NanoLog: A Nanosecond Scale Logging System


Stephen Yang, Seo Jin Park, and John Ousterhout, Stanford University


NanoLog is a nanosecond scale logging system that is 1-2 orders of magnitude faster than existing logging systems such as Log4j2, spdlog, Boost log or Event Tracing for Windows. The system achieves a throughput up to 80 million log messages per second for simple messages and has a typical log invocation overhead of 8 nanoseconds in microbenchmarks and 18 nanoseconds in applications, despite exposing a traditional printf-like API. NanoLog achieves this low latency and high throughput by shifting work out of the runtime hot path and into the compilation and post-execution phases of the application. More specifically, it slims down user log messages at compile-time by extracting static log components, outputs the log in a compacted, binary format at runtime, and utilizes an offline process to re-inflate the compacted logs. Additionally, log analytic applications can directly consume the compacted log and see a performance improvement of over 8x due to I/O savings. Overall, the lower cost of NanoLog allows developers to log more often, log in more detail, and use logging in low-latency production settings where traditional logging mechanisms are too expensive.

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@inproceedings {216075,
author = {Stephen Yang and Seo Jin Park and John Ousterhout},
title = {NanoLog: A Nanosecond Scale Logging System},
booktitle = {2018 {USENIX} Annual Technical Conference ({USENIX} {ATC} 18)},
year = {2018},
isbn = {978-1-931971-44-7},
address = {Boston, MA},
pages = {335--350},
url = {},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},