Re: [Syslog] draft-cloud-log-00 / CEE - why not IPFIX?

"Rainer Gerhards" <rgerhards@hq.adiscon.com> Wed, 16 February 2011 10:39 UTC

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Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2011 11:39:43 +0100
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Thread-Topic: [Syslog] draft-cloud-log-00 / CEE - why not IPFIX?
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From: "Rainer Gerhards" <rgerhards@hq.adiscon.com>
To: "Jeroen Massar" <jeroen@unfix.org>, "Heinbockel, Bill" <heinbockel@mitre.org>
Cc: Sam Johnston <sj@google.com>, cee@mitre.org, syslog@ietf.org
Subject: Re: [Syslog] draft-cloud-log-00 / CEE - why not IPFIX?
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The SIP CLF WG has just recently rejected IPFIX for it being binary and
chosen indexed ASCII instead for their format. Their reasoning (after a long
struggle) is probably educating:

http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/sip-clf/current/msg00364.html

I don't think that IPFIX is a good solution *in the syslog context*. It is
very far from what people expect. Other than that, I'd probably need to
re-iterate the arguments made on the SIP CLF mailing list, so it probably is
better to refer to their archive ;)

Rainer

> -----Original Message-----
> From: syslog-bounces@ietf.org [mailto:syslog-bounces@ietf.org] On
> Behalf Of Jeroen Massar
> Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 11:35 AM
> To: Heinbockel, Bill
> Cc: Sam Johnston; cee@mitre.org; syslog@ietf.org
> Subject: Re: [Syslog] draft-cloud-log-00 / CEE - why not IPFIX?
> 
> On 2011-02-16 06:21, Heinbockel, Bill wrote:
> > From what I understand, IPFIX is for expression of IP flows from
> network sensing
> > devices.
> 
> For a short bit forget about the history of IPFIX, it indeed comes from
> NetFlow, and thus is used quite in a network centric way, but
> effectively it is a structured streaming data format.
> 
> > Could you please explain how IPFIX is relevant to event and cloud
> logging data?
> > I understand how CEE and IPFIX may overlap for describing networking
> events, but
> > it is unclear to me how IPFIX could handle things like Windows Event
> Logs and
> > RHEL audit logs.
> 
> There are two parts to IPFIX: Templates + Data
> 
> The template describes how the data looks like, for instance, lets take
> an Apache CLF log entry:
> 
> 66.249.66.174 - - [16/Feb/2011:10:48:11 +0100] "GET /robots.txt
> HTTP/1.1" 200 2629 "-" "Googlebot-Image/0"
> 
> We can make an IPFIX template for that
> 
> [
> 	{4, IPv4_SRC },
> 	{4, TIMESTAMP},
> 	{4, HTTP_METHOD},
> 	{v, URL},
> 	{v, HTTP_PROTOCOL},
> 	{2, HTTP_RESULT},
> 	{8, OCTETS},
> 	{v, HTTP_REFER},
> 	{v, HTTP_USERAGENT},
> ]
> 
> The 'v' markers indicate variable fieldlengths, the others indicates
> the
> number of bytes such a field takes. The data is then just encoded in
> the
> above format, presto.
> 
> The above is a simple example, one can also have repeating lists and of
> course you could make a variable template which just includes the
> fields
> that you actually want to look at or you could already do some
> aggregation and add other fields. Templates are only sent every now and
> then, as they should not change. The data is the important bit.
> 
> The fieldnames are actually numbers in the data, thus very compact, and
> are mapped to descriptions, data types etc, per a nice XML file
>  http://www.iana.org/assignments/ipfix/ipfix.xml (or .xhtml or .txt for
> a more human readable version ;) for the official IANA list and with
> the
> help of Enterprise IDs any others can easily be added.
> 
> The big advantage is that you can more or less do static templates if
> you want and you only need one single parser on the collector side,
> thus
> one does not have to create another parser and collector again for
> decoding other protocols, just one, the IPFIX one, and you can optimize
> that really well for all kinds of scenarios.
> 
> Greets,
>  Jeroen
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