What are log files?

Log files record and track computing events. Log files are extremely valuable in computing as they provide a way for system admins to track the operation of the system in order to spot problems and make corrections. 

Why is logging important?

Log files (also known as machine data) are important data points for security and surveillance, providing a full history of events over time. Beyond operating systems, log files are found in applications, web browsers, hardware, and even email. 

With proper log file tracking, businesses can either avoid or quickly rectify errors within their operating systems. Smart log tracking reduces downtime and minimizes the risk of lost data. Log data is typically sent to a secure host that acts as a common collection point before further processing by system admins.

Read our white paper: Using Mainframe Log Data for Operational Efficiency & Enhanced Security


Server log files are raw data points that can be useful in a variety of ways. For example, on a web browser, log files can contain valuable information about user sessions, individual users, rendering times, and keyword data. 

In another way, log files are a trusted source of audit information by security professionals as they contain a full history of system activity such as access attempts, command line data, changes to sensitive information and more.

Incorporating log files into IT analytics

Precisely Ironstream integrates your critical security and operational log files from the mainframe and IBM i to next-gen analytics platforms.