Recipe Cloudstack To Mongodb

Fluentd is an open source software to collect events and logs in JSON format. It has hundred of plugins that allows you to store the logs/events in your favorite data store like AWS S3, MongoDB and even elasticsearch. A CloudStack plugin has been written to be able to listen to CloudStack events and store these events in a chosen storage backend. In this chapter we will show how to store CloudStack logs in MongoDB using Fluentd. The documentation quite straightforward, but here are the basic steps.

You will need a working fluentd installed on your machine. Pick your package manager of choice and install fluentd, for instance with gem we would do:

sudo gem install fluentd

fluentd will now be in your path, you need to create a configuration file and start fluentd using this config. For additional options with fluentd just enter fluentd -h. The s option will create a sample configuration file in the working directory. The -c option will start fluentd using the specific configuration file. You can then send a test log/event message to the running process with fluent-cat

$ fluentd -s conf
$ fluentd -c conf/fluent.conf &
$ echo '{"json":"message"}' | fluent-cat debug.test

CloudStack has a listEvents API which does what is says :) it lists events happening within a CloudStack deployment. Such events as the start and stop of a virtual machine, creation of security groups, life cycles events of storage elements, snapshots etc. The listEvents API is well documented. Based mostly on this API and the fog ruby library, a CloudStack plugin for fluentd was written by Yuichi UEMURA. It is slightly different from using logstash, as with logstash you can format the log4j logs of the CloudStack management server and directly collect those. Here we rely on the listEvents API.

Getting Started

You can install it from source:

git clone

Then build your own gem and install it with sudo gem build fluent-plugin-cloudstack.gemspec and sudo gem install fluent-plugin-cloudstack-0.0.8.gem

Or you install the gem directly:

sudo gem install fluent-plugin-cloudstack

Generate a configuration file with fluentd -s conf, you can specify the path to your configuration file. Edit the configuration to define a source as being from your CloudStack host. For instance if you a running a development environment locally:

  @type cloudstack
  host localhost
  apikey $cloudstack_apikey
  secretkey $cloudstack_secretkey

  # optional
  protocol http             # https or http, default https
  path /client/api          # default /client/api
  port 8080                 # default 443
  #interval 300               # min 300, default 300
  ssl false                 # true or false, default true
  domain_id $cloudstack_domain_id
  tag cloudstack

There is currently a small bug in the interval definition so I commented it out. You also want to define the tag explicitly as being cloudstack. You can then create a <match> section in the configuration file. To keep it simple at first, we will simply echo the events to stdout, therefore just add:

<match cloudstack.**>
  @type stdout

Run fluentd with fluentd -c conf/fluent.conf &, browse the CloudStack UI, create a VM, create a service offering. Once the interval is passed you will see the events being written to stdout:

$ 2013-11-05 12:19:26 +0100 [info]: starting fluentd-0.10.39
2013-11-05 12:19:26 +0100 [info]: reading config file path="conf/fluent.conf"
2013-11-05 12:19:26 +0100 [info]: using configuration file: <ROOT>
    @type forward
    @type cloudstack
    host localhost
    apikey 6QN8jOzEfhR7Fua69vk5ocDo_tfg8qqkT7-2w7nnTNsSRyPXyvRRAy23683qcrflgliHed0zA3m0SO4W9kh2LQ
    secretkey HZiu9vhPAxA8xi8jpGWMWb9q9f5OL1ojW43Fd7zzQIjrcrMLoYekeP1zT9d-1B3DDMMpScHSR9gAnnG45ewwUQ
    protocol http
    path /client/api
    port 8080
    interval 3
    ssl false
    domain_id a9e4b8f0-3fd5-11e3-9df7-78ca8b5a2197
    tag cloudstack
  <match debug.**>
    @type stdout
  <match cloudstack.**>
    @type stdout
2013-11-05 12:19:26 +0100 [info]: adding source type="forward"
2013-11-05 12:19:26 +0100 [info]: adding source type="cloudstack"
2013-11-05 12:19:27 +0100 [info]: adding match pattern="debug.**" type="stdout"
2013-11-05 12:19:27 +0100 [info]: adding match pattern="cloudstack.**" type="stdout"
2013-11-05 12:19:27 +0100 [info]: listening fluent socket on
2013-11-05 12:19:27 +0100 [info]: listening cloudstack api on localhost
2013-11-05 12:19:30 +0100 cloudstack.usages: {"events_flow":0}
2013-11-05 12:19:30 +0100 cloudstack.usages: {"vm_sum":1,"memory_sum":536870912,"cpu_sum":1,"root_volume_sum":1400,"data_volume_sum":0,"Small Instance":1}
2013-11-05 12:19:33 +0100 cloudstack.usages: {"events_flow":0}
2013-11-05 12:19:33 +0100 cloudstack.usages: {"vm_sum":1,"memory_sum":536870912,"cpu_sum":1,"root_volume_sum":1400,"data_volume_sum":0,"Small Instance":1}
2013-11-05 12:19:36 +0100 cloudstack.usages: {"events_flow":0}
2013-11-05 12:19:36 +0100 cloudstack.usages: {"vm_sum":1,"memory_sum":536870912,"cpu_sum":1,"root_volume_sum":1400,"data_volume_sum":0,"Small Instance":1}
2013-11-05 12:19:39 +0100 cloudstack.usages: {"events_flow":0}
2013-11-05 12:19:53 +0100 cloudstack.event: {"id":"b5051963-33e5-4f44-83bc-7b78763dcd24","username":"admin","type":"VM.DESTROY","level":"INFO","description":"Successfully completed destroying Vm. Vm Id: 17","account":"admin","domainid":"a9e4b8f0-3fd5-11e3-9df7-78ca8b5a2197","domain":"ROOT","created":"2013-11-05T12:19:53+0100","state":"Completed","parentid":"d0d47009-050e-4d94-97d9-a3ade1c80ee3"}
2013-11-05 12:19:53 +0100 cloudstack.event: {"id":"39f8ff37-515c-49dd-88d3-eeb77d556223","username":"admin","type":"VM.DESTROY","level":"INFO","description":"destroying Vm. Vm Id: 17","account":"admin","domainid":"a9e4b8f0-3fd5-11e3-9df7-78ca8b5a2197","domain":"ROOT","created":"2013-11-05T12:19:53+0100","state":"Started","parentid":"d0d47009-050e-4d94-97d9-a3ade1c80ee3"}
2013-11-05 12:19:53 +0100 cloudstack.event: {"id":"d0d47009-050e-4d94-97d9-a3ade1c80ee3","username":"admin","type":"VM.DESTROY","level":"INFO","description":"destroying vm: 17","account":"admin","domainid":"a9e4b8f0-3fd5-11e3-9df7-78ca8b5a2197","domain":"ROOT","created":"2013-11-05T12:19:53+0100","state":"Scheduled"}
2013-11-05 12:19:55 +0100 cloudstack.usages: {"events_flow":3}
2013-11-05 12:19:55 +0100 cloudstack.usages: {"vm_sum":1,"memory_sum":536870912,"cpu_sum":1,"root_volume_sum":1400,"data_volume_sum":0,"Small Instance":1}
2013-11-05 12:20:18 +0100 cloudstack.event: {"id":"11136a76-1de0-4907-b31d-2557bc093802","username":"admin","type":"SERVICE.OFFERING.CREATE","level":"INFO","description":"Successfully completed creating service offering. Service offering id=13","account":"system","domainid":"a9e4b8f0-3fd5-11e3-9df7-78ca8b5a2197","domain":"ROOT","created":"2013-11-05T12:20:18+0100","state":"Completed"}
2013-11-05 12:20:19 +0100 cloudstack.usages: {"events_flow":1}
2013-11-05 12:20:19 +0100 cloudstack.usages: {"vm_sum":1,"memory_sum":536870912,"cpu_sum":1,"root_volume_sum":1400,"data_volume_sum":0,"Small Instance":1}

I cut some of the output for brevity, note that I do have an interval listed as 3 because I did not want to wait 300 minutes. Therefore I installed from source and patched the plugin, it should be fixed in the source soon. You might have a different endpoint and of course different keys, and don't worry about me sharing that secret_key I am using a simulator, that key is already gone.

Plugging MongoDB

Getting the events and usage information on stdout is interesting, but the kicker comes from storing the data in a database or a search index. In this section we show to get closer to reality and use MongoDB to store the data. MongoDB is an open source document database which is schemaless and stores document in JSON format (BSON actually). Installation and query syntax of MongoDB is beyond the scope of this chapter. MongoDB clusters can be setup with replication and sharding, in this section we use MongoDB on a single host with no sharding or replication. To use MongoDB as a storage backend for the events, we first need to install mongodb. On single OSX node this is as simple as sudo port install mongodb. For other OS use the appropriate package manager. You can then start mongodb with sudo mongod --dbpath=/path/to/your/databases. Create a fluentd database and a fluentd user with read/write access to it. In the mongo shell do:

$sudo mongo
>use fluentd
>db.AddUser({user:"fluentd", pwd: "foobar", roles: ["readWrite", "dbAdmin"]})

We then need to install the fluent-plugin-mongodb. Still using gem this will be done like so:

$sudo gem install fluent-plugin-mongo.

The complete documentation also explains how to modify the configuration of fluentd to use this backend. Previously we used stdout as the output backend, to use mongodb we just need to write a different <match> section like so:

# Single MongoDB
<match cloudstack.**>
  @type mongo
  host fluentd
  port 27017
  database fluentd
  collection test

  # for capped collection
  capped_size 1024m

  # authentication
  user fluentd
  password foobar

  # flush
  flush_interval 10s

Note that you cannot have multiple match section for the same tag pattern.

To view the events/usages in Mongo, simply start a mongo shell with mongo -u fluentd -p foobar fluentd and list the collections. You will see the test collection:

$ mongo -u fluentd -p foobar fluentd
MongoDB shell version: 2.4.7
connecting to: fluentd
Server has startup warnings: 
Fri Nov  1 13:11:44.855 [initandlisten] 
Fri Nov  1 13:11:44.855 [initandlisten] ** WARNING: soft rlimits too low. Number of files is 256, should be at least 1000
> show collections

Couple MongoDB commands will get your rolling, db.getCollection, count() and findOne():

> coll=db.getCollection('test')
> coll.count()
> coll.findOne()
    "_id" : ObjectId("5278d9822675c98317000001"),
    "events_flow" : 0,
    "time" : ISODate("2013-11-05T11:41:47Z")

The find() call returns all entries in the collection.

> coll.find()
{ "_id" : ObjectId("5278d9822675c98317000001"), "events_flow" : 0, "time" : ISODate("2013-11-05T11:41:47Z") }
{ "_id" : ObjectId("5278d9822675c98317000002"), "vm_sum" : 0, "memory_sum" : 0, "cpu_sum" : 0, "root_volume_sum" : 1500, "data_volume_sum" : 0, "Small Instance" : 1, "time" : ISODate("2013-11-05T11:41:47Z") }
{ "_id" : ObjectId("5278d98d2675c98317000009"), "events_flow" : 0, "time" : ISODate("2013-11-05T11:41:59Z") }
{ "_id" : ObjectId("5278d98d2675c9831700000a"), "vm_sum" : 0, "memory_sum" : 0, "cpu_sum" : 0, "root_volume_sum" : 1500, "data_volume_sum" : 0, "Small Instance" : 1, "time" : ISODate("2013-11-05T11:41:59Z") }
{ "_id" : ObjectId("5278d98d2675c9831700000b"), "id" : "1452c56a-a1e4-43d2-8916-f83a77155a2f", "username" : "admin", "type" : "VM.CREATE", "level" : "INFO", "description" : "Successfully completed starting Vm. Vm Id: 19", "account" : "admin", "domainid" : "a9e4b8f0-3fd5-11e3-9df7-78ca8b5a2197", "domain" : "ROOT", "created" : "2013-11-05T12:42:01+0100", "state" : "Completed", "parentid" : "df68486e-c6a8-4007-9996-d5c9a4522649", "time" : ISODate("2013-11-05T11:42:01Z") }
{ "_id" : ObjectId("5278d98d2675c9831700000c"), "id" : "901f9408-ae05-424f-92cd-5693733de7d6", "username" : "admin", "type" : "VM.CREATE", "level" : "INFO", "description" : "starting Vm. Vm Id: 19", "account" : "admin", "domainid" : "a9e4b8f0-3fd5-11e3-9df7-78ca8b5a2197", "domain" : "ROOT", "created" : "2013-11-05T12:42:00+0100", "state" : "Scheduled", "parentid" : "df68486e-c6a8-4007-9996-d5c9a4522649", "time" : ISODate("2013-11-05T11:42:00Z") }
{ "_id" : ObjectId("5278d98d2675c9831700000d"), "id" : "df68486e-c6a8-4007-9996-d5c9a4522649", "username" : "admin", "type" : "VM.CREATE", "level" : "INFO", "description" : "Successfully created entity for deploying Vm. Vm Id: 19", "account" : "admin", "domainid" : "a9e4b8f0-3fd5-11e3-9df7-78ca8b5a2197", "domain" : "ROOT", "created" : "2013-11-05T12:42:00+0100", "state" : "Created", "time" : ISODate("2013-11-05T11:42:00Z") }
{ "_id" : ObjectId("5278d98d2675c9831700000e"), "id" : "924ba8b9-a9f2-4274-8bbd-c27947d2c246", "username" : "admin", "type" : "VM.CREATE", "level" : "INFO", "description" : "starting Vm. Vm Id: 19", "account" : "admin", "domainid" : "a9e4b8f0-3fd5-11e3-9df7-78ca8b5a2197", "domain" : "ROOT", "created" : "2013-11-05T12:42:00+0100", "state" : "Started", "parentid" : "df68486e-c6a8-4007-9996-d5c9a4522649", "time" : ISODate("2013-11-05T11:42:00Z") }
{ "_id" : ObjectId("5278d98d2675c9831700000f"), "events_flow" : 4, "time" : ISODate("2013-11-05T11:42:02Z") } 
{ "_id" : ObjectId("5278d98d2675c98317000010"), "vm_sum" : 1, "memory_sum" : 536870912, "cpu_sum" : 1, "root_volume_sum" : 1600, "data_volume_sum" : 0, "Small Instance" : 1, "time" : ISODate("2013-11-05T11:42:02Z") }
Type "it" for more

We leave it to you to learn the MongoDB query syntax and the great aggregation framework, have fun.

If this article is incorrect or outdated, or omits critical information, please let us know. Fluentd is a open source project under Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). All components are available under the Apache 2 License.

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