24 Nov 2020

feedFedora People

Fedora Community Blog: Fedora program update: 2020-48

Fedora Program Manager weekly report on Fedora Project development and progress

Here's your report of what has happened in Fedora this week. Elections voting is open through 3 December. Fedora 31 has reached end of life. EPEL 6 will reach end-of-life on Monday. There will be no FPgM office hours this week (25 November) due to PTO. Announcements Calls for Participation Help wanted Upcoming meetings Releases […]

The post Fedora program update: 2020-48 appeared first on Fedora Community Blog.

24 Nov 2020 9:22pm GMT

Peter Czanik: Web interfaces for your syslog server – an overview

This is the 2020 edition of my most read blog entry about syslog-ng web-based graphical user interfaces (web GUIs). Many things have changed in the past few years. In 2011, only a single logging as a service solution was available, while nowadays, I regularly run into others. Also, while some software disappeared, the number of logging-related GUIs is growing. This is why in this post, I will mostly focus on generic log management and open source instead of highly specialized software, like SIEMs.

Why grep is not enough?

Centralized event logging has been an important part of IT for many years for many reasons. Firstly, it is more convenient to browse logs in a central location rather than viewing them on individual machines. Secondly, central storage is also more secure. Even if logs stored locally are altered or removed, you can still check the logs on the central log server. Finally, compliance with different regulations also makes central logging necessary.

System administrators often prefer to use the command line. Utilities such as grep and AWK are powerful tools, but complex queries can be completed much faster with logs indexed in a database and a web interface. In the case of large amounts of messages, a web-based database solution is not just convenient, it is a necessity. With tens of thousands of incoming messages per second, the indexes of log databases still give Google-like response times even for the most complex queries, while traditional text-based tools are not able to scale as efficiently.

Why still syslog-ng?

Many software used for log analysis come with their own log aggregation agents. So why should you still use syslog-ng then? As organizations grow, so does the IT staff starts to diversify. Separate teams are created for operations, development and security, each with its own specialized needs in log analysis. And even the business side often needs log analysis as an input for business decisions. You can quickly end up with 4-5 different log analysis and aggregation systems running in parallel and working from the very same log messages.

This is where syslog-ng can come handy: creating a dedicated log management layer, where syslog-ng collects all of the log messages centrally, does initial basic log analysis, and feeds all the different log analysis software with relevant log messages. This can save you time and resources in multiple ways:

The syslog-ng application can collect both system and application logs, and can be installed both as a client and a server. Thus, you have a single application to install for log management everywhere on your network. It can reliably collect and transport huge amounts of log messages, parse ("look into") your log messages, enrich them with geographical location and other extra data, making filters and thus, log routing, much more accurate.

Logging as a Service (LaaS)

A couple years ago, Loggly was the pioneer of logging as a service (LaaS). Today, there are many other LaaS providers (Papertrail, Logentries, Sumo Logic, and so on) and syslog-ng works perfectly with all of them.

Structured fields and name-value pairs in logs are increasingly important, as they are easier to search, and it is easier to create meaningful reports from them. The more recent IETF RFC 5424 syslog standard supports structured data, but it is still not in widespread use.

People started to use JSON embedded into legacy (RFC 3164) syslog messages. The syslog-ng application can send JSON-formatted messages - for example, you can convert the following messages into structured JSON messages:

Loggly and other services can receive JSON-formatted messages, and make them conveniently available from the web interface.

A number of LaaS providers are already supported by syslog-ng out of the box. If your service of choice is not yet directly supported, the following blog can help you create a new LaaS destination: https://www.syslog-ng.com/community/b/blog/posts/how-to-use-syslog-ng-with-laas-and-why

Some non-syslog-ng-based solutions

Before focusing on the solutions with syslog-ng at their heart, I would like to say a few words about the others, some which were included in the previous edition of the blog.

LogAnalyzer from the makers of Rsyslog was a simple, easy to use PHP application a few years ago. While it has developed quite a lot, recently I could not get it to work with syslog-ng. Some of the popular monitoring software have syslog support to some extent, for example, Nagios, Cacti and several others. I have tested some of these, I have even sent patches and bug reports to enhance their syslog-ng support, but syslog is clearly not their focus, just one of the possible inputs.

The ELK stack (Elasticsearch + Logstash + Kibana) and Graylog2 have become popular recently, but they have their own log collectors instead of syslog-ng, and syslog is just one of many log sources. Syslog support is quite limited both in performance and protocol support. They recommend using file readers for collecting syslog messages, but that increases complexity, as it is an additional software on top of syslog(-ng), and filtering still needs to be done on the syslog side. Note that syslog-ng can send logs to Elasticsearch natively, which can greatly simplify your logging architecture.

Collecting and displaying metrics data

You can collect metrics data using syslog-ng. Examples include netdata or collectd. You can send the collected data to Graphite or Elasticsearch. Graphite has its own web interface, while you can use Kibana to query and visualize data collected to Elasticsearch.

Another option is to use Grafana. Originally, it was developed as an alternative web interface to the Graphite databases, but now it can also visualize data from many more data sources, including Elasticsearch. It can combine multiple data sources to a single dashboard and provides fine-grained access control.

Loki by Grafana is one of the latest applications that lets you aggregate and query log messages, and of course, to visualize logs using Grafana. It does not index the contents of log messages, only the labels associated with logs. This way, processing and storing log messages requires less resources, making Loki more cost-effective. Promtail, the log collector component of Loki, can collect log messages using the new, RFC 5424 syslog protocol. Learn here how syslog-ng can send its log messages to Loki.

Splunk

One of the most popular web-based interfaces for log messages is Splunk. A returning question is whether to use syslog-ng or Splunk. Well, the issue is a bit of apples vs. oranges: they do not replace, but rather complement each other. As I already mentioned in the introduction, syslog-ng is good at reliably collecting and processing huge amounts of data. Splunk, on the other hand, is good at analyzing log messages for various purposes. Learn more about how you can integrate syslog-ng with Splunk from our white paper!

Syslog-ng based solutions

Here I show a number of syslog-ng based solutions. While every software described below is originally based on syslog-ng Open Source Edition (except for One Identity's own syslog-ng Store Box (SSB)), there are already some large-scale deployments available also with syslog-ng Premium Edition as their syslog server.

Benefits of using syslog-ng PE with these solutions include the logstore, a tamper-proof log storage (even if it means that your logs are stored twice), Windows support, and enterprise grade support.

LogZilla

LogZilla is the commercial reincarnation of one of the oldest syslog-ng web GUIs: PHP-Syslog-NG. It provides the familiar user interface of its predecessor, but also includes many new features. The user interface supports Cisco Mnemonics, extended graphing capabilities, and e-mail alerts. Behind the scenes, LDAP integration, message de-duplication, and indexing for quick searching were added for large datasets.

Over the past years, it received many small improvements. It became faster, and role-based access control was added, as well as the live tailing of log messages. Of course, all these new features come with a price; the free edition, which I have often recommended for small sites with Cisco logs is completely gone now.

A few years ago, a complete rewrite became available with many performance improvements under the hood and a new dashboard on the surface. Development never stopped, and now LogZilla can parse and enrich log messages, and can also automatically respond to events.

Therefore, it is an ideal solution for a network operations center (NOC) full of Cisco devices.

Web site: http://logzilla.net/

Security Onion

One of the most interesting projects utilizing syslog-ng is Security Onion, a free and open source Linux distribution for threat hunting, enterprise security monitoring, and log management. It is utilizing syslog-ng for log collection and log transfer, and uses the Elastic stack to store and search log messages. Even if you do not use its advanced security features, you can still use it for centralized log collection and as a nice web interface for your logs. But it is also worth getting acquainted with its security monitoring features, as it can provide you some useful insights about your network. Best of all, Security Onion is completely free and open source, with commercial support available for it.

You can learn more about it at https://www.syslog-ng.com/community/b/blog/posts/syslog-ng-and-security-onion

Elastisearch and Kibana

Elasticsearch is gaining momentum as the ultimate destination for log messages. There are two major reasons for this:

The syslog-ng application can send logs directly into Elasticsearch. We call this an ESK stack (Elasticsearch + syslog-ng + Kibana).

Learn how you can simplify your logging to Elasticsearch by using syslog-ng: https://www.syslog-ng.com/community/b/blog/posts/logging-to-elasticsearch-made-simple-with-syslog-ng

syslog-ng Store Box (SSB)

SSB is a log management appliance built on syslog-ng Premium Edition. SSB adds a powerful indexing engine, authentication and access control, customized reporting capabilities, and an easy-to-use web-based user interface.

Recent versions introduced AWS and Azure cloud support and horizontal scalability using remote logspaces. The new content-based alerting can send an e-mail alert whenever a match between the contents of a log message and a search expression is found.

SSB is really fast when it comes to indexing and searching log data. To put this scalability in context, the largest SSB appliance stores up to 10 terabytes of uncompressed, raw logs. With SSB's current indexing performance of 100,000 events per second, that equates to approximately 8.6 billion logs per day or 1.7 terabytes of log data per day (calculating with an average event size of 200 bytes). Using compression, a single, large SSB appliance could store approximately one month of log data for an enterprise generating 1.7 terabytes of event data a day. This compares favorably to other solutions that require several nodes for collecting this amount of messages, and even more additional nodes for storing them. While storing logs to the cloud is getting popular, on-premise log storage is still a lot cheaper for a large amount of logs.

The GUI makes searching logs, configuring and managing the SSB easy. The search interface allows you to use wildcards and Boolean operators to perform complex searches, and drill down on the results. You can gain a quick overview and pinpoint problems fast by generating ad-hoc charts from the distribution of the log messages.

Configuring the SSB is done through the user interface. Most of the flexible filtering, classification and routing features in the syslog-ng Open Source and Premium Editions can be configured with the UI. Access and authentication policies can be set to integrate with Microsoft Active Directory, LDAP and RADIUS servers. The web interface is accessible through a network interface dedicated to the management traffic. This management interface is also used for backups, sending alerts, and other administrative traffic.

SSB is a ready-to-use appliance, which means that no software installation is necessary. It is easily scalable, because SSB is available both as a virtual machine and as a physical appliance, ranging from entry-level servers to multiple-unit behemoths. For mission critical applications, you can use SSB in High Availability mode. Enterprise-level support for SSB and syslog-ng PE is also available.

Read more about One Identity's syslog-ng and SSB products here.

Request evaluation version / callback.

24 Nov 2020 12:29pm GMT

Charles-Antoine Couret: 12/20 Élections pour le Conseil, FESCo et Mindshare pendant encore quelques jours

Comme le projet Fedora est communautaire, une partie du collège des organisations suivantes doit être renouvelée : Council, FESCo et Mindshare. Et ce sont les contributeurs qui décident. Chaque candidat a bien sûr un programme et un passif qu'ils souhaitent mettre en avant durant leur mandat pour orienter le projet Fedora dans certaines directions. Je vous invite à étudier les propositions des différents candidats pour cela.

J'ai voté

Pour voter, il est nécessaire d'avoir un compte FAS actif et de faire son choix sur le site du scrutin. Vous avez jusqu'au vendredi 4 décembre à 1h heure française pour le faire. Donc n'attendez pas trop.

Par ailleurs, comme pour le choix des fonds d'écran additionnel, vous pouvez récupérer un badge si vous cliquez sur un lien depuis l'interface après avoir participé à un vote.

Je vais profiter de l'occasion pour résumer le rôle de chacun de ces comités afin de clarifier l'aspect décisionnel du projet Fedora mais aussi visualiser le caractère communautaire de celui-ci.

Council

Le Council est ce qu'on pourrait qualifier le grand conseil du projet. C'est donc l'organe décisionnaire le plus élevé de Fedora. Le conseil définit les objectifs à long terme du projet Fedora et participe à l'organisation de celui-ci pour y parvenir. Cela se fait notamment par le biais de discussions ouvertes et transparentes vis à vis de la communauté.

Mais il gère également l'aspect financier. Cela concerne notamment les budgets alloués pour organiser les évènements, produire les goodies, ou des initiatives permettant de remplir les dits objectifs. Ils ont enfin la charge de régler les conflits personnels importants au sein du projet, tout comme les aspects légaux liés à la marque Fedora.

Les rôles au sein du conseil sont complexes.

Ceux avec droit de vote complet

Tout d'abord il y a le FPL (Fedora Project Leader) qui est le dirigeant du conseil et de facto le représentant du projet. Son rôle est lié à la tenue de l'agenda et des discussions du conseil, mais aussi de représenter le projet Fedora dans son ensemble. Il doit également servir à dégager un consensus au cours des débats. Ce rôle est tenu par un employé de Red Hat et est choisi avec le consentement du conseil en question.

Il y a aussi le FCAIC (Fedora Community Action and Impact Coordinator) qui fait le lien entre la communauté et l'entreprise Red Hat pour faciliter et encourager la coopération. Comme pour le FPL, c'est un employé de Red Hat qui occupe cette position avec l'approbation du conseil.

Il y a deux places destinées à la représentation technique et à la représentation plus marketing / ambassadrice du projet. Ces deux places découlent d'une nomination décidée au sein des organes dédiées à ces activités : le FESCo et le Mindshare. Ces places sont communautaires mais ce sont uniquement ces comités qui décident des attributions.

Il reste deux places communautaires totalement ouvertes et dont tout le monde peut soumettre sa candidature ou voter. Cela permet de représenter les autres secteurs d'activité comme la traduction ou la documentation mais aussi la voix communautaire au sens la plus large possible. C'est pour une de ces places que le vote est ouvert cette semaine !

Ceux avec le droit de vote partiel

Un conseiller en diversité est nommé par le FPL avec le soutien du conseil pour favoriser l'intégration au sein du projet des populations le plus souvent discriminées. Son objectif est donc de déterminer les programmes pour régler cette problématique et résoudre les conflits associés qui peuvent se présenter.

Un gestionnaire du programme Fedora qui s'occupe du planning des différentes versions de Fedora. Il s'assure du bon respect des délais, du suivi des fonctionnalités et des cycles de tests. Il fait également office de secrétaire du conseil. C'est un employé de Red Hat qui occupe ce rôle toujours avec l'approbation du conseil.

FESCo

Le FESCo (Fedora Engineering Steering Committee) est un conseil entièrement composé de membres élus et totalement dévoués à l'aspect technique du projet Fedora.

Ils vont donc traiter en particulier les points suivants :

Le responsable de ce groupe est tournant. Les 9 membres sont élus pour un an, sachant que chaque élection renouvelle la moitié du collège. Ici 5 places sont à remplacer.

Mindshare

Mindshare est une évolution du FAmSCo (Fedora Ambassadors Steering Committee) qu'il remplace. Il est l'équivalent du FESCo sur l'aspect plus humain du projet. Pendant que le FESCo se préoccupera beaucoup plus des empaqueteurs, la préoccupation de ce conseil est plutôt l'ambassadeur et les nouveaux contributeurs.

Voici un exemple des thèmes dont il a compétence qui viennent du FAmSCo :

Et ses nouvelles compétences :

Il y a 9 membres pour gérer ce comité. Un gérant, 2 proviennent des ambassadeurs, un du design et web, un de la documentation, un du marketing, un de la commops et les deux derniers sont élus. C'est pour un de ces derniers sièges que le scrutin est ouvert.

24 Nov 2020 12:17pm GMT