This guide describes how to collect application and container logs in Kubernetes using the Logging operator, and how to send them to Kafka.

The following figure gives you an overview about how the system works. The Logging operator collects the logs from the application, selects which logs to forward to the output, and sends the selected log messages to the output (in this case, to Kafka). For more details about the Logging operator, see the Logging operator overview.

Deploy Kafka 🔗︎

In this demo we are using our kafka operator. Install it with Helm

Deploy the Logging operator and a demo Application 🔗︎

Install the Logging operator and a demo application to provide sample log messages.

Deploy the Logging operator with Helm 🔗︎

To install the Logging operator using Helm, complete these steps. If you want to install the Logging operator using Kubernetes manifests, see Deploy the Logging operator with Kubernetes manifests.

  1. Add the chart repository of the Logging operator using the following commands:

    helm repo add banzaicloud-stable https://kubernetes-charts.banzaicloud.com
    helm repo update
    
  2. Install the Logging operator. For details, see How to install Logging-operator with Helm

  3. Install the demo application and its logging definition.

    helm install --namespace logging --name logging-demo banzaicloud-stable/logging-demo \
      --set "kafka.enabled=True"
    

Deploy the Logging operator with Kubernetes manifests 🔗︎

To deploy the Logging operator using Kubernetes manifests, complete these steps. If you want to install the Logging operator using Helm, see Deploy the Logging operator with Helm.

  1. Install the Logging operator. For details, see How to install Logging-operator from manifests

  2. Create the logging resource.

    kubectl -n logging apply -f - <<"EOF" 
    apiVersion: logging.banzaicloud.io/v1beta1
    kind: Logging
    metadata:
      name: default-logging-simple
    spec:
      fluentd: {}
      fluentbit: {}
      controlNamespace: logging
    EOF
    

    Note: You can use the ClusterOutput and ClusterFlow resources only in the controlNamespace.

  3. Create a Kafka output definition.

    kubectl -n logging apply -f - <<"EOF" 
    apiVersion: logging.banzaicloud.io/v1beta1
    kind: Output
    metadata:
     name: kafka-output
    spec:
     kafka:
       brokers: kafka-headless.kafka.svc.cluster.local:29092
       default_topic: topic
       format: 
         type: json    
       buffer:
         tags: topic
         timekey: 1m
         timekey_wait: 30s
         timekey_use_utc: true
    EOF
    

    Note: In production environment, use a longer timekey interval to avoid generating too many objects.

  4. Create a flow resource.

    kubectl -n logging apply -f - <<"EOF" 
    apiVersion: logging.banzaicloud.io/v1beta1
    kind: Flow
    metadata:
      name: kafka-flow
    spec:
      filters:
        - tag_normaliser: {}
        - parser:
            remove_key_name_field: true
            reserve_data: true
            parse:
              type: nginx
      match:
        - select:
            labels:
              app.kubernetes.io/name: log-generator
      localOutputRefs:
        - kafka-output
    EOF
    
  5. Install the demo application.

    kubectl -n logging apply -f - <<"EOF" 
    apiVersion: apps/v1 
    kind: Deployment
    metadata:
     name: log-generator
    spec:
     selector:
       matchLabels:
         app.kubernetes.io/name: log-generator
     replicas: 1
     template:
       metadata:
         labels:   
           app.kubernetes.io/name: log-generator
       spec:
         containers:
         - name: nginx
           image: banzaicloud/log-generator:0.3.2
    EOF
    

Test Your Deployment with kafkacat 🔗︎

  1. Exec Kafka test pod

    kubectl -n kafka exec -it kafka-test-c sh
    
  2. Run kafkacat

    kafkacat -C -b kafka-0.kafka-headless.kafka.svc.cluster.local:29092 -t topic
    

If you don’t get the expected result you can find help in the troubleshooting section.