Ever since Splunk was first released all the way back in 2007, it rapidly became one of the most used log management solutions. Splunk’s focus on log analysis and SIEM (Security Incident and Event Management) is the biggest factor that made it the leading tool for creating log files and machine data at large.
However, the last decade was marked by rapid changes in this landscape. Modern architectures like microservices, hybrid clouds, and containers have become the norm, and many tools have grown past Splunk, becoming faster, better optimized, and even cheaper.
Here’s our list of the best Splunk alternatives:
- ManageEngine Log360 – FREE TRAIL This package of log analysis and data protection services includes analysis facilities and automated security scanning. Runs on Windows Server. Get a 30-day free trial.
- ManageEngine OpManager – FREE TRIAL This network and server monitoring tool also provides Syslog capture and analysis functions that match Splunk capabilities. Available for Windows Server, Linux, AWS, and Azure. Start a 30-day free trial.
- Sumo Logic This award-winning tool provides a unified front for log & metric viewing and gives you a variety of visualization options.
- Fluentd An open-source tool with over 500 plugins available to give you the most customizable experience.
- jKool An easy-to-use open-source tool for beginners with a flourishing community.
- Mixapanel A highly specialized tool helping you optimize app performance and metrics.
- LogZilla A NEO platform that analyzes over 855,000 events each second.
- Logstash An open-source tool that uses a variety of ingestion sources.
- LogFaces A log management tool specialized for enterprise use featuring tight-knit features and a user-friendly interface.
- Sentry An open-source tool optimized for error tracking and repair.
Why Businesses Use Splunk
Splunk’s usage isn’t restricted to log collection. The reason Splunk is so expensive is that it provides a mass of features for large businesses. Splunk will ingest, parse, and index a variety of different logs, files, network events, and machine data. All of this data is useful for monitoring activity, finding unusual activity, and finding trends for performance. Splunk will even alert its user once a given threshold of behavior has been exceeded and the behavior is determined to be suspicious.
In addition to this, Splunk also features robust logging features and can be used as a data analytics platform.
Downsides of Splunk
Although Splunk features a wide variety of features, it isn’t without its flaws. Splunk has quite a few disadvantages that make it a lousy option for SMBs and even some large businesses.
The biggest one is its price- costing up to $4,500 for one GB. This can be backbreaking for an SMB that can’t allow these kinds of expenses. This massive cost is the leading cause for many businesses looking for an alternative.
Furthermore, Splunk has quite a slow search speed. Many devs complain about how it’s unable to handle large swaths of data and its lower versatility than alternatives.
Our criteria for choosing a Splunk alternative
We’ll be using a variety of different standards to compare our alternatives. We want our choices to not only be able to replace Splunk but exceed it in the functionality you need. So, what metrics will we be looking at?
- Price: Most of the alternatives on this list will be at least situationally cheaper than Plunk
- Whether the tool is capable of ingesting data in multiple formats and from different sources
- If the tool has real-time log monitoring abilities, that will let you keep track of logs while they’re being changed and find malicious activity much more accessible.
- Ease of Setup: A more accessible tool to set up and get going correctly will rank higher. The less technical expertise necessary to use a tool, the better. This goes double for maintenance time, as you don’t want to be left without a solution for long.
- Visualization capacities: Visually presenting data is critical to the quality of a solution. Being able to see data represented on a dashboard, graph, or chart is extremely useful for analyzing it.
- Deployment: The ability to deploy on the cloud is an excellent feature to have if it isn’t at the expense of others.
- Scalability: We prioritize solutions that function just as well for large enterprises as they do for SMBs
The Best Splunk alternatives
Made by the reputable SolarWinds company, Loggly is one of the most popular Splunk alternatives out there. Loggly is a cloud-based software focused on log monitoring and analysis. It ensures that you’ll get used out of your log data, and it’s surprisingly easy to use despite its high depth.
One of the biggest perks of Loggly is its high integration capabilities. Whether you use Slack, GitHub, Jira, Asana, or a similar piece of management and cooperation software, chances are Loggly is compatible with it. This makes getting the most out of its features and communicating with your team a breeze.
- Excellent proactive monitoring features are available for the most critical metrics. In addition, resources are available to get rid of issues before they cause trouble for your users.
- Root cause analysis gives you one of the most powerful troubleshooting features on the market. This will let you find the root cause of any issues you face.
- In-depth analysis capabilities let you keep track of even the most minute of metrics.
- Integration with most of the standard software used in the tech industry.
- Loggly will look for trends in your logs and track whether you’re compliant with most standard protocols and regulations.
- Excellent visualization capabilities, represent your data the way you want.
- Slick and intuitive UI lets you access the deeper features of Loggly without feeling too overwhelmed the first time you log in.
- Scalability: Loggly is highly scalable, with three different editions catering to varying types of business.
- Cloud-Based: You don’t need an on-prem installation to gain access to Loggly’s breadth of features.
The biggest weakness of Loggly is that it’s not very beginner-friendly. Although the UI is excellent, the abundance of features and in-depth capabilities makes it quite challenging to use for inexperienced users.
There are four different versions of Loggly
- Loggly Lite: This version is a bare-bones edition made for beginners, but it’s free!
- Loggly Standard: The best version for SMBs looking for some features that are a little bit more complex but don’t need Loggly’s total depth. It sits at $79 per month.
- Loggly Pro: This edition is made for medium businesses and enterprises with relatively few technical integrations. It costs $199 a month.
- Loggly Enterprise: This edition of Loggly provides the full breadth of its features and is perfect for large businesses and enterprises. It starts at $349 a month.
The Standard and Pro versions have a free trial available on their Website. You can also get a 30-day free trial.
ManageEngine Log360 has all of the data searching capabilities of Splunk plus activity tracking features that make it a file integrity monitor and a data loss prevention service as well.
This on-premises package is a combination of services that manage data protection, generate and gather logs, consolidate log messages, provide an analysis tool, and implement automated data searches.
The automated search system in the bundle is a SIEM. This feature and all of the other security tools in the package can be tailored to the requirements of a specific data security standard. Standards compliance is enforced by applying a configuration template from a library in the settings screen of Log360 and this leads through to compliance reporting.
- A log server that can collect logs from more than 700 operating systems and applications
- A log manager that creates an accessible directory structure that is ideal for compliance auditing
- Compliance enforcement and reporting for HIPAA, PCI DSS, FISMA, SOX, GDPR, and GLBA
- Data analysis tool that can read in logs
- Automated intrusion detection with a SIEM
- User behavior analysis that provides user activity tracking and insider threat detection
- File integrity monitoring
- Logging of all actions on files of sensitive data
- A data discovery and classification system that can be tailored to specific standards
- USB device control and email scanning for data loss prevention
This software bundle runs on Windows Server and the dashboard guides the administrator through ways to get application and operating system logs sent to the log server in the package.
There is a Free version of the Log360 package that has all of the functions of the paid version but with capacity limits. The paid version is called the Premium edition and you can get it on a 30-day free trial.
ManageEngine OpManager is a monitoring package that tracks the statuses and performance of network devices and servers. Those endpoints can be running Windows, or Linux and any Syslog messages generated by operating systems, software or devices can be collected by the OpManager package.
While Syslog collection is happening, OpManager simultaneously scans the network and creates a network inventory and topology map. It also watches processes on servers, storage servers, virtual systems, including virtualizations, VLANs, and virtual networks, such as SD-WANs, and also cloud platforms.
- Syslog collection and filing
- Analysis of log throughput statistics by source and severity
- Options to build log parsing and alert conditions on Syslog message contents
- Alert thresholds for log throughput levels
- Syslog forwarding
- Supplements activity and status data gathered by the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)
- Can be used for security auditing
ManageEngine provides a Free edition of OpManager, however, it is limited to monitoring only three devices. There are three paid plans and they all include Syslog management functions. The system is a software package that will install on Windows Server or Linux. You can also access OpManager as a service on AWS Marketplace or Azure Marketplace. ManageEngine offers a 30-day free trial of OpManager.
4. Sumo Logic
Sumo Logic is another cloud-based tool that gives you a variety of different log analysis and management features. It is geared to take advantage of big data and gather information from patterns within it.
As a unified log & metrics platform, you’re able to access its analysis and monitoring features for all apps and infrastructure in your organization from one place. In addition, it provides a variety of in-depth analytics, including state-of-the-art predictive analysis and machine learning functionalities.
Much like Loggly, it has various payment modes so that you don’t overpay for features you don’t need.
- Sumo Logic lets you monitor and analyze all of your logs and metrics from one place.
- Machine learning and predictive analysis are significant assets for any log management solution.
- Extremely scalable- Sumo Logic uses a multi-tenant architecture to ensure seamless transitions; in addition to this, it supports rapid growth and cloud migration.
- The tool won the 2021 Visionary award at Gartner Magic Quadrant in the SIEM category.
- Helps you get a more in-depth understanding of your comprehensive business environment.
- Its SaaS model makes it so that you can quickly get started in just a few minutes.
- Helps you stay compliant with a variety of industry standards.
With that being said, the simplicity of Sumo Logic’s interface might be a downside for very technical teams.
Much like Loggly, Sumo Logic has multiple versions:
- Sumo Free: A free edition of Sumo Logic supporting a small set of abilities
- Sumo Professional: Geared towards SMB’s, it costs $90 each month for every GB of average daily ingest
- Sumo Enterprise: Made for large businesses and enterprises, it costs $150 per month for each GB of average daily ingest
Both Sumo Professional and Sumo Enterprise offer a month-long free trial.
Fluentd is an open-source software made for data collection and analysis. As a cross-platform tool, it’s an excellent choice for smaller businesses or individuals looking to get a log management tool for free. Fluentd is part of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.
Being open-source, Fluentd is one of the most customizable solutions on this list. Its community has made hundreds of different plugins, with over 500 coming with the software itself.
- Completely open-source, all of Fluentd’s components are available under the Apache 2 license.
- The best tool on this list when it comes to distributed systems logging.
- Features over 500 plugins that come with the tool, with many more made by the community.
- 10-minute setup process.
- Flourishing community.
- Capability to decouple data sources from their backend systems through a unified logging layer set in the middle of them.
The biggest downside of Fluentd is that it can be pretty hectic dealing with all the plugins, in-built or community-made. It’s also a pretty demanding tool to use for beginners.
jKool is another cloud-based software dealing with machine-generated data analysis. Logs, metrics, and transactions are all easy to analyze through jKool. It’s also a great tool if you’re looking to deal with big data in real-time.
This is a great tool to use if you’re looking to handle large volumes of concurrent data in real-time. Furthermore, it gives you various charts, graphs, and other visual options to help you represent trends in the data.
- jKool is capable of analyzing and consolidating machine data.
- Excellent at dealing with large volumes of complex concurrent data in real-time.
- It is available both as a service and as an on-prem deployment.
- Time-to-Live based automatic data management and expiration.
- Very easy to use and set up.
- Will track transactions, errors, logs, metrics, exceptions, and failures.
- jKool breaks your data down into silos and then runs queries on them individually, providing meaningful insights into it.
- A lot of customization is offered with its custom dashboards feature.
- All events can be geotagged, and you can run queries based on the tag.
- A variety of visualization options.
- Customer behavior analysis lets you improve the experience of your customers.
- jKool will aid you in finding malicious activity and minimizing the risk coming from it.
All in all, jKool offers a wide breadth of functionalities and has many uses. The tool’s biggest weakness is its lack of focus and pricing customization options.
There are two versions of jKool:
- jKool Personal: This version is free; however, data is only retained for up to five days, making it relatively weak in a business setting.
- jKool Business: This version provides unlimited retention, streaming, and premium support in addition to a variety of other features. With that being said, you’ll need to contact their sales team to get a quote.
Mixpanel is designed to help you target communication and track your user’s interactions with your apps. As a business analytics tool, it’s also tasked with measuring your users’ engagement and user retention.
This is one of the quickest tools on this list, often providing insights in minutes. Its visualization capabilities are also superb, and you can bookmark the generated reports to have easy access to them later.
- Rapid insight discovery.
- The tool is specialized to provide an in-depth look at how your customers interact with your app- helping you boost your conversion rates. In addition, funnel analysis is critical, letting you know where your customers leave the app.
- Automatically detects data trends.
- Excellent visualization capabilities, there are multiple formats of data on offer to help you get a better look at your data.
- The tool helps with undertaking intelligent action based on its analytics. For example, you can automatically trigger messages, perform A/B tests and personalize your communication efforts. The metrics of this are then measured through the tool.
With that being said, Mixpanel is very specialized. So unless you’re looking for a business analytics tool made with app optimization in mind, you’ll be better off looking elsewhere.
There are three different versions of Mixpanel:
- Mixpanel Free: At 5 million data points per month, 60-day data history, and most of the tool’s features available, this is one of the better free pricing options on this list. With that being said, it offers a limited range of core projects, and you can only have three members in each organization.
- Mixpanel Basic: 10 million data points per year, unlimited saved reports, and 12 months of data history. You can still only have five members in an organization, though. It is priced at $999 per 10 million data points a year.
- Mixpanel Enterprise: The Enterprise edition provides you with five years of data history, premium support, and a variety of other high-end features. You can contact their team to get a precise quote.
LogZilla is a Network Event Orchestrated (NEO) platform that provides real-time network insight for enterprise network teams.
LogZilla is geared towards helping your IT team find issues and malicious activity before it becomes a threat. With a record rate of 855,000 events per second, it can store up to 40TB of data each day. It also features a variety of automation features to make your log management efforts as efficient as possible.
- Focused on preemptive identification of network issues.
- High record rate at over 855,000 events a second.
- Easy to use with no prior knowledge of network management software.
- TCO(Total cost of ownership) can be reduced between 50 and 90 percent.
- Data is pre-processed before it’s forwarded to SNMP trap receivers and Syslog.
- Excellent false-positive detection makes you spend less time on nonexistent issues.
- Since LogZilla runs in Docker containers, it can be run regardless of OS.
The software’s biggest weakness is its lack of versatility, but it’s one of the best if you don’t have any log management experience.
LogZilla is free for up to 500 events a day and costs $525 for SMBs. For enterprises and larger businesses, you’ll need to request a quote.
Logstash is another open-source tool specialized for data ingestion and analysis from multiple sources. It will then send the data to a stash of your choice.
Supporting a variety of different input sources like websites, apps, AWS services, and many others, Logstash is a very flexible tool. Furthermore, it’s got one of the most robust security policies out of all the tools on this list.
With over 200 plugins made by Logstash and even more available from the community, there’s a lot of room for customization.
- Logstash supports multiple input sources, making it a very flexible choice.
- Event filtering can be set up to identify named fields and change them to have the same format to make your work easier.
- Geo coordinate deciphering capabilities.
- Sensitive data fields are excluded from its log analysis.
- A variety of filters are available to help you gear it to your exact needs.
- Supports a variety of output streams, helping you send data to the most effective devices to handle it.
- Easy integration with the most popular data sources.
- Hundreds of plugins to choose from.
With that being said, Logstash can sometimes feel like Fluentd outclasses it with a lot of its features. So unless input and output source compatibility is something you treasure, you might be better off using Fluentd.
As an open-source tool, Logstash is entirely free.
LogFaces is a logging suite made for enterprises. It will aggregate, store, analyze and display all of your logs in real-time.
- A variety of enterprise-specialized features.
- Zero subscription fees or usage limitations if you pursue a license.
- Real-time notifications help you manage your logs and alert you of any suspicious activity.
- Extremely responsive and user-friendly.
- Log data analysis features help you find issues efficiently.
- All-in-one logging suite.
- You can use your LDAP directory to manage data access.
This tool comes in two versions, both of which are single payment. The LogFaces Enterprise edition costs $599, while its Site edition costs $1499. There is also a 20-day extended free trial available.
Sentry is another open-source software; however, this one is geared towards finding and tracking errors and aiding you with real-time repair and monitoring. Its continuous iteration processes help you check for mistakes constantly,
- Quick setup- setting up Sentry takes just a couple of lines of code.
- Notifications can be sent through email, SMS, or a chat window, depending on what you prefer.
- Exception-handling features that make app creation more efficient.
- Error tracking can be easily integrated with each commit and deployment.
- Delivered as a hosting service.
- Easily integrates with most common coding languages.
- If it finds an error, it’ll provide context as well as other relevant information for it.
The biggest weakness of Sentry is that it has a relatively small community, although a growing one.
The developer version of the software is free and is perfect for individual projects. The Team version starts at $26 per month and is great for teams and apps, expecting large growth spurts. The business edition costs $80 a month and will provide a full suite of features. Finally, the Enterprise edition isn’t priced on the website, but you can ask the company for a quote.
There are also free trials for both the business and team editions.
Although Splunk is an excellent log management tool, it’s nowhere near the king of the hill today. If you aren’t looking to spend exorbitant sums on Splunk, there’s a variety of cheaper options available that offer most, if not all, of its features.
The most important thing to consider, as always, are your needs. Your number 1 Splunk alternative might not be the same as ours. However, you’re the only one that knows what exactly your business needs, and you should pick a tool accordingly.
Did we miss your favorite Splunk alternative?
What feature do you wish more log managers had?
Let us know in the comments below!