Overview of the Loggregator System
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Loggregator gathers and streams logs and metrics from user apps in a Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF) deployment as well as metrics from PCF components. See the Loggregator repository on GitHub.
The primary use cases for Loggregator include the following:
App developers can tail their application logs or dump the recent logs from the Cloud Foundry Command Line Interface (cf CLI), or stream these to a third-party log archive and analysis service.
Operators and administrators can access the Loggregator Firehose, the combined stream of logs from all apps, and the metrics data from PCF components.
Operators can deploy nozzles to the Firehose. A nozzle is a component that monitors the Firehose for specified events and metrics, and streams this data to external services.
The diagram below shows the architecture of Loggregator, including the PCF components that it interacts with.
Note: The Loggregator system uses gRPC for communication between the Metron Agent and the Doppler, and between the Doppler and the Traffic Controller. This improves the stability and the performance of the Loggregator system, but it may require operators to scale their Dopplers.
Sources are logging agents that run on the Cloud Foundry components.
Metron Agents are colocated with sources. They collect logs and forward them to the Doppler servers.
Dopplers gather logs from the Metron Agents, store them in temporary buffers, and forward them to the Traffic Controller or to third-party syslog drains.
The Traffic Controller handles client requests for logs. It gathers and collates messages from all Doppler servers, and provides external API and message translation as needed for legacy APIs. The Traffic Controller also exposes the Firehose.
The Firehose is a WebSocket endpoint that streams all the event data coming from a Cloud Foundry deployment. The data stream includes logs, HTTP events, and container metrics from all applications, and metrics from all Cloud Foundry system components. Logs from system components such as the Cloud Controller are not included in the Firehose and are typically accessed through rsyslog configuration.
Because the data coming from the Firehose may contain sensitive information, such as customer information in the application logs, only users with the correct permissions can access the Firehose.
The Traffic Controller serves the Firehose over WebSocket at the
/firehose endpoint. The events coming out of the Firehose are formatted as protobuf messages conforming to the dropsonde protocol.
You can discover the address of the Traffic Controller by hitting the
info endpoint on the API and retrieving the value of the
Example for a BOSH Lite CF environment:
$ cf curl /v2/info | jq .doppler_logging_endpoint wss://doppler.192.0.2.34.xip.io:443
The Firehose carries both logs and metrics, which differ as follows:
- Report events detected, actions taken, errors, or any other messages the operator or developer wanted to generate
- Follow the syslog standard
- Are not used to trigger alerts
This section describes the CF Syslog Drain components of Loggregator.
- What CF Syslog Drain does:
- Loggregator uses the CF Syslog Drain Release to support developers who want to stream app logs to a syslog-compatible aggregation or analytics service. See Streaming Application Logs to Log Management Services.
- What CF Syslog Drain consists of:
- CF Syslog Drain includes the Reverse Log Proxy (RLP) and Syslog Adapter components described below. These components run on VMs deployed with PCF that you can scale independently to support large numbers of user-provided syslog drains.
- When to scale:
RLPs are BOSH jobs colocated with the Traffic Controller that collect logs from Dopplers and forward them to Syslog Adapters. You can scale this component based on your overall log volume.
Syslog Adapters are BOSH VMs that manage connections with and write to syslog services, or drains. You can scale this component based on the number of drains. For more information about Syslog Adapter capacity planning, see Scaling Loggregator.
This section provides information about the components that are related to the Loggregator system.
PCF uses the following components to send BOSH-reported component metrics to Loggregator:
- The BOSH System Metrics Plugin is deployed on the BOSH Director. This plugin reads health events such as VM heartbeats and alerts from the BOSH Health Monitor JSON plugin and streams them to the BOSH System Metrics Server.
The BOSH System Metrics Server is deployed on the BOSH Director. The server accepts connections from the BOSH System Metrics Forwarder and streams the health events to it over gRPC as follows:
- If two clients connect to the BOSH System Metrics Server using the same subscription ID, the server evenly distributes the event stream between them.
- If two clients connect to the BOSH System Metrics Server using different subscription IDs, each client receives a copy of the event stream.
The BOSH System Metrics Forwarder is colocated on the Traffic Controller. It initiates connections to the BOSH System Metrics Server and receives alerts and heartbeats over secure gRPC. The BOSH System Metrics Forwarder sends heartbeat events as envelopes to Loggregator through a colocated Metron Agent. It does not forward alerts.
Nozzles are programs which consume data from the Loggregator Firehose. Nozzles can be configured to select, buffer, and transform data, and forward it to other applications and services. Example nozzles include the following:
- The JMX Bridge OpenTSDB Firehose Nozzle, which installs with JMX Bridge
- The Datadog nozzle, which publishes metrics coming from the Firehose to Datadog
- The Syslog nozzle, which filters out log messages coming from the Firehose and sends it to a syslog server
For more information about nozzles, see the Nozzle Tutorial.