Analyzing your internet applications' log files

    Date02 Oct 2001
    3708
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    This article is the first in a series about using lire to analyze log files of internet server applications. This is not limited to one service, e.g. Apache, but is an integrated analyzer for many different services. Included are DNS, WWW . . . This article is the first in a series about using lire to analyze log files of internet server applications. This is not limited to one service, e.g. Apache, but is an integrated analyzer for many different services. Included are DNS, WWW and email. This article explains how to get started with lire. It discusses installation and configuration to generate reports.

    Most internet services have the ability to log their activity. For example, the Apache web server adds for each web page request a line with information to a log file. Depending on the log format the line includes information like the page that was requested, the size of the page, which web browser was used, and much more. In case of your email server, a similar log file is made. It contains the email address that sent the email, who received it, how large it was, etc. As a matter of fact, all internet services have this capability.

    These log files contain a enormous amount of information, but the format is hard to interpret by hand. You need a tool that makes summaries of the data to help you analyze the content. In case of www services this converts to TopX lists for web browsers, domains and platforms, and a hits versus time plot. Most counters from third party products show these kinds of overviews.

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