Way back in the past I used to view logs after an event has happened. This was painfully slow, especially when viewing the logs of many systems at the same time.


Recently I've been a big fan of log aggregators. On the backend it's a standard log server, while all the new intelligence is on the front end.


One of the best uses of this in my experience is seeing what events have occurred and which users have made changed just before. Most errors I've seen are human error. Someone has either fat fingered something or failed to take into account all the variables or effects their change could have. The aggregator can very quickly show you that x amount of routers have OSPF flapping, and that x user just made a change 5 minutes ago.


What kind of intelligent systems are you using on your logs? Do you use external tools, or perhaps home grown tools to run through your logs and pull relevant information and inform you? Or, do you simply use logs as a generic log in the background to only go through when something goes wrong?