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Syslog-ng for DevOps: Customized Logging with Python

Peter Czanik
syslog-ng Evangelist at Balabit
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DevOps Pro Europe 2019
March 19 2019, Vilnius, Lithuania
DevOps Pro Europe 2019
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Syslog-ng for DevOps: Customized Logging with Python
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About speaker

Peter is an engineer working as evangelist at Balabit (a One Identity business), the company that developed syslog-ng. He assists distributions to maintain the syslog-ng package, follows bug trackers, helps users and talks regularly at conferences (SCALE, All Things Open, FOSDEM, LOADays, and others). In his limited free time he is interested in non-x86 architectures, and works on one of his PPC or ARM machines.

About talk

Topic: IT

The syslog-ng application collects logs from many different sources, performs real-time log analysis by processing and filtering them, and finally it stores the logs, or forwards them for further analysis. It was originally developed in C due to its low footprint and high performance. Recently Python language bindings were added, so you can collect, process, and store log messages using embedded Python code.

DevOps engineers often use syslog-ng due to its low footprint and high performance. The new Python bindings make it easy to extend syslog-ng without touching the core of the application or requiring a complex development development environment.

Python bindings always have two parts: a configuration part – where you configure a source, parser, or destination – and the actual Python code part. You can store the code in-line in the syslog-ng configuration file, or in external files, if you have a larger project.

Obviously the Python code is slower than native C code. On the other hand, extending syslog-ng in Python offers a lot more flexibility than development in C. It is easy to get started, as there is no need for extra setup. You can get proof-of-concept minimal setup working with a single method quickly. You can extend it later to have proper initialization and connection control for added robustness.

Learn how to customize your log processing infrastructure in Python using syslog-ng, integrate your logs to local and cloud services, and the implementation details and benefits of such solutions.

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