Click here to close now.

SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Cloud Best Practices Network, Leon Fayer, Ruxit Blog, Carmen Gonzalez, Kevin Jackson

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Java, Linux, Big Data Journal

Cloud Expo: Article

Monitoring and Analyzing AWS CloudTrail Data

Monitoring and Analyzing AWS CloudTrail data from multiple AWS regions

We recently released AWS CloudTrail integration with Logentries - and not surprisingly we've seen a significant uptick in adoption as one of our most popular integrations. My job as director of customer success is to make things as simple for our customers as possible. One question that consistently pops up, is how to collect AWS CloudTrail logs from multiple AWS regions.

We follow Amazon's best practices when it comes to integrating with, and receiving information from, CloudTrail. In short, this works as follows:

  • When configuring CloudTrail, it will write events to a S3 bucket.
  • You can configure Cloudtrail to send notifications to an Amazon SNS topic whenever new log events are recorded.
  • You can get updates sent to an Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS) queue, which enables you to handle these notifications programmatically.
  • To configure Logentries to consume your Cloudtrail logs, simply add the URL of the SQS queue to the Logentries/Cloudtrail setup page.

Logentries speaks directly to the SQS queue inside of your AWS account, so an obvious question that presents itself is: If I'm running in multiple AWS regions, how do I get Logentries to pull from all of the regions?

The simple answer: you don't. Make AWS do the work for you!

Following the steps outlined below, you'll be able to monitor and analyze CloudTrail logs from any number of AWS regions all within one Logentries account.

Create an S3 Bucket
If you're new to the CloudTrail setup, the first requirement of CloudTrail logging is that the logs must go "somewhere." In AWS, this somewhere happens to be a S3 bucket which you should create. Simply navigate to the S3 service and select ‘Create Bucket'. By default, all permissions required are given to the bucket - i.e. there is no extra permissions/configuration necessary to configure CloudTrail logging with Logentries.
Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 12.55.03 PM

Create an SQS Queue in a Primary Region
Next up, we need to create an SQS Queue to allow Logentries to consume your CloudTrail data. Create a new Queue and provide a ‘Queue Name' - default options are fine.
SQS_Management_Console_and_LogentriesCloudtrail_docx

Add permissions to the SQS Queue
Once the queue has been created, the correct permissions must be applied. When adding permissions to the SQS queue, you need to add your full account number/name (officially called the AWS User ARN).

To get the User ARN navigate to the IAM Service, select the user that you want to utilize and click ‘Summary'. When the user is created within the IAM section, make sure that the user has at least ‘Read-Only' access - so that the user has the relevant permissions to read the bucket. The string you need is available under User ARN in the ‘Summary' section and follows this format:

arn:aws:iam::<account_code>:user/

Next add ‘Receive', ‘Send', and ‘Delete' Actions to the SQS Queue(see below):
SQS_Management_Console
Enable CloudTrail in any region, and publish to an SNS topic

Once the above three steps have been complete, it's time to enable CloudTrail in the relevant regions. Navigate to the CloudTrail Service in your AWS Console and turn on CloudTrail. Do not create a new S3 bucket, but instead select the S3 Bucket created in step one above from the drop down menu. Once you've done this, click the Advanced link. For the first region you enable CloudTrail for, remember to include Global Services under Advanced options - this record API calls from any global AWS services such as IAM or AWS STS. Make sure that "SNS Notification for every log file delivery" is checked, and finally, specify a SNS Topic to publish to. A new SNS topic name should be given - and will be created by CloudTrail.

Follow these above steps for each region that you want to collect CloudTrail logs from. NOTE: when adding subsequent regions you will want to exclude Global Services to avoid duplicate log events being recorded for your Global Services.

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 2.48.02 PM
Subscribe the SQS Queue to the multiple SNS topics
Once each region has been setup, the last step in AWS is to subscribe your SQS Queue to each newly created SNS topic. Navigate to the SQS Service in your AWS Console and highlight the queue created in step 2 above. Under the ‘Queue Actions' menu at the top select ‘Subscribe Queue to SNS Topic'. Use the ‘Topic Region' drop down to select the region and the ‘Choose a Topic' drop down to select the topic created in the previous step. Hit the ‘Subscribe' button and wait for the confirmation that the queue has subscribed to that topic.

After selecting subscribe make sure to copy the SQS URL from the ‘Details' section on the page.
SQS_Management_Console1

Setup Logentries to Pull data from the SQS Queue
Login to your Logentries account and navigate to your AWS settings area (My Account -> AWS). Select enable CloudTrail, supply your IAM access key, secret key, and SQS URL that you have copied above. Hit Save! Note: your IAM access key and secret key are made available to your when you create a new IAM user and should be stored safely.

Log Data from CloudTrail will begin to stream in within approximately 15 minutes.

Account___Logentries
Sit back and let Logentries do it's magic!
Visit our CloudTrail documentation to see some of the other cool things you can do - in particular we provide out of the box tags and alerts for important CloudTrail events. Have questions or ideas how we can make our CloudTrail integration better? Reach out to me directly at [email protected].

 

More Stories By Trevor Parsons

Trevor Parsons is Chief Scientist and Co-founder of Logentries. Trevor has over 10 years experience in enterprise software and, in particular, has specialized in developing enterprise monitoring and performance tools for distributed systems. He is also a research fellow at the Performance Engineering Lab Research Group and was formerly a Scientist at the IBM Center for Advanced Studies. Trevor holds a PhD from University College Dublin, Ireland.

Latest Stories
The WebRTC Summit 2014 New York, to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 16th International Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit.
SOA Software has changed its name to Akana. With roots in Web Services and SOA Governance, Akana has established itself as a leader in API Management and is expanding into cloud integration as an alternative to the traditional heavyweight enterprise service bus (ESB). The company recently announced that it achieved more than 90% year-over-year growth. As Akana, the company now addresses the evolution and diversification of SOA, unifying security, management, and DevOps across SOA, APIs, microser...
The webinar, hosted by XebiaLabs, will feature 4 experts including Special Host Gene Kim, author of The Phoenix Project, along with IT thought leaders Gary Gruver, Randy Shoup and XebiaLabs' Andrew Phillips. The panel brings more than 30 years of collective experience surrounding microservices transformations at major companies including Google, eBay and Tripwire. "The story around microservices and containers is pretty compelling and the attraction of more flexibility is obviously alluring,"...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Creative Business Solutions will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Creative Business Solutions is the top stocking authorized HP Renew Distributor in the U.S. Based out of Long Island, NY, Creative Business Solutions offers a one-stop shop for a diverse range of products including Proliant, Blade and Industry Standard Servers, Networking, Server Options and...
SYS-CON Events announced today that FierceDevOps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. FierceDevOps keeps software developers and IT operations personnel updated on the latest news and trends around the rapidly evolving role of the traditional IT worker.
GENBAND has announced that SageNet is leveraging the Nuvia platform to deliver Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) to its large base of retail and enterprise customers. Nuvia’s cloud-based solution provides SageNet’s customers with a full suite of business communications and collaboration tools. Two large national SageNet retail customers have recently signed up to deploy the Nuvia platform and the company will continue to sell the service to new and existing customers. Nuvia’s capabili...
WHOA.com has announced the newest addition to its data center footprint with the expansion into Equinix's newest state-of-the-art facility: DC-11 Washington, DC IBX+. Located in Ashburn, VA, this data center expands Whoa.com's presence to meet rapidly expanding customer demand for secure cloud solutions. Equinix, Inc. operates International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers in 32 markets across 15 countries in the Americas, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific. Equinix is committed to operating faciliti...
SYS-CON Events announced today that the DevOps Institute has been named “Association Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The DevOps Institute provides enterprise level training and certification. Working with thought leaders from the DevOps community, the IT Service Management field and the IT training market, the DevOps Institute is setting the standard in quality for DevOps education and training.
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cisco makes amazing things happen by connecting the unconnected. Cisco has shaped the future of the Internet by becoming the worldwide leader in transforming how people connect, communicate and collaborat...
WSM International is launching a DevOps services division that offers assessment, consulting and implementation to large enterprises and organizations with complex infrastructures. This is the first independent services company to create a dedicated practice to help organizations looking to transition to the DevOps model. The concept of DevOps is to blend information technology (IT) software development with operations to optimize the computing infrastructure according to the specific needs of ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that robomq.io will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. robomq.io is an interoperable and composable platform that connects any device to any application. It helps systems integrators and the solution providers build new and innovative products and service for industries requiring monitoring or intelligence from devices and sensors.
Temasys has announced senior management additions to its team. Joining are David Holloway as Vice President of Commercial and Nadine Yap as Vice President of Product. Over the past 12 months Temasys has doubled in size as it adds new customers and expands the development of its Skylink platform. Skylink leads the charge to move WebRTC, traditionally seen as a desktop, browser based technology, to become a ubiquitous web communications technology on web and mobile, as well as Internet of Things...
Hosted PaaS providers have given independent developers and startups huge advantages in efficiency and reduced time-to-market over their more process-bound counterparts in enterprises. Software frameworks are now available that allow enterprise IT departments to provide these same advantages for developers in their own organization. In his workshop session at DevOps Summit, Troy Topnik, ActiveState’s Technical Product Manager, will show how on-prem or cloud-hosted Private PaaS can enable organ...
DevOps tasked with driving success in the cloud need a solution to efficiently leverage multiple clouds while avoiding cloud lock-in. Flexiant today announces the commercial availability of Flexiant Concerto. With Flexiant Concerto, DevOps have cloud freedom to automate the build, deployment and operations of applications consistently across multiple clouds. Concerto is available through four disruptive pricing models aimed to deliver multi-cloud at a price point everyone can afford.