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Mon 14 - Fri 18 November 2022 Singapore

Logs are crucial to the management and maintenance of software systems. In recent years, log analysis research has achieved notable progress on various topics such as log parsing and log-based anomaly detection. However, the real voices from front-line practitioners are seldom heard. For example, what are the pain points of log analysis in practice? In this work, we conduct a comprehensive survey study on log analysis at Microsoft. We collected feedback from 105 employees through a questionnaire of 13 questions and individual interviews with 12 employees. We summarize the format, scenario, method, tool, and pain points of log analysis. Additionally, by comparing the industrial practices with academic research, we discuss the gaps between academia and industry, and future opportunities on log analysis with four inspiring findings. Particularly, we observe a huge gap exists between log anomaly detection research and failure alerting practices regarding the goal, technique, efficiency, \textit{etc}. Moreover, data-driven log parsing, which has been widely studied in recent research, can be alternatively achieved by simply logging template IDs during software development. We hope this paper could uncover the real needs of industrial practitioners and the unnoticed yet significant gap between industry and academia, and inspire interesting future directions that converge efforts from both sides.