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Sawmill 8

Sawmill Analytics puts readable and actionable up-to-the-minute data in your hands, empowering your business knowledge. You can host Sawmill wherever is most convenient for you: on a PC or a company server. Its agent-less architecture making deployment easy, while its optional Clickstream Collection System (CCS) provides a complete route to client-side clickstream analytics, putting you in control of your data collection, helping you meet regulations regarding the collection of data on web visitors.

With over 50 years combined experience in the supply of analytical reporting software Sawmill Analytics delivers what it says: "Extracting business intelligence from log files©".

As a key member of the Visidata Group we can draw on other complimentary products and services to expand our Sawmill solution portfolio into data logging and compliance, meeting the fast growing need for secure log storage and searchable reports.

Sawmill 8

Customizable Log Data Analytics:

  • Customize the user interface
  • Create your own reporting strategy
  • Create custom reports with calculated columns
  • Combine external metadata into reports

Sawmill Logo

Current Version: 8.7

Supported Formats: 1022

Take control of your data wherever it is in your organisation. Sawmill 8 brings many new features to help you master those server log files and create usable and actionable reports to empower your business decision making.

Sawmill will analyse all your text log files from any source and any location producing actionable reports and alerts – condensing the data into customised dashboards to make event recognition and trend utilisation so much quicker and more effective. Every platform and every technical discipline is supported by Sawmill via its library of over 1000 different log file formats.

Web, Security, Proxy, Email, Media, IDS, Syslog, Network device, Application program, O/S events - its all logs to the Sawmill

Unlock your valuable log data and start using the business benefits you will gain

Security, Web, Media, Proxy, IDS, Email, Syslog - over 1000 different log formats

Different Applications of Sawmill:
  • Web Traffic Analysis
  • Security Management
  • Email Management
  • Compliance Management
  • Infrastructure Monitoring
  • Streaming Media Analysis
  • Server Access Management
  • Database Access Management

Analysis without limits:
  • A Sawmill license is forever
  • No licensing limit on users
  • No licensing limit on hits, visitors, sessions
  • No licensing limit on log sizes

Sawmill products:

  • Sawmill Lite presents your data faster than any other log file analysis solution. It removes many of the configuration options available in the Sawmill Professional or Sawmill Enterprise editions and in their place substitutes a default (popular) configuration giving you access to the data you need right away and with the minimum of fuss.
  • Sawmill Professional is very definitely the Professionals choice, designed with all the configurability and power you will need to generate and tailor your reports to meet both your, and your users, requirements.
  • Sawmill Enterprise brings together all the power of Sawmill Professional and adds support for the industry-standard Oracle and MSSQL database servers (as well as the integrated Sawmill database as used in Lite and Professional), adds Role-based Access Control (RBAC) and real-time log importing with simultaneous reporting.

Download 30 Day free trial of Sawmill 8

Sawmill Features by Edition
  Current Production Version
  Host platform options Microsoft Windows, Apple MacOS X, UNIX, GNU/Linux. Current download list available here
  Deployment Local or Remote
  Licensing Single Copy, Profiles
  License delivery Key by email
  License sizes (profiles) 1, 5, 10, 25 > > unlimited
  License size upgrades (profiles) Yes
  License edition upgrades (by key) Yes
  Software delivery User Download
  User limit Unlimited
  Supported log file types 1005
  EUR Pricing from €544.00 €180.00
  LDAP Authentication Yes  
  Microsoft SQL Server (Database & Log Source) Yes  
  Oracle (Database & Log Source) Yes  
  MySQL (Database & Log Source) Yes  
  Multi-Processor Log Processing Yes  
  GUI customization 3 Yes (complete via Salang) (report features only)
  Role-based access control Yes (limited)
  Network Actions (API/RPC) Yes Yes
  Custom Report Columns Yes Yes
  Save Report From Reports Yes Yes
  Email Report From Reports Yes Yes
  Filter/Report Bookmarks Yes Yes
  Multiple Log Source Yes Yes
  Script Language (Salang) Yes Yes
  Log Filters Editor (input) Yes Yes
  DNS Lookup Yes Yes
  HTTP Log Source Yes Yes
  Command Line Log Source Yes Yes
  Report Editor Yes Yes
  User Management Editor Yes Yes
  Log Format auto-detection (with override option) (with override option)
  Internal database support Yes Yes
  Reports Drill Down (ZOOM) Yes Yes
  Report Filters Editor (output) Yes Yes
  Sawmill Scheduler Yes Yes
  Local (file) Log Source Yes Yes
  FTP/SFTP Log Source Yes Yes
  Integrated web server Yes Yes
  External SQL Queries Yes Yes
  GeoLite™ Database Yes Yes
  Language Modules Yes Yes

1) MS SQL and Oracle supported via ODBC as a log source and a back end database

2) MySQL database as a log source is supported via ODBC and supported natively as a back end database

3) "report features only" means that the profile's reports can be customized through the Config section of the GUI. This is possible in all tiers except Lite, where the Config section is limited and does not include a report editor. "complete via Salang" means that the full Salang source code of the web interface is open to be modified (subject to licensing restrictions - available on request).

4)"limited" to only two role types (the built in Manager and Statistics visitor) in Professional

Sawmill Log Analyzer Best Practices:

Log File Management

Log files are your company’s asset and irreplaceable. We strongly recommend that you retain your historical log files for as long as possible. If space is a concern consider compressing your log files. Log files typically compress down very nicely to anywhere between 90-98% of their original size. Sawmill is also capable of natively reading compressed files so there’s no need to spend time decompressing files to process them with Sawmill. Compressed log files also reduce bandwidth if you are reading log files remotely, or moving files between remote servers. The most important reason to keep log files is to be able to rebuild your Sawmill database in the event of a catastrophic failure. If you retain your historical log files recovering a database is always possible, and it’s a simple operation to rebuild your database. If you choose to follow only one of the best practices and guidelines, make the choice to retain your historical log data. Historical logs are cheap insurance (and typically use very little disk space when compressed) and having them will save you from data loss if you ever need to recover a database from the ground up.

Backup Your Database

We strongly recommend that if you build larger datasets that you create a backup plan for your Sawmill databases. Having a backup of your database will save you many hours (or even days) of reprocessing logs and rebuilding your database in the event of a database corruption or catastrophic failure. Though database corruptions or failures are infrequent, they can happen, and if these types of situations do occur you’ll be glad you had a backup of your Sawmill databases so that you can be back up and running quickly.

The Sawmill internal database is a flat file database and can be backed up by most any commonly available backup software. It’s important that you schedule backups when the Sawmill database is not actively updating. If you use an external database like MySQL, Oracle, or MS SQL check with your Database Administrator about what options exist for backing up or restoring your Sawmill database.

Both the Sawmill internal database, and external databases created by Sawmill can also be exported to plain text files manually, and then compressed, and later decompressed and reloaded manually if no better backup facility is available.

Profile Tuning For High Volume

A default profile created in Sawmill is optimized for maximum report generation speed. These settings can be very problematic for very large datasets (more than 200 million lines of log data), requiring very large amount of time and memory and disk space to build, and should be modified before any large import begins. It is best to start by turning off most of the database indices (all fields are indexed by default), in Config->Database Fields, and most of the crossreferences (in Config->Cross-reference Groups). Turning off cross-reference groups will make the database build faster, but will make the corresponding report much slower (minutes instead of seconds). Turning off indices will make the database build faster and the database smaller, but will make filtering on the corresponding field slower. The date/time cross-reference group should generally be left enabled, as it is used in nearly every report, and is not very expensive.

Field complexity must also be managed for large datasets. Any normalized (non-numerical) field with more than about 10 million unique values can become a performance liability, and should be simplified or removed if possible. Fields can be simplified using a Log Filter, for instance setting the field value to a single constant value if it is not needed. Database fields can be removed completely using the command line “remove_database_field” action. During a large database build, it is good to monitor the web interface progress display for the build (click Show Reports on the profile), to see if there are any performance warnings appearing. These warnings also appear in the TaskLog.

Single monolithic databases can also be a performance issue. Whenever possible very large datasets should be segmented into separate profiles, each with its own database, for instance one profile per server, or one profile per month, or one profile per region.

Sawmill Profile Calculator

Sawmill Licensing is based on Profiles, not on log sources (i.e. ‘servers’). A Profile can be considered as a ‘Report Profile’, with a single profile capable of processing the log files of one format only. A Profile defines and manages i) the processing of the log data, ii) how the Sawmill database is created, and iii) the report style (i.e. the tables | graphs | navigation etc.).  Although a single profile can capture log files from multiple sources (provided they are all the same format) additional Profiles will be required if you need to produce additional separate (private) reports from the same original log file data.

Follow the two-stage process below to determine how many profiles and how many licenses you need.

Step 1.  Sawmill Profile Calculator:

Web Server 3 3 5
Proxy Server 1 1 1
Firewall 5 5 5
Mail Server 2 2 5
All of the above 11 11 25


Step 2.  How many copies of Sawmill do you require?

Having calculated the number of Profiles you need you can now decide how many copies of Sawmill you want to run them on. If you decide to run them all on a single copy you will receive a single key (lowest cost option).  Alternatively you may purchase multiple smaller licenses giving you the right to run multiple copies of Sawmill. 

The license sizes available for purchase are: 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 500, 1000, so the next pack size for above 16 is 25. Customers always need some spare profiles for testing and development so the extra are always valuable.

The simple rule for calculating the number of Profiles is ‘how many regular reports do you need to produce’ and that is the number of Profiles. The minimum is the number of different log formats. So if you have 3 log formats and you want to produce 2 reports from each then you will need 6 (buy 10). On the other hand if you want one report from each then you only need 3 profiles (buy 5). One thing you can ask is that however many reports they ‘think’ they need, they will eventually want many more. Good data always creates new requests from new people who ask ‘hey can you send me a report that shows xxxxx’ .

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