We are pleased to announce that starting with version 4.5, the Logging operator supports forwarding logs to OpenObserve. OpenObserve, a cloud-native observability platform, is a popular Elasticsearch alternative that promises significantly lower storage costs than Elasticsearch, making it an ideal choice for efficient observability needs.

From this blog post, you’ll learn how to:

  • Install OpenObserve on a Kubernetes cluster
  • Install the Logging operator on the cluster
  • Configure the Logging operator to send logs to OpenObserve 

Install OpenObserve

Let’s install OpenObserve using the official Kubernetes manifest.

Create a namespace for OpenObserve.

kubectl create namespace openobserve

Deploy OpenObserve into the namespace.

kubectl apply -f - <<EOF
apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
metadata:
  name: openobserve
  namespace: openobserve
spec:
  clusterIP: None
  selector:
    app: openobserve
  ports:
  - name: http
    port: 5080
    targetPort: 5080

---

# create statefulset
apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: StatefulSet
metadata:
  name: openobserve
  namespace: openobserve
  labels:
    name: openobserve
spec:
  serviceName: openobserve
  replicas: 1
  selector:
    matchLabels:
      name: openobserve
      app: openobserve
  template:
    metadata:
      labels:
        name: openobserve
        app: openobserve
    spec:
      securityContext:
        fsGroup: 2000
        runAsUser: 10000
        runAsGroup: 3000
        runAsNonRoot: true
      # terminationGracePeriodSeconds: 0
      containers:
        - name: openobserve
          image: public.ecr.aws/zinclabs/openobserve:v0.7.2
          env:
            - name: ZO_ROOT_USER_EMAIL
              value: root@example.com
            - name: ZO_ROOT_USER_PASSWORD
              value: Complexpass#123
            - name: ZO_DATA_DIR
              value: /data
          # command: ["/bin/bash", "-c", "while true; do sleep 1; done"]
          imagePullPolicy: Always
          resources:
            limits:
              cpu: 4096m
              memory: 2048Mi
            requests:
              cpu: 256m
              memory: 50Mi
          ports:
            - containerPort: 5080
              name: http
          volumeMounts:
          - name: data
            mountPath: /data
  volumeClaimTemplates:
  - metadata:
      name: data
    spec:
      accessModes:
        - ReadWriteOnce
      # storageClassName: default
      # NOTE: You can increase the storage size
      resources:
        requests:
          storage: 10Gi
EOF

Check the openobserve namespace to make sure that everything was deployed correctly.

kubectl get pods -n openobserve

Expected output:

NAME            READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
openobserve-0   1/1     Running   0          24s

Forward OpenObserve’s UI port, so you can access it locally on http://localhost:5080

kubectl -n openobserve port-forward svc/openobserve 5080:5080 &

Install the Log generator

Install the log generator application to generate sample logs that the Logging operator can collect and send to our OpenObserve instance.

helm install --generate-name --wait --namespace generator --create-namespace oci://ghcr.io/kube-logging/helm-charts/log-generator --version 0.7.0

Check if everything is deployed properly, by checking the generator namespace.

kubectl -n generator get pod

The output should be similar to:

NAME                                       READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
log-generator-1705325564-864d7f5d5-l8g7x   1/1     Running   0          15s

Install the Logging operator

Install the Logging operator Helm chart. You need at least version 4.5.0 for the OpenObserve support.

helm upgrade --install logging-operator --namespace logging-operator --create-namespace oci://ghcr.io/kube-logging/helm-charts/logging-operator --version 4.5.0

Check the pods to make sure that everything was deployed properly:

kubectl -n logging-operator get pods

Expected output:

NAME                                READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
logging-operator-76794d6cdf-zfdk9   1/1     Running   0          57s

If everything is in its place, it’s time to define the log pipeline.

Define the log pipeline

To receive logs in OpenObserve we have to:

  • Collect the logs of the log generator.
  • Send them to the OpenObserve endpoint.

Set up the logging resource to deploy the syslog-ng aggregator

The Logging custom resource needs an aggregator, which is going to be syslog-ng.

apiVersion: v1
kind: Namespace
metadata:
  name: logging
---
apiVersion: logging.banzaicloud.io/v1beta1
kind: FluentbitAgent
metadata:
    name: logging
spec: {}
---
kind: Logging
apiVersion: logging.banzaicloud.io/v1beta1
metadata:
  name: logging
spec:
  controlNamespace: logging
  syslogNG:
    jsonKeyDelim: '#'
    sourceDateParser: {}

In this case, we set the json key delimiter character to ‘#’, otherwise json structured log messages with keys including ‘.’ characters would be parsed incorrectly.

Define the flow to select logs of log-generator

Let’s specify a filter to select logs from pods with the matching labels for log-generator, and select the output where these messages will be forwarded.

kind: SyslogNGClusterFlow
apiVersion: logging.banzaicloud.io/v1beta1
metadata:
  name: log-generator
  namespace: logging
spec:
  match:
    regexp:
      value: json#kubernetes#labels#app.kubernetes.io/name
      pattern: log-generator
      type: string
  globalOutputRefs:
  -  openobserve-output

Define the output to send logs to the OpenObserve instance

Extract the default password using the following command:

kubectl get pods --namespace openobserve openobserve-0 -o jsonpath='{.spec.containers[*].env[?(@.name=="ZO_ROOT_USER_PASSWORD")].value}'; echo

Output:

Complexpass#123

Use this password to create the secret for the OpenObserve output of the Logging operator:

kubectl create secret --namespace logging generic openobserve \
--from-literal=password='Complexpass#123'

This credential will be used in the output configuration, like so:

apiVersion: logging.banzaicloud.io/v1beta1
kind: SyslogNGClusterOutput
metadata:
 name: openobserve-output
 namespace: logging
spec:
  openobserve:
    url: "http://openobserve.openobserve.svc.cluster.local"
    organization: "default"
    stream: "default"
    user: "username"
    password:
      valueFrom:
        secretKeyRef:
          name: openobserve
          key: password

For details regarding the different configuration options, see the Logging operator documentation.

Deploy the log pipeline

Save all the snippets above to a file named openobserve_logging.yaml, separated with YAML document separators (---) and apply all pipeline components to the cluster. The file should look like this:

# Complete YAML file
apiVersion: v1
kind: Namespace
metadata:
  name: logging
---
apiVersion: logging.banzaicloud.io/v1beta1
kind: FluentbitAgent
metadata:
    name: quickstart
spec: {}
---
kind: Logging
apiVersion: logging.banzaicloud.io/v1beta1
metadata:
  name: logging
spec:
  controlNamespace: logging
  syslogNG:
    jsonKeyDelim: '#'
    sourceDateParser: {}
---
kind: SyslogNGClusterFlow
apiVersion: logging.banzaicloud.io/v1beta1
metadata:
  name: log-generator
  namespace: logging
spec:
  match:
    regexp:
      value: json#kubernetes#labels#app.kubernetes.io/name
      pattern: log-generator
      type: string
  globalOutputRefs:
  - openobserve-output
---
apiVersion: logging.banzaicloud.io/v1beta1
kind: SyslogNGClusterOutput
metadata:
 name: openobserve-output
 namespace: logging
spec:
  openobserve:
    url: "http://openobserve.openobserve.svc.cluster.local"
    organization: "default"
    stream: "default"
    user: "root@example.com"
    password:
      valueFrom:
        secretKeyRef:
          name: openobserve
          key: password

And you can deploy it by running:

kubectl -n logging apply -f openobserve_logging.yaml

After deploying the pipeline, you should see the syslog-ng pods come up after a successful configuration check.

kubectl -n logging get pod

Expected output:

NAME                      READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
logging-fluentbit-bkpsp   1/1     Running   0          88s
logging-syslog-ng-0       2/2     Running   0          31s

You can also check that all resources are active and have no issues by running:

kubectl get logging-all -n logging

Expected output:

NAME                                            AGE
fluentbitagent.logging.banzaicloud.io/logging   2m3s

NAME                                     LOGGINGREF   CONTROLNAMESPACE   WATCHNAMESPACES   PROBLEMS
logging.logging.banzaicloud.io/logging                logging

NAME                                                       ACTIVE   PROBLEMS
syslogngclusterflow.logging.banzaicloud.io/log-generator   true

NAME                                                              ACTIVE   PROBLEMS
syslogngclusteroutput.logging.banzaicloud.io/openobserve-output   true

Query logs using the OpenObserve web UI

Log entries are now flowing from the log generator to the OpenObserve instance. To access the web UI, use the default user email and the default password.

Run the following commands to retrieve the credentials:

kubectl get pods --namespace openobserve openobserve-0 -o jsonpath='{.spec.containers[*].env[?(@.name=="ZO_ROOT_USER_EMAIL")].value}'; echo; \
kubectl get pods --namespace openobserve openobserve-0 -o jsonpath='{.spec.containers[*].env[?(@.name=="ZO_ROOT_USER_PASSWORD")].value}';
echo

Expected output for the default credentials:

root@example.com
Complexpass#123

After logging in, click on Logs on the left, then explore the default stream. You should see the log messages of the log generator:

 

Logs sent with Logging operator in OpenObserve

Summary

As you have seen, you can forward your Kubernetes logs to OpenObserve with syslog-ng and the Logging operator using AxoSyslog, the cloud-native syslog-ng distribution.

At Axoflow, we are working on an end-to-end observability pipeline solution that simplifies the control of your telemetry infrastructure with a vendor-agnostic approach – for example, it would make routing your logs to a new OpenObserve destination easier. Read more about Axoflow!

Send logs to OpenObserve, the free Elasticsearch alternative

Stay tuned!

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