Event log automation / tools for a large web farm

A good friend of mine works for a large asp.net store, with a web farm with many web servers (dozens). The app logs exceptions and messages to the event log on each field (not in a centralized location).

Does anyone know of a convenient way to do uniform reporting across event logs across multiple different fields?

Or, which is better: - record the tools that connect to each event log in each window? - change the architecture for registering events in the database? - some other mechanism that I have not considered?


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2 answers

I would use Log4Net (or something similar) for logging, saving files to disk, and rotating the log file periodically. (I personally am not a big fan of the Windows event log.) Then a background service is loaded on each box, which loads the log file into the database table, keeping track of which log entry appeared in that field.

This allows a simple search across the entire web farm while retaining information about where the log entry was written from.

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Members of my ASP.Net development team are enthusiastic users of a free software from BareMetal called Bare Tail to read plain text log files when they need to quickly pinpoint the source of a production problem. I believe you can read from multiple files at the same time (in different tabs).

You can load the log file data into the database as needed. But writing and reading from the local log file is much faster and easier than writing to the database. And, once the web application has stabilized in production, the most likely source of exceptions could be the loss of database connectivity. One way is to try to write to the database, and if that fails, write to the log file. Then you can use a tool like this to read the log file data more easily.



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