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This is the scenario:

We host several websites on multiple webservers, and I'm thinking about a way to consolidate the log-handling for all webservers.

Would it make sense to store all logs on a common NAS-device, with a dedicated machine that does logrotation, compression as well as summaries? My initial thought was to use a SAN with iSCSI, however you cannot attach a single partition to multiple clients then.

My goal was to eliminate the need for maintenance-task on the production servers, for easier deployment of new servers etc.

Follow-up question, how do IIS respond when it cannot write to the access-log? Will it fail miserably or just stop logging?

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Does IIS even allow you to write log files to external storage? – user3914 Sep 11 '09 at 12:46
I assume so, why should it react to if I write to a local device or a mapped device? Haven't tried it though, maybe I should. – jishi Sep 11 '09 at 13:33
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Writing IIS logs to another machine / nas is a great idea.

If you are writing to the default %windir%\system32\logfiles you can exhaust the disk of the OS... i.e. IIS stops operating. You don't have to worry about that with an external drive.

The fallback mechanism, if your log path it unavailable (say your NAS went away) is to resume writing to the default %windir%\system32\logfiles

For multiple iis machines, make sure to set them to log to a separate folder like :

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Do you have any real life scenario shere you've seen this in action? Any figures in traffic-amount etc that would support your suggestion would be very welcome! – jishi Oct 5 '09 at 13:51
well we log around 2GB - 4GB per day 8-16 million hits? – Quinn Wilson Oct 6 '09 at 15:33

If IIS can't write to the log, it should simply stop logging.

I have my IIS servers all write to the local drive so that the log is always available, then I've got the server that processes the logs handle the deletion of the older log files after it processes the logs. That way the production web servers only have to worry about deleting the files and having the app server process the files.

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