What are Logs?

Also commonly referred to as log files, logs are records activities within a computer system. Logs are written in a simple text format, document event details, typically include a time stamp and can be used for tasks ranging from restoring a database to analyzing website traffic. Nearly all software applications have a logging function often using a protocol called syslog, which is a standardized method of creating logs.

There are many different types of logs, tailored to specific systems and functions. A transaction log keeps a record of all changes made to a database and is used in recovery efforts. Network event logs provide a history of what happened within the network, such as traffic and failed password attempts. Web servers also create logs that include information such as the IP addresses of visitors, when they were on the site and which pages they visited.

These are just a few examples of the types of logs systems can create. Logs are invaluable for monitoring system health and troubleshooting issues.

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