Log parsing

What is Log Parsing?

Log parsing is a process of extracting the log data that is generated by systems or applications, and finding valuable insights from it, which involves breaking down these log entries into structured data that can be easily searched, analyzed, and interpreted.

Why is Log Parsing important?

Log parsing is essential for making sense of unstructured log data to analyze and extract valuable insights from log files. It is critical for troubleshooting, system optimization, and providing a good experience to the end user.

Challenges associated with log parsing:

1.Volume of Data: Log parsing can be challenging when dealing with a large volume of log data. Processing and analysing at scale require significant computational resources and efficient algorithms.

2.Log formats: Log parsing becomes challenging due to the variety of log formats. Each system or application generates logs in different formats, making it necessary to handle and parse diverse log structures.

3.Unstructured Data: Log data is often unstructured, lacking a specific format. This unstructured nature not only leads to the issue of various log formats but sometimes, even with parsing, information is hard to retrieve.

4.Data Retention: The cost and ease of access of data are inversely proportional. Storing log data in raw format is much cheaper than storing the parsed structured events, albeit they enable much quicker and structured access to the data

Examples of Log Parsing

Gunicorn Log Parsing

Raw Log:
[2021-08-12 12:34:56] [INFO] [gunicorn.access] - - [12/Aug/2021:12:34:56 +0000] "GET /api/v1/users/1 HTTP/1.1" 200 5432

Parsing Logic:

- Regex:
   - Timestamp: \\\\[([\\\\d-]+ [\\\\d:]+)\\\\]
   - Log Level: \\\\[([A-Z]+)\\\\]
   - Remote IP: (\\\\d+\\\\.\\\\d+\\\\.\\\\d+\\\\.\\\\d+)
   - HTTP Method and Path: "\\\\s?(\\\\w+ .+? HTTP/\\\\d\\\\.\\\\d)"
   - Response Status Code: (\\\\d{3})
   - Response Size: (\\\\d+)

    - Timestamp: 2021-08-12 12:34:56
    - Log Level: INFORemote IP:
    - HTTP Method and Path: GET /api/v1/users/1 HTTP/1.1
    - Response Status Code: 200
    - Response Size: 5432

Ecommerce Order Log Parsing

Raw Log:
[2021-08-12 14:23:45] [DEBUG] [ecommerce.order] Order placed: Order ID - 12345, User ID - 67890, Total Amount - $99.99

Parsing Logic:

- Regex:
   - Timestamp: \\[([\\d-]+ [\\d:]+)\\]
   - Log Level: \\[([A-Z]+)\\]
   - Log Context: \\[([\\w.]+)\\]
   - Order Details: Order placed: Order ID - (\\d+), User ID - (\\d+), Total Amount - (\\$\\d+\\.\\d{2})

    - Timestamp: 2021-08-12 14:23:45
    - Log Level: DEBUG
   - Log Context: ecommerce.order
    - Order Details:
      - Order ID: 12345
      - User ID: 67890
      - Total Amount: $99.99

Kubernetes (k8s) Log Parsing

Raw Log:
2021-08-12T10:45:23.123Z [INFO] [k8s.controller] Pod 'my-pod' successfully started in namespace 'my-namespace'

Parsing Logic:

- Regex:
   - Timestamp: (\\d{4}-\\d{2}-\\d{2}T\\d{2}:\\d{2}:\\d{2}\\.\\d{3}Z)
   - Log Level: \\[([A-Z]+)\\]
   - Log Context: \\[([\\w.]+)\\]
   - Log Message: (.+)

    - Timestamp: 2021-08-12T10:45:23.123Z
    - Log Level: INFO
    - Log Context: k8s.controller
    - Log Message: Pod 'my-pod' successfully started in namespace 'my-namespace'

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