Collecting logs from Yokogawa FAST/TOOLS and sending them to Elastic could be a complex task due to this rather unique combination of log sources and SIEM solution. In this post we will take a look at how you can forward log data from Yokogawa FAST/TOOLS to Elastic using NXLog.
FAST/TOOLS is Yokogawa’s SCADA software platform. Its client-server architecture comprises three main functional components: a SCADA server, a Web HMI client, and a Web HMI server. The SCADA server is responsible for collecting, processing, and managing the logs it receives from the Web HMI clients. The Web HMI server displays events and other operational data from Web HMI clients while also serving as the human-machine interface for displaying the logs that the SCADA server has processed.
FAST/TOOLS comprises several function-specific modules that include OPC server and client functionality and a history scheduler. The FAST/TOOLS software platform integrates with cloud computing and virtualization infrastructures. It is widely deployed in the oil and gas industry and large manufacturing plants worldwide.
FAST/TOOLS produces a wide variety of logs about its operations.
These logs are available in flat files and stored in the
C:\Users\Public\Yokogawa\tls\log\ system directory.
There is no room for error or trade-offs because Yokogawa FAST/TOOLS monitors and controls the type of operations Its steady, uninterrupted operation is essential to maintaining plant safety. However, due to excessive log noise, valuable information can sometimes remain hidden in the logs it collects. Another challenge is the lack of consistent log formats. The ability to parse data from various log formats is an absolute necessity.
NXLog Enterprise Edition is a lightweight, modular log collection tool capable of tackling the most challenging 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 FAST/TOOLS logs.
- RDBMS data collection
FAST/TOOLS provides an ODBC (open database connectivity) interface that collects data from the FAST/TOOLS data set services layer and sends it directly to an external ODBC compliant database. With FAST/TOOLS, you can view table components and perform faster queries, obtaining much quicker insight into your plant operations. FAST/TOOLS includes an embedded relational database management system (RDBMS) that allows you to execute more complex queries and cross-reference FAST/TOOLS data with your own RDBMS environment.
- Collecting FAST/TOOLS logs from file
FAST/TOOLS' file-based logs include start logs, diagnostics logs, system monitor logs, and systems error logs. The processes that detect system errors send messages to the FAST/TOOLS unsolicited message handler (UMH), which manages all the necessary information present in these logs. This information includes the name of the process that detected the error, a timestamp, and an error code. You can view these application error logs in the
messages.umhfile of the FAST/TOOLS data directory. NXLog is capable of parsing these complex logs by using regular expressions.
- FAST/TOOLS passive network monitoring
FAST/TOOLS supports open platform communications (OPC) functionality and includes an embedded OPC Unified Architecture (UA) environment. It also supports classic OPC for distributed communication (DCOM) links across your network. NXLog can passively monitor your network traffic and generate logs for most network protocols.
NXLog’s data normalization and log aggregation capabilities can extend the functionality of Yokogawa FAST/TOOLS. Because NXLog can collect logs from literally any file in any format, it is ideally suited for integrating with FAST/TOOLS' wide variety of log types and file formats.
For more information on integrating NXLog with this SCADA software environment, visit our detailed Yokogawa FAST/TOOLS integration guide.
The above mentioned log sources, and the features NXLog provides, all play an important role when normalizing logs to meet Elastic’s requirements.
Elasticsearch is a search engine and document database for storing, searching, and analyzing log data that you can deploy locally. On the other hand, Elastic Cloud is a SaaS solution that adds value to Elastic with its cloud-native features, such as managed enterprise search, data visualization, and security.
NXLog can integrate with both products by collecting and sending logs or as a relay, aggregating logs it receives from various sources and forwarding them.
- Elasticsearch logs
NXLog Enterprise Edition provides the om_elasticsearch output module that supports sending logs in bulk to Elasticsearch. With the NXLog Community Edition, the om_http module sends logs to Elasticsearch for low-volume logging scenarios. Because it sends a request to the Elasticsearch HTTP REST API for each event, HTTP request and response latency limit the maximum logging throughput.
- Elastic Cloud logs
The Elasticsearch REST API is used to send logs to the Elastic cloud. For NXLog to connect to the API, it requires an API key, the Elasticsearch endpoint, and the Elastic Cloud CA certificate. These requirements are configured on the main menu under Management > Stack Management.
You can view the log records by logging in to your Elastic Cloud instance. Navigate to Analytics > Discover from the main menu, then select the relevant index pattern to display the data.