log

Definition of log in The Network Encyclopedia.

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What is Log (in computer networking)?

Any file that contains records corresponding to application or operating system events or conditions, usually arranged sequentially by time. Log files are usually delimited text files (such as .csv files) in which each line represents a transaction or logged event, with individual data fields separated by delimiting characters such as commas.

Delimited text files can be imported into spreadsheet programs such as Microsoft Excel, database programs such as Microsoft Access, and report and analysis tools such as Crystal Reports for further analysis and graphical display of trends and usage patterns.

“Relogging” is the process of taking a log file and sampling it at larger time intervals to reduce the size of the file for archiving purposes while maintaining the overall trend of data within the log.

Numerous processes within the Microsoft Windows operating systems and the Microsoft BackOffice applications maintain logs. Some log functions include the following:

  • Keeping track of transactions performed on an information store or database (as in Microsoft SQL Server or Microsoft Exchange Server)
  • Monitoring server or network performance over time when Performance Monitor is used on a Windows NT–based or Windows 2000–based network
  • Recording details of visitors to Web sites when you use Internet Information Services (IIS)
  • Recording the details of modem commands or Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) transmissions when you use Network and Dial-up Connections to connect to an Internet service provider (ISP)