatsUp Gold Syslog Server, plus import archived records to gain long-term performance insights. The WhatsUp Gold console is designed to display log data on centralized maps and dashboards, enabling you to easily spot and diagnose syslog inconsistencies that may stem from network issues. Download a 30-day free trial here.

3.   Site 24×7

Site 24x7

© 2021 Zoho Corp Pvt Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Site 24×7 is a network, application, and server monitor designed to collect syslog data along with Windows Events and application log messages. This gives you a comprehensive view of your IT environment’s performance. The Site 24×7 platform includes a log file viewer, which enables you to search, sort, filter, and group syslog messages however you see fit.

The Site 24×7 log file viewer and manager is built to analyze real-time syslog messages to spot errors and failed requests. This syslog server tool also collects operation status information to further analyze device performance. Any modifications having to do with these logs generate alerts, keeping you updated. These alerts can also signal when files are created or deleted in a directory.

Track archived syslog messages and timestamps to remove old or unwanted events, which can help you optimize disk space. Seek out specific keywords in log files to improve troubleshooting and organization. Sign up for a 30-day free trial of this tool here.

4.   Paessler PRTG

Paessler PRTG

©2021 Paessler AG. All Rights Reserved

Paessler PRTG includes a syslog server for Windows Events, designed to capture all logs, including application alerts and OS notifications. PRTG Windows syslog server is built to monitor by rate and send an alert whenever the number of log entries per second rises. These alarms could be sent via email or SMS notifications, and could be sent to IT administrators according to predefined specifications.

The other way PRTG manages syslog messages is through a syslog receiver sensor, which enables you to receive and save syslog messages. This tool is designed to record the number of syslog files per second coming from servers, bandwidth, and applications. PRTG syslog receiver is built to provide comprehensive syslog server monitoring, so you can quickly identify root sources of issues.

PRTG supports a personalized dashboard designed to display syslog data on easy-to-read visualizations. This dashboard is customizable, and you can import data from other log monitoring tools into PRTG. Paessler PRTG is free for up to 100 sensors, and you can download PRTG onto your Windows machine here.

5.   Icinga

Icinga

© 2009 – 2021 Icinga GmbH

Icinga offers a wide array of monitoring tools, including a specific plug-in for syslog management and monitoring. This Icinga plug-in is an open-source syslog server, enabling you to modify the program to fit your specific syslog monitoring needs and requirements.

Icinga enables you to collect, store, and organize metrics in a time-series database. Access this database to gain a complete picture of past and present syslog data, and search for to ensure regular performance. If strange patterns appear or disappear, Icinga is designed to instantaneously alert you of the disruption. This helps you monitor network health based on events, so you can fully focus on your other daily tasks.

Bring your data together in one place with the centralized web interface, built to leverage clear charts and graphs. These visualizations are designed to optimize troubleshooting, debugging, and resource plus capacity planning. Combine logs, check results, and metrics in the Icinga web interface to draw conclusions from critical information. Download the Icinga open-source syslog server here.

Summing Up Syslog Servers

A syslog server enables you to discover critical performance insights quickly, accurately, and confidently through the analysis of network-wide syslog messages. With so many different kinds of syslog server software available, you should choose the best syslog server for your specific needs, goals, and networking protocols. I recommend Kiwi Syslog Server for any enterprise hoping to improve syslog management and optimize their IT infrastructure’s functionality. Download a 14-day free trial of SolarWinds Kiwi Syslog Server today.

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