Distributed Tracing


What You Could be Doing Instead of Smashing the grep Command for Three Hours


Lindsay Neeson

by Lindsay Neeson

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Lindsay Neeson

by Lindsay Neeson


02-04-2020

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No one enjoys spending hours searching through logs. It can seem like an eternity. Sure, you can grep through logs quickly if you have straightforward queries and you know your log format. (Because of course everyone has simple queries and has memorized their log format.) But it’s not as easy as it seems, and trying to resolve a p0 by spending your afternoon with the grep command can drive even the most level-headed developers a bit batty.  

Before you go down the deep, dark road looking for logs, have you ever wondered, “What can I be doing instead? Is there a better way I could spend my time instead of grepping through logs?” 

We’ve taken the liberty of providing a few suggestions. 

  • Watch The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - I’ll admit The Fellowship of the Ring is my top pick of the series, but for the sake of time we’ll go with The Two Towers. Anything is better than typing $ grep over and over because you missed a space or colon in your search for a string.
  • Play a game of Monopoly - Because everyone knows Monopoly does not take the suggested 60-90 minutes. Who plays Monopoly in less than 3 hours? Cheaters. That’s who.
  • Take a nap - Imagine this: You’re on a remote beach in Bali. Reading your favorite book in a hammock while listening to the waves crash. You slowly fall asleep in the warmth of the sun. Life accomplished. 
  • Visit the zoo - The San Diego Zoo is a world-renowned animal wonderland. You’ll see everything from grizzly bears to baby giraffes to all the cute pandas. It’s a big place, but don’t worry: You’ve got the time.
  • Walk 9 miles - Now, you’ll have to walk at a pace of 20 minutes per mile. This is a casual, take-in-the-sights-walk of a new city walk.

So, how about an alternative that doesn’t take 3 hours? Distributed tracing provides end-to-end context and automatically surfaces the relevant logs to resolve an issue. There’s no need to spend hours searching.

You can see how it works right here:

If you want to learn more, check out our whitepaper, How to Reduce Logging Costs by 90%  and see how Lightstep can help save time, money, and most importantly, your wellbeing.

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