With the shift of IT infrastructure to the cloud space, cloud security and log analysis became necessary. A large amount of data is produced daily and collected from the organization's web server logs. These logs are the most important source of information, and each log file contains vital information. Therefore, an organization must know each log file and its data to protect itself and get more opportunities. Here, the use of log analytics tools plays an important role. ELK Stack, also known as Elastic Stack, is a popular log analysis solution that helps search, analyze, and manage log files. Many giant companies, like Uber, Shopify, CRED, Robinhood, etc., are using ELK Stack.
In ELK Stack, ELK refers to Elasticsearch, Logstash, & Kibana, which are the core components. These three core products are used to conduct log analysis in various IT environments. ELK Stack is a popular open-source software and a suite of tools. It allows us to execute centralized logging to locate the issues in applications or web servers. Also, it will enable you to search all the log files in a single place.
Let us know about the three primary tools of ELK Stack:-
Elasticsearch is one of the crucial components of ELK Stack and is an open-source, distributed analytics engine. It helps us search, analyze, and save large volumes of data. Elasticsearch is highly useful for validating apps that fulfil our search needs as a primary engine.
Generally, it works on the Lucene Search Engine and is mainly helpful for SPA projects.
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Logstash is a pipeline tool that helps to collect and forward the log data. It is an open-source tool and a data collection engine that combines data actively from different sources and regulates it into the stated locations. Input, filter, and output are the three essential elements of Logstash. Moreover, it helps to analyze logs and events in real time from multiple sources.
Kibana is a free-to-use data visualization tool that visualizes Ealsticsearch documents and helps developers to analyze these documents. It has a browser-based interface that allows for simplifying large data volumes. Further, it indicates the changes within the Elasticsearch queries. Moreover, we can conduct progressive data analysis using Kibana and visualize data in various formats like graphs, charts, etc. Let us know the features and benefits of this tool.
Kibana installation Go to Download Kibana and download the zip file that suits your operating system. Unzip the file to your designated installation path and run the following command,bin\kibana.batKibana will run on port 5601 by default. For more details about Kibana installation and usage, check out our Elasticsearch tutorial here.
The ELK Stack is a popular tool suite that helps build a reliable and flexible data-resolving environment. Enterprises with cloud-based infrastructure can benefit from the use of the ELK stack. It also helps to identify the following issues as well:-
ELK Stack helps collect and manage large-size unstructured data produced from different servers and apps. It is not possible to read by humans. Therefore, it transforms such data into meaningful assets that help to make many informed decisions. The ELK stack is generally an open-source platform that offers many cost-effective solutions for growing startups and established business entities. Moreover, it provides a powerful platform to monitor performance and security levels. Also, it ensures maximum uptime along with regulatory conformity.
Further, ELK Stack identifies the various gaps within the log files. It can accurately parse data from different sources into a highly scalable central database. Elastic stack also considers both historical and real-time analysis of data. You can also conduct troubleshooting much faster.
Thus, using ELK stack allows you to analyze log data, build data visuals for apps, monitor performance, and conduct security analysis. You can get these benefits from using this popular platform.
To install Elasticsearch, we need to follow the below mentioned steps:-
Step (1) Before we install Elasticsearch, we must download and install Java on the system. Without Java, Elasticsearch cannot run properly. If Java is already installed, you need to check the version that should be 11 or higher. To check the Java version on Windows and Linux OS, run the below commands respectively on the CMD-
If the latest version of Java is not installed on the system, we must download it and run it on the Windows OS. Also, we need to set up the Java Environment Variable.
Step (2) We can download and install Elastic search based on the operating system. We can download the Zip file available for each OS. Such as Windows OS, UNIX OS, etc.
Step (3) All we need to do is unzip or open the zip file to install Elasticsearch in the OS of Windows. In the case of UNIX OS, we need to extract the tar file to install it. Here is the process to install Elasticsearch
$tar -xzf elasticsearch-7.0.0-Linux-x86_64.tar.gz
Now, we will install the "Public Signing Key" for the Linux OS through the APT utility.
$ wget -qo - https://artifacts.elastic.co/ GPG-KEY-elasticsearch | sudo
Then we have to save the storage definition given as follows:-
$ echo "deb https://artifacts.elastic.co/ packages/7.x/apt stable main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/elastic-7.x.list
Now perform the update by entering the following command.
$ sudo apt-get update
Then, we can install Elasticsearch using the following command-
$ sudo apt-get install elasticsearch
Install the Debian package by downloading manually with the below command-
$sudo dpkg -i elasticsearch-7.0.0-amd64.deb0
We also use the utility called YUM for Debian Linux Operating System.
Thus, we have to install the Public Signing Key here again.
$ rpm --import https://artifacts.elastic.co/GPG-KEY-elasticsearch
Add the below text within a file using the suffix .repo to the directory:-
name=Elasticsearch repository for 7.x packages
We can now install Elasticsearch by entering the following code-
sudo yum install elasticsearch
Step (4) Reach out to the main directory and the bin folder of Elasticsearch. Now run the command- elasticsearch.bat file inside the Windows OS, or run that file through the c- prompt. We can use the terminal to run the file Elastic search in the case of UNIX OS.
Step (5) We can use the port 9200 as default for the web interface of Elastic search. Otherwise, we modify it by altering the port http. port residing within the file with name elasticsearch.yml that exists within the DIR bin. Moreover, we can also verify that the server begins to work and run on the local host - http://localhost:9200 by browsing the site.
Related Article: Elasticsearch Installation
The below three steps are important ones for Elasticsearch.:-
Indexing is the method of adding data to the Elastic search, where the inserted data is stored within the (ALI) Apache Lucene Indexes. Later Elasticsearch will recover and save the data using the Lucene indexes. It is similar to the CRUD operations performed.
It is like a usual search query using a specific type. Further, the index will look similar to: "POST index/type/_search." If we go for particular search results, we use the Queries, Aggregation, and Filter the three different ways.
After downloading and installing Elastic search, we will download and install the two significant components, Kibana and Logstash.
Step 1) Download the kibana.bat file, and to install it, reach out to the Kibana folder and the bin folder.
Step 2) Double-click the kibana.bat file to begin the Elasticsearch server.
Step 3) Let the Kibana server start.
Step 4) To check whether the Kibana server started working, type - localhost:5601 opening the browser.
Step 1) After downloading the Logstash file, open the Logstash folder.
Step 2) Then, we follow the commands similar to Elasticsearch to install and run the Logstash.
First, we have to download Java, and the process is similar to the Elastic search we executed earlier.
Step 3) Installing Logstash is very simple on many platforms.
-For Windows OS, unzip the zip file downloaded to install Logstash.
-For UNIX OS, extract the file bnamed “tar”within any place and install the Logstash. The command will be:-
$tar -xvf logstash-5.0.2.tar.gz
Now for the LINUX OS, we can use the utility called APT.
After downloading, we must install the Public Signing Key (PSK).
wget -qO - https://artifacts.elastic.co/GPG-KEY-elasticsearch | sudo apt-key add -
Then we will go with installing the Debian package before moving further.
sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https
Now, we have to save the storage definition as follows.:-
echo "deb https://artifacts.elastic.co/packages/8.x/apt stable main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/elastic-8.x.list
Now run the update and be ready to install the Logstash.
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install logstash
Then, by using the utility named YUM for Debian Linux OS, we have to install the Public Signing Key. We have to download it.
sudo rpm --import https://artifacts.elastic.co/GPG-KEY-elasticsearch
Now we have to insert the below text file with a repo suffix into the directory we use.
name=Elastic repository for 8.x packages
Thus, our storage is ready for use, and now we can start installing Logstash with this.:-
sudo yum install logstash
So, this is about installing all three components of ELK Stack. Let us know more about Elasticsearch, Kibana, and Logstash and their features and advantages.
Top 30 ELK Stack interview questions and answers for 2020
Log management is very important for any enterprise because we can monitor our systems 24/7. All the system events, transaction events, etc will be stored as logs. By reviewing these logs, we can know whether the system is functioning properly or not. We can observe if there are any unusual patterns in the logs. It will be helpful to quickly identify and analyze issues and take action accordingly. So we can stay ahead of any potential problems thereby preventing any disruptions to the systems involved.
Here is the architecture of the ELK Stack that shows the end-to-end flow of logs,
Logs are the events generated by any system. The logs from various sources are collected and processed by Logstash. It will then send these logs to Elasticsearch which will store and analyze the data. Using kibana, the logs can be visualized and managed.
Here are some differences between ELK Stack and Splunk,
Here we conclude this ELK Stack tutorial. Now you have come to know different data analysis methods and perform data searches using Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana. ELK Stack is a complete suite of open-source tools that resolves centralized logging system problems. Elasticsearch is an analytics engine, Kibana is an open-source data visual tool, and Logstash is a popular pipeline tool. This tool suite gives crucial log file information that helps prevent loss and get good opportunities.
I hope you got all the basic information about ELK Stack through this article. You can comment if you get any queries further.
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