Centralized log archiving with Logstash

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Article from Issue 151/2013

When something goes wrong on a system, the logfile is the first place to look for troubleshooting clues. Logstash, a log server with built-in analysis tools, consolidates logs from many servers and even makes the data searchable.

If anything goes wrong on an enterprise network, the admin has to find and fix the problem quickly. Finding the information typically isn’t a problem – most IT systems produce a steady flow of system log entries and error messages – but evaluating this information correctly in complex networks with many devices, systems, and servers is often easier said than done.

One problem is the amount of information produced. On the one hand, a tool like the Pacemaker Cluster Manager is particularly verbose, producing many times the output needed. With Apache, on the other hand, data can end up going too many places if the admin sets it up to log each virtual host separately. On web servers that serve many customers, a vast number of logfiles accumulate, which means that debugging specific problems for an individual user can be an endless task.

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