Web Server Log File Visualization

Most of the stuff I find on slashdot I don't bother mentioning here, since I figure plenty of people read slashdot and they can find out about that stuff for themselves. Every so often, though, I'll duplicate an entry. Frankly I do this because I want to remember it later and this allows me to go back and search for it in a year when I can't remember where I found it.

Having said all that, I read this story on slashdot about glTail.rb, an OpenGL log visualization program. There's a video at the site and I suggest checking it out. Basically it parses a web server log and graphically displays server hits.

I really think visualization is something that we miss in infrastructure management tools. Of course all monitoring programs include some graphing capabilities, but there is a huge opportunity for systems data visualization to come out of the 1980s and into the 21st century. It's somewhat surprising to me with the scale of today's infrastructures that we don't do better 3D data visualization.

As an aside, I was skimming through the slashdot comments and found a couple links which I had seen in the past but forgotten about. Visitorville is a web analytics program that uses a city metaphor. Sort of "the sims" meets Google Analytics. There was also a link in the comments to the Doom as a system administration tool page. That project is very old and crusty now, and was never practical in the way it was implemented, but still a creative idea.