Application logs are both a blessing and a curse. They are comforting to have when a production issue arises, but actually digging out the data we need usually requires cobbling together scripts written in tools such as AWK and sed. Splunk is an elegant solution that quickly analyzes many standard log file formats like IIS, Log4J and syslog, and is extensible to custom formats. It indexes files, statically or in real time, to generate canned or custom reports. If the raw log fields do not provide what you need, simply use a regular expression, either inline or to define a new field, to get the desired level of detail. Splunk’s full power is difficult to describe, so we recommend downloading and trying it.