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Implement Serverless Log Analytics Using Amazon Kinesis Analytics | AWS Big Data Blog

Applications log a large amount of data that—when analyzed in real time—provides significant insight into your applications. Real-time log analysis can be used to ensure security compliance, troubleshoot operation events, identify application usage patterns, and much more.

Ingesting and analyzing this data in real time can be accomplished by using a variety of open source tools on Amazon EC2. Alternatively, you can use a set of simple, managed AWS services to perform serverless log analytics. The Amazon Kinesis platform includes the following managed services:

  • Amazon Kinesis Streams streams data on AWS, which allows you to collect, store, and process TBs per hour at a low cost.
  • Amazon Kinesis Firehose loads streaming data in to Amazon Kinesis Analytics, Amazon S3, Amazon Redshift, or Amazon Elasticsearch Service.
  • Amazon Kinesis Analytics helps you analyze streaming data by writing SQL queries and in turn overcoming the management and monitoring of streaming logs in near real time. Analytics allows you to reference metadata stored in S3 in SQL queries for real-time analytics.

In this post, I show you how to implement a solution that analyzes streaming Apache access log data from an EC2 instance aggregated over 5 minutes. The solution helps you understand where requests to your applications are coming from. If the source is an unknown application or if a particular source application is trying to clog your application, you can contact the application owner.

Some challenges that this solution entails:

  • You do not want to maintain (patch/upgrade) the log application or servers to do log analytics. You also want your log analytics to scale on demand by default, and so all components are managed services.
  • Apache Logs logs the host IP address or host name. However, that information isn’t useful in the cloud where servers are fungible and hosts change constantly either to scale or heal automatically. So you maintain a flat file list of servers in an S3 bucket that can be updated by Auto Scaling policies and mapped to streaming log data.

Architecture

The following diagram shows how this solution works.

implement_serverless_1

  • Application nodes run Apache applications and write Apache logs locally to disk. The Amazon Kinesis agent on the EC2 instance ingests the log stream in to the Amazon Kinesis stream.
  • The log input stream from various application nodes is ingested in to the Amazon Kinesis stream.
  • Machine metadata about the machine or application is stored in flat files in an S3 bucket. It is a mapping of host IP addresses with the application name and contact.
  • The Analytics application processes streaming logs over tumbling windows by adding referenced machine metadata from S3.
  • The output stream, which is the result of the aggregated responses from the Analytics application, is written into the Amazon Kinesis stream.
  • The Lambda function consumes the aggregated response from the destination stream, processes it, and publishes it to Amazon CloudWatch. It is event driven: as soon as new records are pushed to the destination stream, they are processed in batches of 200 records.
  • The CloudWatch dashboard is used to view response trends.
  • Alarms on aggregated data are generated when specified thresholds are reached.

Source: Implement Serverless Log Analytics Using Amazon Kinesis Analytics | AWS Big Data Blog

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