With this tutorial on event log analyzer, we aim to offer some help to network administrators and server managers, who handle the complex responsibility of diagnosing unusual system and network behavior by decoding the vital information present in the event log. Log analysis has become an important source for network security and administration. It also aids during internal audits. However, before we move ahead discussing the use of event log analyzer and the significance of log analysis, it is first important to have the basic information about events and event logging.
Event Logs- An Overview
We will begin by discussing about events and event logging in a Windows based environment:
In Windows any change in the system status, whether a regular system activity or some system fault is termed as an Event. Whenever, an event takes place in a system, the system components create an Event Message describing about the event. The event messages thus generated are stored in a storage area in the form of log entries. This entire procedure is termed as Event Logging. The Event Log File is a regular file with .evt file format. It contains event message and all other information related to event, such as event type, event status, event severity, event ID and much more. These logs can be modified by attaching the event messages. The system component which is responsible for editing event messages for event logging is a Log Client.
Event Logs play a very crucial role in modern days IT systems, especially at enterprise level where large networks are managed. Since Event logs are collected in real time by the system components, they serve as an excellent source of information to monitor systems and overall networks. Apart from this, the information obtained from event logs are used in log analysis which is very helpful during audit procedure and during management of IT infrastructure.
Syslog, earlier implemented for BSD UNIX; is a flexible event logging protocol that works well with several operating systems and can be implemented on different types of network devices, such as switches, printers, routers, firewalls, etc. To use this protocol, the log client must create a Syslog event message to log an event which is then send to Syslog server.
The UDP communication protocol is followed between the client and the Syslog server. UDP is a fast and appropriate communication protocol for large IT systems with several network nodes. Therefore, Syslog is considered as the ideal protocol for building a centralized logging infrastructure. Log monitoring tools and event log analyzer that are developed on the concept of centralized logging system all use the Syslog event logging protocol.
Due to the growing importance of event logs, especially at enterprise levels, new and advanced event log analyzer are being built, which will be capable of effectively monitoring both system based and web server based events. In addition, the advanced event log analyzer even implements event correlation, filtering and consolidation properties.