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Parse AWS Application Load Balancer logs and send them to Elasticsearch.
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README.md

alb-logs-parser

Parses the access logs produced by an Application Load Balancer and sends them to Elasticsearch. Read the accompanying blog post at jsherz.com.

Setting up the parser

The Terraform configuration in infrastructure is a good starting point for setting up the bucket and Lambda function to process the logs. You'll need to first build the Lambda function and package it up into a zip, and then run Terraform.

yarn
yarn package

cd infrastructure
terraform plan -out myplan.tf
terraform apply myplan.tf

With the bucket and Lambda function created, set the access logs of your Application Load Balancer to go to the new bucket. If you already had an existing bucket, you'll need to adapt the Terraform configuration to fit your use case or use it as the basis of a CloudFormation template or manual setup.

See: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/elasticloadbalancing/latest/application/load-balancer-access-logs.html

Elasticsearch mapping

Setting up the mapping template is important to make sure the data is indexed correctly and the GeoIP data can be visualised.

PUT /_template/alb-access-logs
{
  "index_patterns": "alb-access-logs-*",
  "mappings": {
    "_doc": {
      "properties": {
        "actionsExecuted": {
          "type": "text",
          "fields": {
            "keyword": {
              "type": "keyword",
              "ignore_above": 256
            }
          }
        },
        "chosenCertArn": {
          "type": "text",
          "fields": {
            "keyword": {
              "type": "keyword",
              "ignore_above": 256
            }
          }
        },
        "clientIp": {
          "type": "text",
          "fields": {
            "keyword": {
              "type": "keyword",
              "ignore_above": 256
            }
          }
        },
        "clientPort": {
          "type": "long"
        },
        "domainName": {
          "type": "text",
          "fields": {
            "keyword": {
              "type": "keyword",
              "ignore_above": 256
            }
          }
        },
        "elb": {
          "type": "text",
          "fields": {
            "keyword": {
              "type": "keyword",
              "ignore_above": 256
            }
          }
        },
        "elbStatusCode": {
          "type": "long"
        },
        "geoip": {
          "properties": {
            "city_name": {
              "type": "text",
              "fields": {
                "keyword": {
                  "type": "keyword",
                  "ignore_above": 256
                }
              }
            },
            "continent_name": {
              "type": "text",
              "fields": {
                "keyword": {
                  "type": "keyword",
                  "ignore_above": 256
                }
              }
            },
            "country_iso_code": {
              "type": "text",
              "fields": {
                "keyword": {
                  "type": "keyword",
                  "ignore_above": 256
                }
              }
            },
            "location": {
              "type": "geo_point"
            },
            "region_name": {
              "type": "text",
              "fields": {
                "keyword": {
                  "type": "keyword",
                  "ignore_above": 256
                }
              }
            }
          }
        },
        "matchedRulePriority": {
          "type": "long"
        },
        "receivedBytes": {
          "type": "long"
        },
        "request": {
          "type": "text",
          "fields": {
            "keyword": {
              "type": "keyword",
              "ignore_above": 256
            }
          }
        },
        "requestCreationTime": {
          "type": "date"
        },
        "requestProcessingTime": {
          "type": "long"
        },
        "responseProcessingTime": {
          "type": "long"
        },
        "sentBytes": {
          "type": "long"
        },
        "sslCipher": {
          "type": "text",
          "fields": {
            "keyword": {
              "type": "keyword",
              "ignore_above": 256
            }
          }
        },
        "sslProtocol": {
          "type": "text",
          "fields": {
            "keyword": {
              "type": "keyword",
              "ignore_above": 256
            }
          }
        },
        "targetGroupArn": {
          "type": "text",
          "fields": {
            "keyword": {
              "type": "keyword",
              "ignore_above": 256
            }
          }
        },
        "targetIp": {
          "type": "text",
          "fields": {
            "keyword": {
              "type": "keyword",
              "ignore_above": 256
            }
          }
        },
        "targetPort": {
          "type": "long"
        },
        "targetProcessingTime": {
          "type": "long"
        },
        "targetStatusCode": {
          "type": "long"
        },
        "timestamp": {
          "type": "date"
        },
        "traceId": {
          "type": "text",
          "fields": {
            "keyword": {
              "type": "keyword",
              "ignore_above": 256
            }
          }
        },
        "type": {
          "type": "text",
          "fields": {
            "keyword": {
              "type": "keyword",
              "ignore_above": 256
            }
          }
        },
        "userAgent": {
          "type": "text",
          "fields": {
            "keyword": {
              "type": "keyword",
              "ignore_above": 256
            }
          }
        }
      }
    }
  }
}

GeoIP support

To have Elasticsearch ingest the client IP addresses and turn them into geo data, you must setup a new pipeline. The Lambda function relies on this pipeline being configured:

PUT _ingest/pipeline/aws-alb-logs
{
  "description" : "Add geoip info",
  "processors" : [
    {
      "geoip" : {
        "field" : "clientIp"
      }
    }
  ]
}

See: https://www.elastic.co/guide/en/elasticsearch/reference/7.x/geoip-processor.html

Kibana dashboard

You can find an importable Kibana dashboard in kibana-dashboard.json in the root directory of the project. This can be imported to visualise the logs if you keep the default index prefix in the parser.

See: https://www.elastic.co/guide/en/kibana/current/dashboard-import-api-import.html

Improvements

If you're thinking about using this Lambda function, there are a few things that you might also want to consider:

  • The log index pattern is the date of indexing, not the timestamp that's present in the log file. You may want to change the function to find the index name based on the timestamp of request.
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