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Frontend Development / Observability

Vercel Brings Logging, Monitoring to Its Observability Suite

Front-end platform provider Vercel has updated its observability suite, with new features including out-of-the-box and custom monitoring and logging features.
Mar 22nd, 2023 3:00am by
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Frontend platform provider Vercel has updated its observability suite, including new features such as out-of-the-box and custom monitoring and logging. Vercel Chief Technology Officer Malte Ubl sat down with The New Stack to discuss the new monitoring features ahead of the launch.

“It’s a straightforward product but a very important one to have because it helps you ensure that your service is stable and you can understand and resolve problems,” Ubl said.

When it comes to querying the data for specific insights, Vercel digs into areas of impact such as, “What’s going on with my website from a technical point of view?”, “What errors am I seeing?”, and “Am I sending caching responses?”

Additional built-in queuing categories include:

  • Bandwidth and traffic spikes
  • Performance degradation on a request path
  • 500 errors due to a specific deployment

But not everything always fits neatly into an out-of-the-box query. Vercel created the custom query editor just for that reason. Ubl described using the editor as “people can also basically just write custom queries using like a SQL-like language.”

The editor is similar to SQL in that the queries are rather straightforward but differ in that the editor uses plain text, meaning no additional coding language is necessary.

Of all the features available, Ubl is “personally very excited about the new logs experience.”

The log interface.

Different subscription levels get different layers of coverage. The higher the account levels, the more log retention they get, with the lowest tier still having a first-in-first-out mechanism, meaning they can still always see the latest logs.

The purpose of enabling logs for everyone was because they “wanted people to say okay, you have a problem, you should actually be able to see what’s happening,” Ubl said.

Logs aren’t new for Vercel, though this is the first edition available for all users, not just premium subscribers, there’s been time for the quirks to be worked out. Ubl is confident in the product. “We’ve been using this exclusively for enterprise customers for a while so we have a lot of experience with how people use it,” Ubl said.

Vercel isn’t marketing its observability suite as a replacement for other tools that monitor the entire stack. It is more so meant as a complementary tool.  “There are like very valid reasons why you would, for example, want to have something that covers your entire stack but [this observability stack] proven very valuable to provide a better understanding of what’s going on with [Vercel].”

Ubl is “excited for people to try it out” and he said “[customers] expect us to also do more in this space” though no future products or release dates have been announced.

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