One of the essential features for even a small network is a centralised logging solution.
Having a centralised logging tool makes for much easier trouble shooting as it becomes possible to review logs and search for related events or even search for the same event on separate machines, traditionally this has required quite expensive software such as HP open view in order to implement but a fairly new company might be about to put an end to that.
Enter , The 'Google of IT data'. This application will happily collect all sorts of different logs once configured and the configuration is not too difficult.
Splunk needs to be installed onto a Linux, Mac or Solaris environment although a Windows version is promised soon. As a workaround Splunk recommend that is installed on Windows servers. This software will convert event logs into syslog format and send them to a named server.
Putting Splunk in the center of you logging infrastructure as a syslog server and pointing all your syslog capable devices at it and then using SNARE to roll up event logs as syslogs which also get sent to Splunk is very easy to do. Within a few hours you have a surprising amount of data available to be searched by splunk.
And the price for all this information?
SNARE is free, Splunk is free if the amount of data you send to the Splunk server is less than 500mb a day although some of the features are limited.
I will admit to being a fan of Splunk after playing with it in VMWare. Over the next few weeks I'm going to describe how to configure a simple splunk installation for Linux, Windows, NetApp filers and CiscoSNARE