Server log analysis from central repository

Andrew Hunter andrewm_hunter at
Wed Apr 8 11:43:56 MDT 2009

Hi to all.  I'm looking for a nice way to analyze server traffic logs 
stored in a central repository.  Here's the deal:  We have several 
metric bucketloads of physical servers, each of which hosts a number of 
VPS servers.  Each VPS looks to its user, our customer, like a dedicated 
physical server, of course, and as such has its own set of Apache, 
sendmail, etc. logs.  My job involves, in part, predictive analysis.  I 
often need to grab logs from a specific subset of accounts, analyze 
their traffic, and design tests based on that data.  To minimize impact 
on customer accounts, I bring the logs to a central repository stored on 
a FreeBSD server and use command line tools to analyze the logs.

I'd love to be able to use publicly-available tools to perform the 
analysis, but most of what I see out there is designed for analysis and 
monitoring on the production server itself.  Is there anything that's 
designed more for my situation?  I'd love it if the tool were 
intelligent enough to treat the log files in both a separate and 
composite manner, but even if it can do something like generate a single 
report for each VPS file set, I can then awk the separate reports into a 
composite.  The more command-line oriented the report, the better.  Does 
anyone have experience with this sort of thing?  We'd prefer free, open 
source stuff, but we'll definitely look at exceptional non-free software 
as well.  Many thanks--

Andrew Hunter

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