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Cloud Operations

Create alerts from your logs, available now in Preview

July 15, 2021
Alisa Goldstein

Product Manager

Being alerted to an issue with your application before your customers experience undue interruption is a goal of every development and operations team. While methods for identifying problems exist in many forms, including uptime checks and application tracing, alerts on logs is a prominent method for issue detection. Previously, Cloud Logging only supported alerts on error logs and log-based metrics, but that was not robust enough for most application teams.

Today, we’re happy to announce the preview of log-based alerts, a new feature that opens alerts to all log types, adds new notification channels, and helps you make alerts more actionable within minutes. The alert updates include: 

  • the ability to set alerts on any log type and content,

  • additional notification channels such as SMS, email groups, webhooks (and more!) and

  • a metadata field for alerts so playbooks and documentation can be included.

Alert on any logs data

While error logs and log-based metrics are sufficient for many indicators of application and system health, there are some events in security, such as suspicious IP address activity, or runtime system issues such as host errors, where you want to get alerted immediately. We’re happy to announce that you can now set alerts on single log entries via the UI or API.

Creating an alert in the UI is easy:

  1. Go to Logs Explorer and run your query. Under Actions > Create Log Alert.

  2. Enter the following information: a) alert name & documentation, b) any edits to your log query if necessary (and preview the results to confirm it is correct), c) select the minimum interval between alerts for this policy, and d) select the notification channel(s).

  3. Click “Save” and you’re done!

For more information on configuring a log-based alert, visit the documentation page.

Creating a log-based alert in the Google Cloud Console

New notification channels

Cloud Logging is pre-integrated with Google Cloud services and can be configured to send alerts when something goes wrong. While email notifications from Cloud Logging were effective during business hours, operations teams and their development cohorts expressed a need for a greater number of communication channels for their global extended workforce partners and after-hours triage units. 

That’s why we’re excited to announce, as part of this preview, that logging alerts of any kind can be sent to an email group, SMS, mobile push notifications, webhooks, Pub/Sub, and Slack.

Enhanced metadata for alerts

Alerts are just the first step to actually solving an issue within your service or application. Development and operations teams usually have a playbook or documentation for incidents or occurrences where they want to create an alert. Including links to these materials can save valuable time, especially as workforces involve more geographic distribution and collaboration between a greater number of teams. With this preview announcement, you can now include documentation or links to playbooks that allow your team to investigate and solve alerts.

Overview of the fields that are configured as part of logs-based alerts

Configure your logging alerts today

If you have a critical log field that your team is watching, consider setting up an alert on it today. See the documentation that walks you through each step of configuring an alert.

If you’d like to be alerted after a certain count of your log entries, consider a Log-based metric. This allows you to set a threshold for the number of log events that occur within a specific time period before you are notified.

If you have suggestions or feedback, please join our Cloud Operations group on the Google Cloud Community site.

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