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Today we are excited to announce an improved and expanded way to consume Azure Diagnostic Logs: Streaming via Event Hubs. Azure Diagnostic Logs are logs emitted by a resource and provide insight into the operation of that resource. The content of these logs varies by resource type; for example, Windows event system logs are one category of Diagnostic Log for VMs, and blob, table, and queue logs are categories of Diagnostic Logs for storage accounts. These differ from Audit Logs, which provide insight into the operations that were performed on resources in your subscription. Previously, you could only store these logs for audit in a Storage account. Now, you can easily set up streaming Diagnostic Logs to Event Hubs using the Portal or the Azure PowerShell Cmdlets.

What can I do with Diagnostics Logs and Event Hubs?

Here are just a few ways you might use the streaming capability for Diagnostic Logs:

  • Stream logs to 3rd party logging and telemetry systems – Over time, Event Hubs streaming will become the mechanism to pipe your Diagnostic Logs into 3rd party SIEMs and log analytics solutions.
  • View service health by streaming “hot path” data to Power BI – Using Event Hubs, Stream Analytics, and PowerBI, you can easily transform your diagnostics data into near real-time insights on your Azure services. This documentation article gives a great overview of how to set up an Event Hubs, process data with Stream Analytics, and use Power BI as an output. Here are a few tips for setting this up with Diagnostic Logs:
    • The Event Hubs for a category of Diagnostic Logs is created automatically when you check the option in the portal or enable it through PowerShell, so you will want to select the Event Hubs in the Service Bus namespace with the name that starts with “insights-”
    • Here’s a sample Stream Analytics query you can use to simply parse all of the log data into a PowerBI table:
          records.ArrayValue.[Properties you want to track]
          [OutputSourceName – the PowerBI source]
          [InputSourceName] AS e
      CROSS APPLY GetArrayElements(e.records) AS records
  • Build a custom telemetry and logging platform – If you already have a custom-built telemetry platform or are just thinking about building one, the highly scalable publish-subscribe nature of Event Hubs allows you to flexibly ingest diagnostic logs. See Dan Rosanova’s guide to using Event Hubs in a global scale telemetry platform here.

How do I enable streaming of Diagnostic Logs?

You can enable streaming of Diagnostic Logs either programmatically or via the portal. Either way, you will pick a Service Bus Namespace and an Event Hubs will be created in the namespace for each log category you enable. A Diagnostic Log Category is a type of log that a resource may collect. You can select which log categories you’d like to collect for a particular resource in the Azure Portal under the Diagnostics blade.

Via PowerShell Cmdlets

To enable streaming via the Azure PowerShell Cmdlets, you can use the Set-AzureRmDiagnosticSetting cmdlet with these parameters:

Set-AzureRmDiagnosticSetting -ResourceId [your resource Id] -ServiceBusRuleId [your service bus rule id] -Enabled $true

The Service Bus Rule ID will be a string with this format: {service bus resource ID}/authorizationrules/{key name}.

Note: This option will become available in the next Azure PowerShell update.

Via Azure CLI

To enable streaming via the Azure CLI, you can use the insights diagnostic set command like this:

azure insights diagnostic set --resourceId  --serviceBusRuleId  --enabled true

Note: This option will become available in the next Azure CLI update.

You should use the same format for Service Bus Rule ID as explained for the PowerShell Cmdlet.

Via Azure Portal

To enable streaming via the Azure Portal, navigate to the diagnostics settings of a resource and select ‘Export to Event Hubs.’

In order to configure it, select an existing Service Bus Namespace. The namespace selected will be where the Event Hubs is created (if this is your first time streaming diagnostic logs) or streamed to (if there are already resources that are streaming that log category to this namespace), and the policy defines the permissions the streaming mechanism has. Today, streaming to an Event Hubs requires Manage, Read, and Send permissions. You can create or modify Service Bus Namespace shared access policies in the classic portal under the “Configure” tab for your Service Bus Namespace. To update one of these Diagnostic Settings, the client must have the ListKey permission on the Service Bus Authorization Rule.

How do I consume the log data from Event Hubs?

Here is sample output data from the Event Hubs:

             "time": "2016-07-15T18:00:22.6235064Z",
             "category": "WorkflowRuntime",
             "level": "Error",
             "operationName": "Microsoft.Logic/workflows/workflowActionCompleted",
             "properties": {
             "time": "2016-07-15T18:01:15.7532989Z",
             "category": "WorkflowRuntime",
             "level": "Information",
             "operationName": "Microsoft.Logic/workflows/workflowActionStarted",
             "properties": {
Element Name Description
records An array of all log events in this payload.
time Time at which the event occurred.
category Log category for this event.
resourceId Resource ID of the resource that generated this event.
operationName Name of the operation.
level Optional. Indicates the log event level.
properties Properties of the event. The bulk of the event details will be in this JSON object.

Ability to stream Diagnostic Logs to an Event Hubs will be rolling out over the next few months. Right now, you can get started with the following resources:

  • Network Security Groups
  • Software Load Balancers
  • App Service Gateways
  • Logic Apps
  • Data Lake
  • Search
  • Key Vault

Try it out today and let us know your feedback in the comments section below!

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