Implementing your own ELK Stack on Azure through CLI

Posted by

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: New blog articles in Microsoft Tech Community.

Introduction

 

Some time ago I had to help a customer in a PoC over the implementation of ELK Stack (ElasticSearch, Logstash and Kibana) on Azure VMs using Azure CLI. Then here are all steps you should follow to implement something similar.

 

Please note you have different options to deploy and use ElasticSearch on Azure

elk-stack.png

 

Data Flow

 

The illustration below refers to the logical architecture implemented to prove the concept. This architecture includes an application server, the Azure Redis service, a server with Logstash, a server with ElasticSearch and a server with Kibana and Nginx installed.

 

flow.png

 

DescrDescription of components

 

Application Server: To simulate an application server generating logs, a script was used that generates logs randomly. The source code for this script is available at https://github.com/bitsofinfo/log-generator. It was configured to generate the logs in /tmp/log-sample.log.

 

Filebeat: Agent installed on the application server and configured to send the generated logs to Azure Redis. Filebeat has the function of shipping the logs using the lumberjack protocol.

 

Azure Redis Service: Managed service for in-memory data storage. It was used because search engines can be an operational nightmare. Indexing can bring down a traditional cluster and data can end up being reindexed for a variety of reasons. Thus, the choice of Redis between the event source and parsing and processing is only to index/parse as fast as the nodes and databases involved can manipulate this data allowing it to be possible to extract directly from the flow of events instead to have events being inserted into the pipeline.

 

Logstash: Processes and indexes the logs by reading from Redis and submitting to ElasticSearch.

 

ElasticSearch: Stores logs

 

Kibana/Nginx: Web interface for searching and viewing the logs that are proxied by Nginx

 

Deployment

 

The deployment of the environment is done using Azure CLI commands in a shell script. In addition to serving as documentation about the services deployed, they are a good practice on IaC. In this demo I'll be using Azure Cloud Shell once is fully integrated to Azure. Make sure to switch to Bash:

 

select-shell-drop-down.png

 

The script will perform the following steps:

 

  1. Create the resource group
  2. Create the Redis service
  3. Create a VNET called myVnet with the prefix 10.0.0.0/16 and a subnet called mySubnet with the prefix 10.0.1.0/24
  4. Create the Application server VM
  5. Log Generator Installation/Configuration
  6. Installation / Configuration of Filebeat
  7. Filebeat Start
  8. Create the ElasticSearch server VM
  9. Configure NSG and allow access on port 9200 for subnet 10.0.1.0/24
  10. Install Java
  11. Install/Configure ElasticSearch
  12. Start ElasticSearch
  13. Create the Logstash server VM
  14. Install/Configure Logstash
  15. Start Logstash
  16. Create the Kibana server VM
  17. Configure NSG and allow access on port 80 to 0.0.0.0/0
  18. Install/Configure Kibana and Nginx

Note that Linux User is set to elk. Public and private keys will be generated in ~/.ssh. To access the VMs run ssh -i ~/.ssh /id_rsa elk@ip

 

Script to setup ELK Stack

 

The script is available here. Just download then execute the following:

 

 

wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ricmmartins/elk-stack-azure/main/elk-stack-azure.sh chmod a+x elk-stack-azure.sh ./elk-stack-azure.sh <resource group name> <location> <redis name>

 

 

cloudshell.png

 

After a few minutes the execution of the script will be completed, then you have just to finish the setup through Kibana interface.

 

Finishing the setup

 

To finish the setup, the next step is to connect to the public IP address of the Kibana/Nginx VM. Once connected, the home screen should look like this:

 

kibana-1.png

 

Then click to create Explore my own. In the next screen click on Discover

 

kibana-2.png

 

Now click on Create index pattern

 

kibana-3.png

 

On the next screen type logstash on the step 1 of 2, then click to Next step

 

kibana-4.png

 

On the step 2 of 2, point to @timestamp

 

kibana-5.png

 

Then click to Create index pattern

 

kibana-5-1.png

 

kibana-6.png

 

After a few seconds you will have this:

 

kibana-7.png

 

Click on Discover on the menu

 

kibana-8.png

 

Now you have access to all indexed logs and the messages generated by Log Generator:

 

kibana-9.png

 

Final notes

 

As mentioned earlier, this was done for a PoC purposes. If you want add some extra layer for security, you can restrict the access adding HTTP Basic Authentication for NGINX or restricting the access trough private IPs and a VPN.

This articles are republished, there may be more discussion at the original link. But if you found this helpful, you're more than welcome to let us know!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.