Log group-level subscription filters - Amazon CloudWatch Logs
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Log group-level subscription filters

You can use a subscription filter with Kinesis Data Streams, Lambda, or Firehose. Logs that are sent to a receiving service through a subscription filter are base64 encoded and compressed with the gzip format.

You can search your log data using the Filter and pattern syntax.

Example 1: Subscription filters with Kinesis Data Streams

The following example associates a subscription filter with a log group containing Amazon CloudTrail events. The subscription filter delivers every logged activity made by "Root" Amazon credentials to a stream in Kinesis Data Streams called "RootAccess." For more information about how to send Amazon CloudTrail events to CloudWatch Logs, see Sending CloudTrail Events to CloudWatch Logs in the Amazon CloudTrail User Guide.

Note

Before you create the stream, calculate the volume of log data that will be generated. Be sure to create a stream with enough shards to handle this volume. If the stream does not have enough shards, the log stream will be throttled. For more information about stream volume limits, see Quotas and Limits.

Throttled deliverables are retried for up to 24 hours. After 24 hours, the failed deliverables are dropped.

To mitigate the risk of throttling, you can take the following steps:

  • Monitor your stream using CloudWatch metrics. This helps you identify any throttling and adjust your configuration accordingly. For example, the DeliveryThrottling metric can be used to track the number of log events for which CloudWatch Logs was throttled when forwarding data to the subscription destination. For more information about monitoring, see Monitoring with CloudWatch metrics.

  • Use the on-demand capacity mode for your stream in Kinesis Data Streams. On-demand mode instantly accommodates your workloads as they ramp up or down. More information about on-demand capacity mode, see On-demand mode.

  • Restrict your CloudWatch subscription filter pattern to match the capacity of your stream in Kinesis Data Streams. If you are sending too much data to the stream, you might need to reduce the filter size or adjust the filter criteria.

To create a subscription filter for Kinesis Data Streams
  1. Create a destination stream using the following command:

    $ C:\> aws kinesis create-stream --stream-name "RootAccess" --shard-count 1
  2. Wait until the stream becomes Active (this might take a minute or two). You can use the following Kinesis Data Streams describe-stream command to check the StreamDescription.StreamStatus property. In addition, note the StreamDescription.StreamARN value, as you will need it in a later step:

    aws kinesis describe-stream --stream-name "RootAccess"

    The following is example output:

    { "StreamDescription": { "StreamStatus": "ACTIVE", "StreamName": "RootAccess", "StreamARN": "arn:aws:kinesis:us-east-1:123456789012:stream/RootAccess", "Shards": [ { "ShardId": "shardId-000000000000", "HashKeyRange": { "EndingHashKey": "340282366920938463463374607431768211455", "StartingHashKey": "0" }, "SequenceNumberRange": { "StartingSequenceNumber": "49551135218688818456679503831981458784591352702181572610" } } ] } }
  3. Create the IAM role that will grant CloudWatch Logs permission to put data into your stream. First, you'll need to create a trust policy in a file (for example, ~/TrustPolicyForCWL-Kinesis.json). Use a text editor to create this policy. Do not use the IAM console to create it.

    This policy includes a aws:SourceArn global condition context key to help prevent the confused deputy security problem. For more information, see Confused deputy prevention.

    { "Statement": { "Effect": "Allow", "Principal": { "Service": "logs.amazonaws.com" }, "Action": "sts:AssumeRole", "Condition": { "StringLike": { "aws:SourceArn": "arn:aws:logs:region:123456789012:*" } } } }
  4. Use the create-role command to create the IAM role, specifying the trust policy file. Note the returned Role.Arn value, as you will also need it for a later step:

    aws iam create-role --role-name CWLtoKinesisRole --assume-role-policy-document file://~/TrustPolicyForCWL-Kinesis.json

    The following is an example of the output.

    { "Role": { "AssumeRolePolicyDocument": { "Statement": { "Action": "sts:AssumeRole", "Effect": "Allow", "Principal": { "Service": "logs.amazonaws.com" }, "Condition": { "StringLike": { "aws:SourceArn": { "arn:aws:logs:region:123456789012:*" } } } } }, "RoleId": "AAOIIAH450GAB4HC5F431", "CreateDate": "2015-05-29T13:46:29.431Z", "RoleName": "CWLtoKinesisRole", "Path": "/", "Arn": "arn:aws:iam::123456789012:role/CWLtoKinesisRole" } }
  5. Create a permissions policy to define what actions CloudWatch Logs can do on your account. First, you'll create a permissions policy in a file (for example, ~/PermissionsForCWL-Kinesis.json). Use a text editor to create this policy. Do not use the IAM console to create it.

    { "Statement": [ { "Effect": "Allow", "Action": "kinesis:PutRecord", "Resource": "arn:aws:kinesis:region:123456789012:stream/RootAccess" } ] }
  6. Associate the permissions policy with the role using the following put-role-policy command:

    aws iam put-role-policy --role-name CWLtoKinesisRole --policy-name Permissions-Policy-For-CWL --policy-document file://~/PermissionsForCWL-Kinesis.json
  7. After the stream is in Active state and you have created the IAM role, you can create the CloudWatch Logs subscription filter. The subscription filter immediately starts the flow of real-time log data from the chosen log group to your stream:

    aws logs put-subscription-filter \ --log-group-name "CloudTrail/logs" \ --filter-name "RootAccess" \ --filter-pattern "{$.userIdentity.type = Root}" \ --destination-arn "arn:aws:kinesis:region:123456789012:stream/RootAccess" \ --role-arn "arn:aws:iam::123456789012:role/CWLtoKinesisRole"
  8. After you set up the subscription filter, CloudWatch Logs forwards all the incoming log events that match the filter pattern to your stream. You can verify that this is happening by grabbing a Kinesis Data Streams shard iterator and using the Kinesis Data Streams get-records command to fetch some Kinesis Data Streams records:

    aws kinesis get-shard-iterator --stream-name RootAccess --shard-id shardId-000000000000 --shard-iterator-type TRIM_HORIZON
    { "ShardIterator": "AAAAAAAAAAFGU/kLvNggvndHq2UIFOw5PZc6F01s3e3afsSscRM70JSbjIefg2ub07nk1y6CDxYR1UoGHJNP4m4NFUetzfL+wev+e2P4djJg4L9wmXKvQYoE+rMUiFq+p4Cn3IgvqOb5dRA0yybNdRcdzvnC35KQANoHzzahKdRGb9v4scv+3vaq+f+OIK8zM5My8ID+g6rMo7UKWeI4+IWiK2OSh0uP" }
    aws kinesis get-records --limit 10 --shard-iterator "AAAAAAAAAAFGU/kLvNggvndHq2UIFOw5PZc6F01s3e3afsSscRM70JSbjIefg2ub07nk1y6CDxYR1UoGHJNP4m4NFUetzfL+wev+e2P4djJg4L9wmXKvQYoE+rMUiFq+p4Cn3IgvqOb5dRA0yybNdRcdzvnC35KQANoHzzahKdRGb9v4scv+3vaq+f+OIK8zM5My8ID+g6rMo7UKWeI4+IWiK2OSh0uP"

    Note that you might need to make this call a few times before Kinesis Data Streams starts to return data.

    You should expect to see a response with an array of records. The Data attribute in a Kinesis Data Streams record is base64 encoded and compressed with the gzip format. You can examine the raw data from the command line using the following Unix commands:

    echo -n "<Content of Data>" | base64 -d | zcat

    The base64 decoded and decompressed data is formatted as JSON with the following structure:

    { "owner": "111111111111", "logGroup": "CloudTrail/logs", "logStream": "111111111111_CloudTrail/logs_us-east-1", "subscriptionFilters": [ "Destination" ], "messageType": "DATA_MESSAGE", "logEvents": [ { "id": "31953106606966983378809025079804211143289615424298221568", "timestamp": 1432826855000, "message": "{\"eventVersion\":\"1.03\",\"userIdentity\":{\"type\":\"Root\"}" }, { "id": "31953106606966983378809025079804211143289615424298221569", "timestamp": 1432826855000, "message": "{\"eventVersion\":\"1.03\",\"userIdentity\":{\"type\":\"Root\"}" }, { "id": "31953106606966983378809025079804211143289615424298221570", "timestamp": 1432826855000, "message": "{\"eventVersion\":\"1.03\",\"userIdentity\":{\"type\":\"Root\"}" } ] }

    The key elements in the above data structure are the following:

    owner

    The Amazon Account ID of the originating log data.

    logGroup

    The log group name of the originating log data.

    logStream

    The log stream name of the originating log data.

    subscriptionFilters

    The list of subscription filter names that matched with the originating log data.

    messageType

    Data messages will use the "DATA_MESSAGE" type. Sometimes CloudWatch Logs may emit Kinesis Data Streams records with a "CONTROL_MESSAGE" type, mainly for checking if the destination is reachable.

    logEvents

    The actual log data, represented as an array of log event records. The "id" property is a unique identifier for every log event.

Example 2: Subscription filters with Amazon Lambda

In this example, you'll create a CloudWatch Logs subscription filter that sends log data to your Amazon Lambda function.

Note

Before you create the Lambda function, calculate the volume of log data that will be generated. Be sure to create a function that can handle this volume. If the function does not have enough volume, the log stream will be throttled. For more information about Lambda limits, see Amazon Lambda Limits.

To create a subscription filter for Lambda
  1. Create the Amazon Lambda function.

    Ensure that you have set up the Lambda execution role. For more information, see Step 2.2: Create an IAM Role (execution role) in the Amazon Lambda Developer Guide.

  2. Open a text editor and create a file named helloWorld.js with the following contents:

    var zlib = require('zlib'); exports.handler = function(input, context) { var payload = Buffer.from(input.awslogs.data, 'base64'); zlib.gunzip(payload, function(e, result) { if (e) { context.fail(e); } else { result = JSON.parse(result.toString()); console.log("Event Data:", JSON.stringify(result, null, 2)); context.succeed(); } }); };
  3. Zip the file helloWorld.js and save it with the name helloWorld.zip.

  4. Use the following command, where the role is the Lambda execution role you set up in the first step:

    aws lambda create-function \ --function-name helloworld \ --zip-file fileb://file-path/helloWorld.zip \ --role lambda-execution-role-arn \ --handler helloWorld.handler \ --runtime nodejs12.x
  5. Grant CloudWatch Logs the permission to execute your function. Use the following command, replacing the placeholder account with your own account and the placeholder log group with the log group to process:

    aws lambda add-permission \ --function-name "helloworld" \ --statement-id "helloworld" \ --principal "logs.amazonaws.com" \ --action "lambda:InvokeFunction" \ --source-arn "arn:aws:logs:region:123456789123:log-group:TestLambda:*" \ --source-account "123456789012"
  6. Create a subscription filter using the following command, replacing the placeholder account with your own account and the placeholder log group with the log group to process:

    aws logs put-subscription-filter \ --log-group-name myLogGroup \ --filter-name demo \ --filter-pattern "" \ --destination-arn arn:aws:lambda:region:123456789123:function:helloworld
  7. (Optional) Test using a sample log event. At a command prompt, run the following command, which will put a simple log message into the subscribed stream.

    To see the output of your Lambda function, navigate to the Lambda function where you will see the output in /aws/lambda/helloworld:

    aws logs put-log-events --log-group-name myLogGroup --log-stream-name stream1 --log-events "[{\"timestamp\":<CURRENT TIMESTAMP MILLIS> , \"message\": \"Simple Lambda Test\"}]"

    You should expect to see a response with an array of Lambda. The Data attribute in the Lambda record is base64 encoded and compressed with the gzip format. The actual payload that Lambda receives is in the following format { "awslogs": {"data": "BASE64ENCODED_GZIP_COMPRESSED_DATA"} } You can examine the raw data from the command line using the following Unix commands:

    echo -n "<BASE64ENCODED_GZIP_COMPRESSED_DATA>" | base64 -d | zcat

    The base64 decoded and decompressed data is formatted as JSON with the following structure:

    { "owner": "123456789012", "logGroup": "CloudTrail", "logStream": "123456789012_CloudTrail_us-east-1", "subscriptionFilters": [ "Destination" ], "messageType": "DATA_MESSAGE", "logEvents": [ { "id": "31953106606966983378809025079804211143289615424298221568", "timestamp": 1432826855000, "message": "{\"eventVersion\":\"1.03\",\"userIdentity\":{\"type\":\"Root\"}" }, { "id": "31953106606966983378809025079804211143289615424298221569", "timestamp": 1432826855000, "message": "{\"eventVersion\":\"1.03\",\"userIdentity\":{\"type\":\"Root\"}" }, { "id": "31953106606966983378809025079804211143289615424298221570", "timestamp": 1432826855000, "message": "{\"eventVersion\":\"1.03\",\"userIdentity\":{\"type\":\"Root\"}" } ] }

    The key elements in the above data structure are the following:

    owner

    The Amazon Account ID of the originating log data.

    logGroup

    The log group name of the originating log data.

    logStream

    The log stream name of the originating log data.

    subscriptionFilters

    The list of subscription filter names that matched with the originating log data.

    messageType

    Data messages will use the "DATA_MESSAGE" type. Sometimes CloudWatch Logs may emit Lambda records with a "CONTROL_MESSAGE" type, mainly for checking if the destination is reachable.

    logEvents

    The actual log data, represented as an array of log event records. The "id" property is a unique identifier for every log event.

Example 3: Subscription filters with Amazon Data Firehose

In this example, you'll create a CloudWatch Logs subscription that sends any incoming log events that match your defined filters to your Amazon Data Firehose delivery stream. Data sent from CloudWatch Logs to Amazon Data Firehose is already compressed with gzip level 6 compression, so you do not need to use compression within your Firehose delivery stream. You can then use the decompression feature in Firehose to automatically decompress the logs. For more information, see Writing to Kinesis Data Firehose Using CloudWatch Logs.

Note

Before you create the Firehose stream, calculate the volume of log data that will be generated. Be sure to create a Firehose stream that can handle this volume. If the stream cannot handle the volume, the log stream will be throttled. For more information about Firehose stream volume limits, see Amazon Data Firehose Data Limits.

To create a subscription filter for Firehose
  1. Create an Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket. We recommend that you use a bucket that was created specifically for CloudWatch Logs. However, if you want to use an existing bucket, skip to step 2.

    Run the following command, replacing the placeholder Region with the Region you want to use:

    aws s3api create-bucket --bucket my-bucket --create-bucket-configuration LocationConstraint=region

    The following is example output:

    { "Location": "/my-bucket" }
  2. Create the IAM role that grants Amazon Data Firehose permission to put data into your Amazon S3 bucket.

    For more information, see Controlling Access with Amazon Data Firehose in the Amazon Data Firehose Developer Guide.

    First, use a text editor to create a trust policy in a file ~/TrustPolicyForFirehose.json as follows:

    { "Statement": { "Effect": "Allow", "Principal": { "Service": "firehose.amazonaws.com" }, "Action": "sts:AssumeRole" } }
  3. Use the create-role command to create the IAM role, specifying the trust policy file. Note of the returned Role.Arn value, as you will need it in a later step:

    aws iam create-role \ --role-name FirehosetoS3Role \ --assume-role-policy-document file://~/TrustPolicyForFirehose.json { "Role": { "AssumeRolePolicyDocument": { "Statement": { "Action": "sts:AssumeRole", "Effect": "Allow", "Principal": { "Service": "firehose.amazonaws.com" } } }, "RoleId": "AAOIIAH450GAB4HC5F431", "CreateDate": "2015-05-29T13:46:29.431Z", "RoleName": "FirehosetoS3Role", "Path": "/", "Arn": "arn:aws:iam::123456789012:role/FirehosetoS3Role" } }
  4. Create a permissions policy to define what actions Firehose can do on your account. First, use a text editor to create a permissions policy in a file ~/PermissionsForFirehose.json:

    { "Statement": [ { "Effect": "Allow", "Action": [ "s3:AbortMultipartUpload", "s3:GetBucketLocation", "s3:GetObject", "s3:ListBucket", "s3:ListBucketMultipartUploads", "s3:PutObject" ], "Resource": [ "arn:aws:s3:::my-bucket", "arn:aws:s3:::my-bucket/*" ] } ] }
  5. Associate the permissions policy with the role using the following put-role-policy command:

    aws iam put-role-policy --role-name FirehosetoS3Role --policy-name Permissions-Policy-For-Firehose --policy-document file://~/PermissionsForFirehose.json
  6. Create a destination Firehose delivery stream as follows, replacing the placeholder values for RoleARN and BucketARN with the role and bucket ARNs that you created:

    aws firehose create-delivery-stream \ --delivery-stream-name 'my-delivery-stream' \ --s3-destination-configuration \ '{"RoleARN": "arn:aws:iam::123456789012:role/FirehosetoS3Role", "BucketARN": "arn:aws:s3:::my-bucket"}'

    Note that Firehose automatically uses a prefix in YYYY/MM/DD/HH UTC time format for delivered Amazon S3 objects. You can specify an extra prefix to be added in front of the time format prefix. If the prefix ends with a forward slash (/), it appears as a folder in the Amazon S3 bucket.

  7. Wait until the stream becomes active (this might take a few minutes). You can use the Firehose describe-delivery-stream command to check the DeliveryStreamDescription.DeliveryStreamStatus property. In addition, note the DeliveryStreamDescription.DeliveryStreamARN value, as you will need it in a later step:

    aws firehose describe-delivery-stream --delivery-stream-name "my-delivery-stream" { "DeliveryStreamDescription": { "HasMoreDestinations": false, "VersionId": "1", "CreateTimestamp": 1446075815.822, "DeliveryStreamARN": "arn:aws:firehose:us-east-1:123456789012:deliverystream/my-delivery-stream", "DeliveryStreamStatus": "ACTIVE", "DeliveryStreamName": "my-delivery-stream", "Destinations": [ { "DestinationId": "destinationId-000000000001", "S3DestinationDescription": { "CompressionFormat": "UNCOMPRESSED", "EncryptionConfiguration": { "NoEncryptionConfig": "NoEncryption" }, "RoleARN": "delivery-stream-role", "BucketARN": "arn:aws:s3:::my-bucket", "BufferingHints": { "IntervalInSeconds": 300, "SizeInMBs": 5 } } } ] } }
  8. Create the IAM role that grants CloudWatch Logs permission to put data into your Firehose delivery stream. First, use a text editor to create a trust policy in a file ~/TrustPolicyForCWL.json:

    This policy includes a aws:SourceArn global condition context key to help prevent the confused deputy security problem. For more information, see Confused deputy prevention.

    { "Statement": { "Effect": "Allow", "Principal": { "Service": "logs.amazonaws.com" }, "Action": "sts:AssumeRole", "Condition": { "StringLike": { "aws:SourceArn": "arn:aws:logs:region:123456789012:*" } } } }
  9. Use the create-role command to create the IAM role, specifying the trust policy file. Note of the returned Role.Arn value, as you will need it in a later step:

    aws iam create-role \ --role-name CWLtoKinesisFirehoseRole \ --assume-role-policy-document file://~/TrustPolicyForCWL.json { "Role": { "AssumeRolePolicyDocument": { "Statement": { "Action": "sts:AssumeRole", "Effect": "Allow", "Principal": { "Service": "logs.amazonaws.com" }, "Condition": { "StringLike": { "aws:SourceArn": "arn:aws:logs:region:123456789012:*" } } } }, "RoleId": "AAOIIAH450GAB4HC5F431", "CreateDate": "2015-05-29T13:46:29.431Z", "RoleName": "CWLtoKinesisFirehoseRole", "Path": "/", "Arn": "arn:aws:iam::123456789012:role/CWLtoKinesisFirehoseRole" } }
  10. Create a permissions policy to define what actions CloudWatch Logs can do on your account. First, use a text editor to create a permissions policy file (for example, ~/PermissionsForCWL.json):

    { "Statement":[ { "Effect":"Allow", "Action":["firehose:PutRecord"], "Resource":[ "arn:aws:firehose:region:account-id:deliverystream/delivery-stream-name"] } ] }
  11. Associate the permissions policy with the role using the put-role-policy command:

    aws iam put-role-policy --role-name CWLtoKinesisFirehoseRole --policy-name Permissions-Policy-For-CWL --policy-document file://~/PermissionsForCWL.json
  12. After the Amazon Data Firehose delivery stream is in active state and you have created the IAM role, you can create the CloudWatch Logs subscription filter. The subscription filter immediately starts the flow of real-time log data from the chosen log group to your Amazon Data Firehose delivery stream:

    aws logs put-subscription-filter \ --log-group-name "CloudTrail" \ --filter-name "Destination" \ --filter-pattern "{$.userIdentity.type = Root}" \ --destination-arn "arn:aws:firehose:region:123456789012:deliverystream/my-delivery-stream" \ --role-arn "arn:aws:iam::123456789012:role/CWLtoKinesisFirehoseRole"
  13. After you set up the subscription filter, CloudWatch Logs will forward all the incoming log events that match the filter pattern to your Amazon Data Firehose delivery stream. Your data will start appearing in your Amazon S3 based on the time buffer interval set on your Amazon Data Firehose delivery stream. Once enough time has passed, you can verify your data by checking your Amazon S3 Bucket.

    aws s3api list-objects --bucket 'my-bucket' --prefix 'firehose/' { "Contents": [ { "LastModified": "2015-10-29T00:01:25.000Z", "ETag": "\"a14589f8897f4089d3264d9e2d1f1610\"", "StorageClass": "STANDARD", "Key": "firehose/2015/10/29/00/my-delivery-stream-2015-10-29-00-01-21-a188030a-62d2-49e6-b7c2-b11f1a7ba250", "Owner": { "DisplayName": "cloudwatch-logs", "ID": "1ec9cf700ef6be062b19584e0b7d84ecc19237f87b5" }, "Size": 593 }, { "LastModified": "2015-10-29T00:35:41.000Z", "ETag": "\"a7035b65872bb2161388ffb63dd1aec5\"", "StorageClass": "STANDARD", "Key": "firehose/2015/10/29/00/my-delivery-stream-2015-10-29-00-35-40-7cc92023-7e66-49bc-9fd4-fc9819cc8ed3", "Owner": { "DisplayName": "cloudwatch-logs", "ID": "1ec9cf700ef6be062b19584e0b7d84ecc19237f87b6" }, "Size": 5752 } ] }
    aws s3api get-object --bucket 'my-bucket' --key 'firehose/2015/10/29/00/my-delivery-stream-2015-10-29-00-01-21-a188030a-62d2-49e6-b7c2-b11f1a7ba250' testfile.gz { "AcceptRanges": "bytes", "ContentType": "application/octet-stream", "LastModified": "Thu, 29 Oct 2015 00:07:06 GMT", "ContentLength": 593, "Metadata": {} }

    The data in the Amazon S3 object is compressed with the gzip format. You can examine the raw data from the command line using the following Unix command:

    zcat testfile.gz