IISLogs component overview

Executive Summary

IISLogs is a component 100% written using the Microsoft .NET Framework. It’s developed to help effectively manage all log files related to Microsoft Internet Information Server 5.0 and 6.0. No more writing and supporting your own custom scripts.  There are two products to chose from, (Stand-alone EXE or a Windows Service version). IISLogs is developed to automatically compress, copy and remove log files on a scheduled basis. In keeping with best practices for a secure IIS server, IISLogs by default runs in a low privileged account (LOCAL SERVICE) and does NOT require administrative privileges!  Install, Configure, Forget!

Technical Overview

Information Technology professionals are always being asked to do more with less, one of the biggest challenges in companies large or small, is day-to-day administration of systems.   If a company is running servers Microsoft Internet Information servers, log files are being created every day.   IIS provides no built-in mechanism to help manage log files, this is where IISLogs comes in.    One of the industry practices is to have the operating system on one partition (C:) and the data on another (D:).   This usually means the C: drive is specific one size and the D: is much larger to hold data and log files.  The default setting in IIS is to use %SYSTEMROOT%system32Logfiles which means the log file are on the same partition that is normall reserved for operating system functions.  If left unattended, this could fill up the OS partition and cause issues.   Medium/Large companies and Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) normally would customize IIS to store log files in other places besides the default.  IISLogs is flexible enough to also handle these custom directories. 

What does *Manage* log files mean? IISLogs compresses, copies and/or delete log files on a scheduled basis.   How often is totally left up to the person configuring IISLogs.  How does IISLogs benefit me? This provides a secure, configurable and flexible solution to help keep log files from taking up entire hard drives.  How hard is IISLogs to configure?  IISLogs is very easy to configure, there are two methods;   First, IISLogsGUI provides an easy Winforms program.   Secondly, for advanced individuals, ALL settings are stored in one configuration file.  This can be easily edited with your favorite text editor (Notepad, PFE, etc..).  How secure is IISLogs? By default, IISLogs Windows Service version is setup to run as LOCAL SERVICE, this keeps in practice of having a secure IIS environment by default.  The STAND-ALONE EXE, runs as whoever logs into the machine or setup by Windows Task Scheduler.  This is totally left up to whoever is configuring IISLogs. What other security features does IISLogs have? By design, IISLogs ONLY will compress, copy and/or delete files with the .LOG, .ZIP, .BDR, .BDP, .BAD file extensions, all other file extensions are left alone.  How is IISLogs installed on my computer? IISLogs uses an MSI based technology to provide easy install and un-install from the computer.  What versions of Windows does IISLogs support?   Windows XP, Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 with .NET framework 1.1 installed. 

What type of reporting does IISLogs provide?  For v1.x, IISLogs offers two types of reporting, the first option is IISLogs creates delimited files stored locally on each computer.  This provides the ability to import these files into a database for more extensive reporting.  The second feature is an email-based summary reporting.  When IISLogs is run, an email is sent to an email address with the following details listed below.  Such items as numbers of directories processed, numbers of files processed, Size of directories before processing and after, and how long the process took.  An example an email summary report 

Here is a daily IISLogs report for computer: WEBBOX
Number of Directories Processed: 5
Total Number Files: 50
Total Number Files Changed: 2
Size Before Processing: 141249
Size After Procesing: 141247
Start Time: 8/1/2023 5:59:42 PM
Finish Time: 8/1/2023 6:05:43 PM

In conclusion, the goal of IISLogs is to provide a secure, flexible component to manage log files.  This can relieve one more thing that doesn’t have to be concerned with when it comes to administration of computer systems.  Log files are what we like to call,  the silent disk killer, at first they are small, don’t take up much space.  As time goes on, more and more disk space is taken up eventually take up more than they should and even at times the entire hard drive.  This can cause un-needed issues that are easily preventable  IISLogs can be integrated into any based image of a machine providing out of the gate a managed log file solution.  Hopefully this article has given insight the purpose IISLogs is trying to accomplish.   

About IISLogs

Founded by Steve Schofield (ASP.NET – MVP, ASPInsider,  IISAnswers.com (co-editor), ASPFree.com creator), IISLogs is part of Anylogs Enterprises.  Steve brings over 4 years of real-world, practical experience using  .NET technology.  His involvement in .NET dates back to pre-beta & beta days of .NET 1.0 framework.  As webmaster of ASPFree.com, his website was the 1st to run the .NET framework and ASP.NET in a production environment.  His *day job* is being an administrator/systems engineer for a large Microsoft environment.   Any questions, comments Steve can be reached at [email protected] or his blog @ http://adminblogs.com/steve