5 useful open source log analysis tools

Monitoring network activity can be a tedious and tedious job, but you have good reason to do so. First, it can help you find and investigate suspicious logins on workstations, networked devices, and servers, while identifying the source of abuse by administrators. Software installation and data transfer can also be tracked to identify potential problems in real time.

These logs also help companies comply with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) applicable to any entity within the European Union. Because if your website is to be viewable in the EU, then you must comply with the GDPR.

Logging (tracking and analysis) should be a fundamental process in any monitoring infrastructure. To recover a SQL Server database from a disaster, a transaction log file is required. In addition, by tracking log files, the DevOps team and database administrator (DBA) can maintain optimal database performance or find evidence of unauthorized activity in the event of a network attack. Therefore, it is important to monitor and analyze the system logs on a regular basis.

There are quite a few open source log trackers and analysis tools available, which makes it easier to choose the right resources for the activity log. The free and open source software community provides log design for a variety of sites and almost any operating system, recommending 5 very useful open source log analysis tools.

Graylog

Created in Germany in 2011, Graylog is now available as an open source or commercial solution. It is designed as a centralized log management system that receives data streams from different servers or endpoints and allows users to quickly view or analyze the information.

Graylog has built a reputation among system administrators for its ease of expansion. Most web projects start out at a small scale, but may multiply later. Graylog balances the load across the back-end server network and processes several terabytes of log data per day.

IT administrators will find Graylog’s front-end interface easy to use and powerful. Graylog is built around the concept of dashboards, allowing you to choose the metrics or data sources that you think are most valuable and quickly see trends over time.

When a security or performance event occurs, the IT administrator wants to be able to trace the symptoms back to the roots as quickly as possible. The search function in Graylog makes this job easy. It has built-in fault tolerance and can run multi-threaded searches, so you can analyze multiple potential threats simultaneously.

Nagios

Nagios began in 1999 with only one developer and later developed into one of the most reliable open source tools for managing log data. The current version of Nagios can be integrated with servers running Microsoft Windows, Linux or Unix.

Its main product is a log server, which is designed to simplify data collection and make it easier for system administrators to access information. The Nagios Log Server Engine captures data in real time and provides it to a powerful search tool. Integrating new endpoints or applications is easy thanks to the built-in installation wizard.

Nagios is most commonly used by organizations that need to monitor the security of their local network. It can audit a range of network-related events and help you automatically distribute alerts. If certain conditions are met, Nagios can even be configured to run predefined scripts so that you can resolve the problem before the person intervenes.

As part of the network audit, Nagios filters the log data based on the geographic location of the log data source. This means you can use mapping technology to build a comprehensive dashboard to understand how web traffic flows.

Elastic Stack (ie ELK Stack)

Elastic Stack, often called ELK Stack, is one of the most popular open source tools in organizations that need to filter large amounts of data and understand their system logs (this is my personal favorite).

It consists mainly of the following three separate products:

As the name implies, * Elasticsearch * is designed to help users find matches in a data set using multiple query languages ​​and types. Speed ​​is the biggest advantage of this tool. It can be scaled to a cluster of hundreds of server nodes to easily process petabytes of data.* Kibana * is a visualization tool that works with Elasticsearch to allow users to analyze their data and build powerful reports. 

When you first install the Kibana engine on a server cluster, you get an interface that displays statistics, graphics, and even animations.The last part of the ELK Stack is * Logstash *, which acts as a pure server-side pipeline into the Elasticsearch database. You can integrate Logstash with a variety of coding languages ​​and APIs. This way, information from your website and mobile app can be imported directly into the powerful Elastic Stalk search engine.A unique feature of ELK Stack is that it allows you to monitor applications built on the open source version of WordPress. ELK Stack can filter web servers and database logs compared to the out-of-the-box security audit logging tools that are mostly tracked and PHP logs (and more).

Poor log tracking and database management are one of the most common causes of poor site performance. Failure to periodically check, optimize, and empty database logs will not only slow down your site, but it can also lead to a complete crash. Therefore, the ELK stack is an excellent tool for every WordPress developer’s toolkit.

LOGalyze

LOGalyze is an organization based in Hungary that builds open source tools for system administrators and security experts to help them manage server logs and turn them into useful data points. Its main products are available for free download by individuals or business users.

LOGalyze is designed to be a huge pipeline where multiple servers, applications, and network devices can provide information using the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) approach. It provides a front-end interface that administrators can log in to monitor data collection and begin analyzing data.

In LOGalyze’s web interface, you can run dynamic reports and export them to Excel files, PDFs or other formats. These reports are based on multidimensional statistics managed by the LOGalyze background. It can even combine data fields across servers or applications to help you spot performance trends.

LOGalyze is designed to be installed and configured in less than an hour. Its pre-built capabilities enable it to collect audit data in the format required by regulations. For example, LOGalyze can easily run different HIPAA reports to ensure your organization complies with health regulations and maintains compliance.

Fluentd

If your organization’s data sources are located in many different locations and environments, then your goal should be to concentrate them as much as possible. Otherwise, you will have difficulty monitoring performance and preventing security threats.

Fluentd is a robust data collection solution and is completely open source. It does not provide a complete front-end interface, but serves as a collection layer to help organize different pipelines. Fluentd is used by some of the world’s largest companies, but can also be implemented in smaller organizations.

The biggest benefit of Fluentd is that it is compatible with the most common technical tools available today. For example, you can use Fluentd to collect data from a web server such as Apache, collect sensor data from smart devices, and collect dynamic records from MongoDB. How to handle this data is entirely up to you.

Fluentd is based on the JSON data format and can be used with more than 500 plugins created by well-known developers. This allows you to extend log data to other applications and perform better analysis with minimal manual work.

summary

If you have not used the activity log for security considerations, government compliance, and productivity metrics, be sure to change this. There are many plugins on the market that can be used in a variety of environments and platforms, even on your internal network. Don’t wait until a serious incident occurs before you start taking a proactive approach to maintaining and supervising the logs.

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