Sending Schneider Citect SCADA logs to Logstash


Collecting logs from Schneider Citect SCADA and sending them to Logstash could be complex because of the unique combination of the log source and the desired destination. In this post, we will look at how you can forward log data from Schneider Citect SCADA to Logstash by incorporating the NXLog log collection tool.

Schneider Citect SCADA

Citect SCADA is a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition solution from Schneider Electric that is typically deployed in the manufacturing industry for monitoring and controlling production equipment and the delivery of utilities. Citect SCADA can monitor your operational systems in real time and retrieve important plant-related data since it is the primary user interface in your production environment. It is used in large manufacturing plants as well as smaller facilities for analyzing data using enhanced configuration capabilities.

Collecting Citect SCADA logs

Citect SCADA produces a wide variety of logs about its operation. Some of these logs are maintained in Windows Event Log, but most are available only as flat files.

Due to the critical nature and scope of the systems Citect SCADA controls, there is no room for error. Its stable, uninterrupted operation is crucial to plant safety. Although the logs Citect SCADA generates contain valuable information about the systems it controls, the relatively high level of log noise and the lack of a consistent log format present some challenges.

NXLog Enterprise Edition is a lightweight, modular log collection tool capable of tackling the most demanding cases log collection may pose. Its rich features allow it to read almost any log format and parse fields to produce structured data for further processing. It is the perfect tool for monitoring and collecting Citect SCADA logs.

Collecting Citect SCADA logs from Windows Event Log

Windows Event Log is the primary logging facility on the Windows platform. The logs Citect SCADA generates contain driver traffic, updates, and system-related information. Citect SCADA creates two separate Windows Event Log entries for Schneider Electric: SUT Service for Schneider Electric software updates and Runtime Manager logs. It can also read data directly from the Schneider Electric SUT Service source.

Collecting Citect SCADA logs from file

File-based Citect SCADA logs include changelog, syslog, tracelog, and software update logs. These logs are stored in the C:\ProgramData\Schneider Electric\Citect SCADA 2018\Logs directory and, in most cases, do not follow a consistent formatting scheme.

Network Monitoring on Citect SCADA

NXLog has a unique feature that enables it to collect events from the communication channels between Citect SCADA devices and other computers on the network. NXLog’s passive monitoring of network traffic along with its ability to monitor most network protocols commonly used by SCADA systems, and generate logs from such network activity, make it a valuable logging tool when used with Citect SCADA.

The easiest way to collect and normalize Citect SCADA log data is to use NXLog. With its unique capabilities, it can collect logs from literally any file in any format. Given the wide variation in format and structure of such log files, NXLog is ideally suited for these systems.

For more information on integrating NXLog with Citect SCADA, see the Schneider Electric Citect SCADA integration guide.

The sources mentioned above and NXLog’s features play an important role in normalizing logs accepted by Logstash.

Sending logs to Logstash

Logstash is a data collection and processing tool. It is often used as part of the ELK stack (Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana) to collect logs from various sources, normalize them, and forward them to Elasticsearch. NXLog and Logstash can be configured to exchange log data between each other in various formats, including JSON and syslog, and over different transport protocols such as TCP, UDP, and HTTP(S).

NXLog as a data shipper for Logstash

Due to Logstash being resource-intensive and requiring Java to run, it is often used as an ingester, with different data shippers forwarding logs to it. NXLog, with its small resource footprint, can act as a data shipper for Logstash with the benefit of being an all-in-one solution. An NXLog installation can collect and process logs from different sources on the same host, all configured within a single configuration file.

Sending logs to Logstash

Logstash supports data ingestion from various sources through its many input plugins and can process data in various formats by using filters and codec plugins. NXLog also offers a vast selection of output modules and extensions that can forward logs in the data formats and ingestion methods supported by Logstash.

For more information on configuring NXLog and sending logs to Logstash, see the Logstash integration guide in the NXLog User Guide.

NXLog Ltd. develops multi-platform log collection tools that support many different log sources, formats, transports, and integrations. The tools help administrators collect, parse, and forward logs so they can more easily respond to security issues, investigate operational problems, and analyze event data. NXLog distributes the free and open source NXLog Community Edition and offers additional features and support with the NXLog Enterprise Edition.

This document is provided for informational purposes only and is subject to change without notice. Trademarks are the properties of their respective owners.