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From Roshan Naik <ros...@hortonworks.com>
Subject Re: Syslog Infrastructure with Flume
Date Mon, 29 Oct 2012 23:37:58 GMT
I am in the process of investigating the possibility of creating  a
HCatalog sink for Flume which should be able to handle such use cases. For
your use case it could be thought of as a Hive sink. Goal is basically as
follows... it would allow multiple flume agents to pump logs into a hive
tables. That would make the data query-able without additional manual
steps. Data will get added periodically in the form of new partitions to
Hive. You would not have to deal with temporary files or manual addition of
data into hive.


On Sun, Oct 28, 2012 at 5:45 PM, Ralph Goers <ralph.goers@dslextreme.com>wrote:

> Since you ask...
> In our environment our primary concern is audit logs - have have to audit
> banking transactions as well as changes administrators make. We have a
> legacy system that needed to be integrated that had records in a form
> different than what we want stored. We also need to allow administrators to
> view events as close to real time as possible. Plus we have to aggregate
> data across 2 data centers. Although we are currently not including web
> server access logs we plan to integrate them in over time.  We also have
> requirements from our security team to pass events for their use to
> ArcSight.
> 1. We have a "log extractor" that receives legacy events as they occur and
> converts them into our new format and passes them to Flume. All new
> applications use the Log4j 2 Flume Appender to get data to Flume.
> 2. Flume passes the data to ArcSight for our security team's use.
> 3. We wrote a Flume to Cassandra Sink.
> 4. We wrote our own REST query services to retrieve the data from
> Cassandra.
> 5. Since we are using DataStax Enterprise version of Cassandra we have
> also set up "Analytic" nodes that run Hadoop on top of Cassandra. This
> allows the data to be accessed via normal Hadoop tools for data analytics.
> 6. We have written our own reporting UI component in our Administrative
> Platform to allow administrators to view activities in real time or to
> schedule background data collection so users can post process the data on
> their own.
> We do not have anything to allow an admin to "tail" the log but it
> wouldn't be hard at all to write an application to accept Flume events via
> Avro and display the last "n" events as they arrive.
> One thing I should point out. We format our events in accordance with RFC
> 5424 and store that in the Flume event body. We then store all our
> individual pieces of audit event data in Flume headers fields.  The RFC
> 5424 message is what we send to ArcSight. The event fields and the
> compressed body are all stored in individual columns in Cassandra.
> Ralph
> On Oct 26, 2012, at 2:06 PM, Ron Thielen wrote:
> I am exactly where you are with this, except for the problem of my not
> having had time to write a serializer to address the Hostname Timestamp
> issue.  Questions about the use of Flume in this manner seem to recur on
> a regular basis, so it seems a common use case.****
> ** **
> Sorry I cannot offer a solution since I am in your shoes at the moment,
> unfortunately looking at storing logs twice.****
> ** **
> Ron Thielen****
> ** **
> <image001.jpg>****
> ** **
> *From:* Josh West [mailto:jsw@one.com]
> *Sent:* Friday, October 26, 2012 9:05 AM
> *To:* user@flume.apache.org
> *Subject:* Syslog Infrastructure with Flume****
> ** **
> Hey folks,
> I've been experimenting with Flume for a few weeks now, trying to
> determine an approach to designing a reliable, highly available, scalable
> system to store logs from various sources, including syslog.  Ideally, this
> system will meet the following requirements:****
>    1. Logs from syslog across all servers make their way into HDFS.****
>    2. Logs are stored in HDFS in a manner that is available for
>    post-processing:****
>       - Example:  HIVE partitions - with HDFS Flume Sink, can set
>       hdfs.path to
>       hdfs://namenode/flume/syslog/server=%{host}/facility=%{Facility}****
>       - Example:  Custom map reduce jobs...****
>    3. Logs are stored in HDFS in a manner that is available for "reading"
>    by sysadmins:****
>       - During troubleshooting/firefighting, it is quite helpful to be
>       able to login to a central logging system and tail -f / grep logs.**
>       **
>       - We need to be able to see the logs "live".****
> Some folks may be wondering why are we choosing Flume for syslog, instead
> of something like Graylog2 or Logstash?  The answer is we will be using
> Flume + Hadoop for the transport and processing of other types of data in
> addition to syslog.  For example, webserver access logs for post processing
> and statistical analysis.  So, we would like to make the most use of the
> Hadoop cluster, keeping all logs of all types in one redundant/scalable
> solution.  Additionally, by keeping both syslog and webserver access logs
> in Hadoop/HDFS, we can begin to correlate events.****
> I've run into some snags while attempting to implement Flume in a manner
> that satisfies the requirements listed in the top of this message:****
>    1. Logs to HDFS:****
>       - I can indeed use the Flume HDFS Sink to reliably write logs into
>       HDFS.****
>       - Needed to write custom serializer to add Hostname and Timestamp
>       fields back to syslog messages.****
>       - See:  https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/FLUME-1666****
>    2. Logs to HDFS in manner available for
>    reading/firefighting/troubleshooting by sysadmins:****
>       - Flume HDFS Sink uses the BucketWriter for recording flume events
>       to HDFS.****
>       - Creates data files like:
>       /flume/syslog/server=%{host}/facility=%{Facility}/FlumeData.1350997160213
>       ****
>       - Each file is format of FlumeData (or custom prefix) followed by .
>       followed by unix timestamp of when the file was created.****
>          - This is somewhat necessary... As you could have multiple Flume
>          writers, writing to the same HDFS, the files cannot be opened by more than
>          one writer.  So each writer should write to its own file.****
>       - Latest file, currently being written to, is suffixed with ".tmp".*
>       ***
>       - This approach is not very sysadmin-friendly....****
>          - You have to find the latest (ie. the .tmp files) and hadoop fs
>          -tail -f /path/to/file.tmp****
>          - Hadoop's fs -tail -f command first prints the entire file's
>          contents, then begins tailing.****
> So the sum of it all is Flume is awesome for getting syslog (and other)
> data into HDFS for post processing, but not the best at getting it into
> HDFS in a sysadmin troubleshooting/firefighting format.  In an ideal world,
> I have syslog data coming into Flume via one transport (i.e. SyslogTcp
> Source or SyslogUDP Source) and being written into HDFS in a manner that is
> both post-processable and sysadmin-friendly, but it looks like this isn't
> going to happen.****
> I've thus investigated some alternative approaches to meet the
> requirements.  One of these approaches is to have all of my servers send
> their syslog messages to a central box running rsyslog.  Then, rsyslog
> would perform one of the following actions:****
>    1. Write logs to HDFS directly using 'omhdfs' module, in a format that
>    is both post-processable and sysadmin-friendly :-)****
>    2. Write logs to HDFS directly using 'hadoop-fuse-dfs' utility, which
>    has HDFS mounted as a filesystem.****
>    3. Write logs to a local filesystem and also replicate logs into a
>    flume agent, configured with a SyslogSource and HDFS sink.****
> Option #1 sounds great.  But unfortunately the 'omhdfs' module for rsyslog
> isn't working very well.  I've gotten it to login to Hadoop/HDFS but it has
> issues creating/appending files.  Additionally, templating is somewhat
> suspect (ie. making directories /syslog/someserver/somefacility
> dynamically).****
> Option #2 sounds reasonable, but either the HDFS FUSE module doesn't
> support append mode (yet) or rsyslog is trying to create/open the files in
> a manner not compliant with HDFS.  No surprise, as we all know HDFS can be
> somewhat "special" at times ;-)  It's actually no matter anyways... Trying
> to "tail -f" a file mounted via HDFS FUSE is rather useless.  The data is
> only and finally fed to the tail command once a full 64MB (or whatever you
> use) block size of data has been written to the file.  One would only be
> able to use "hadoop fs -tail -f /path/to/log" which has its own issues
> mentioned previously.****
> Option #3 would definitely work.  However, now I'm storing my logs twice.
> Once on some local filesystem and another time in HDFS.  It works but its
> not ideal as it's a waste of space.  And you've probably noticed from this
> email so far, I'd prefer the *ideal* solution :-)****
> *Note*:  Astute flumers would probably look at option #3 and recommend
> making use of the RollingFileSink in addition to the HDFSSink.
> Unfortunately, the RollingFileSink doesn't support templated/dynamic
> directory creation like the HDFSSink with its hdfs.path setting of "
> hdfs://namenode/flume/syslog/server=%{host}/facility=%{Facility}".****
> So what exactly am I asking here?  Well, I'd like to know first how others
> are doing this.  A hybrid of rsyslog and Flume?  All and only Flume?  With
> custom serializers/interceptors/sinks?  Or perhaps... how would you
> recommend I handle this?****
> Thanks for any and all thoughts you can provide.****
> ** **
> -- ****
> Josh West****
> Lead Systems Administrator****
> One.com, jsw@one.com****
> <Ronald J  Thielen.vcf>

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