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© 2013 Tim Gaunt.
When we got our own dedicated server we needed to start working out a fair number of processes and decide upon a structure that was replicable, scaleable and manageable on a large scale, although the solution we've ended up adopting may not be the best, it certainly works for us.
One thing that has been bugging me however is the location and folder naming convention of the log files -for both the web hits and FTP hits. Typically, shared hosting solutions place the log files under the same folder as the one your website's root is situated but as we had no plans on giving our clients access to these logs this was an unnecessary task so we left them collecting in the default folder.
Leaving the log files in the default folder meant downloading them was very simple, all I needed to do was point our download script at the main folder and that was it, all would be included, the catch however was that the folders weren't named logically* instead they seemed to include some form of ID that was relevant to and assigned by IIS i.e. W3SVC1.
*By this I mean human readable i.e. domainname.com
Until recently I've not worried about analysing the log files beyond one or two clients whom I could manage fairly easily but now with the inclusion of a host of other domains on the server I needed a way of quickly and easily identifying the folders and which domains they related to.
Historically when I needed to know which domain the log folder related to I would log onto the server, open IIS, open the properties of the domain, click on the log file properties and below the folder directory would be the folder name, that's fine if it's only a handful of domains but what when it's say 20? That's 2mins each (with cross referencing etc) so that's 40minutes. I needed an automated system!
As it turns out, Microsoft have been kind enough to provide us with an interface we can easily code against in .Net so after a little Google-ing I wrote a number of little helper applications.
This little console application simply loops through all the domain names on the server it's being run on (the default instance of IIS) and outputs the relevant log file and folder path into a handy text file. I'll post in another post about how I use this file.
For convenience's sake I have this run on a nightly basis and the text file output to the root of the log file directory, that way when I download the logs during the next day I get the latest update of log file locations and domain names :)
Download the IIS WWW and FTP log file location exporter.
1 Year Update: I've posted the source for the IIS WWW and FTP log file location exporter here.
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