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Today we are happy to announce a new release of the Banzai Cloud logging operator. It’s been a long time from the first commits till today, and is always nice to look back, learn and reflect on the evolution of the project. The first major release, June 2018 This was the very first release, and among the first operators we made. The operator pattern was pretty new, and the goal of the first logging operator was fairly simple - automate the manual fluent ecosystem configurations we were doing for our customers with the Pipeline platform.
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At Banzai Cloud we support and manage hybrid Kubernetes clusters for our customers across five clouds and on-prem (bare metal, VMware). Therefore, the ability and fluency required to observe these clusters is an absolute must. Very frequently, the Pipeline control plane is tasked with managing multiple Kubernetes clusters, which it does through our own CNCF certified Kubernetes distribution, PKE, or a cloud provider-managed distribution. When that happens, it's important that we federate metrics, collect them into a single place for querying, analysis and long term storage.
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Without a doubt Prometheus has become the de facto standard monitoring solution for Kubernetes, the same way it has become a core component of the Pipeline platform's monitoring service. However, Prometheus already has a well defined mission with a focus on alerts and the storage of recent metrics. Prometheus’ local storage is limited by single nodes in its scalability and durability. Instead of trying to solve clustered storage in Prometheus itself, Prometheus has a set of interfaces that allow integration through remote storage systems.
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Kubernetes is a highly extensible framework that is built from a bunch of loosely coupled components. This gives a very high level of flexibility, but adds some new challenges to the operation compared to monolithic solutions of similar systems of the past. One of these challenges is observability, especially log collection. This post describes how to collect the logs of Kubernetes components in detail, but does not discuss the collection of application (workload) logs.
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Frequent readers of our blog and users of our hybrid cloud container management platform, Pipeline, will be familiar with the integrated cluster services that come with it. These services are automated end-to-end solutions for centralized logging, federated monitoring, security scans, advanced credential management, autoscaling, registries and lots more (see, for example, automated DNS management for Kubernetes). Providing an automated logging solution, and making sure it works seamlessly across multiple clusters, has always been part of Pipeline.
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On this blog we've already discussed our totally redesigned logging operator, which automates logging pipelines on Kubernetes. Thanks to the tremendous amount of feedback and the numerous contributions we received from our community, we've been able to rethink and redesign that operator from scratch, but the improvements aren't going to stop coming any time soon. Our goal is to continue removing the burden from human operators, and to help them manage the complex architectures of Kubernetes.
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About a year ago we published the first release of our popular logging-operator. The initial version of that operator was designed to fit Pipeline, the Banzai Cloud hybrid cloud container management platform. However, since then, all kinds of people have found it to be an extremely useful tool that helps them manage their logs on Kubernetes. Initially, Fluent ecosystem automation was enough to support the disparate needs of our userbase, but, as the popularity of the logging-operator grew, different setups were put in place by our community that revealed some of its limitations.
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Two core features of the Pipeline platform are advanced security and observability for all Kubernetes deployments. We make sure that all secrets are securely stored, transported, images scanned, deployments monitored, and logs centrally collected. As you might expect from us, we use the industry standard in security components, such as Vault, Prometheus, Grafana, Fluent and more. This post is about monitoring Vault with Prometheus (on Kubernetes) and displaying metrics on Grafana.
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Update: Logging operator v3 (released March, 2020) We're constantly improving the logging-operator based on feature requests of our ops team and our customers. The main features of version 3.0 are: Log routing based on namespaces Excluding logs Select (or exclude) logs based on hosts and container names Logging operator documentation is now available on the Banzai Cloud site. Check The Kubernetes logging operator reloaded post for details.
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Jun 25 2018

Hands on Thanos

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Here at Banzai Cloud we blog a lot about Prometheus and how to use it. One of the problems we have so far neglected to discuss is the inadequate long term storage capability of Prometheus. Luckily a new project called Thanos seeks to address this. If you are not familiar with Prometheus, or are interested in other monitoring related articles, check out our monitoring series, here: Monitoring series: Monitoring Apache Spark with Prometheus Monitoring multiple federated clusters with Prometheus - the secure way Application monitoring with Prometheus and Pipeline Building a cloud cost management system on top of Prometheus Monitoring Spark with Prometheus, reloaded
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