Sending GE CIMPLICITY logs to Sumo Logic

Collecting logs from General Electric CIMPLICITY and sending them to Sumo Logic could be complex due to this unique combination of log sources and destination SIEM. This post will show you how to forward log data from GE CIMPLICITY to Sumo Logic using NXLog.

General Electric CIMPLICITY

General Electric CIMPLICITY is a human-machine interface (HMI) and SCADA system solution based on a client-server architecture of servers and viewers. This architecture allows viewers to visualize data and control actions within plants located across the globe. The server’s primary function is to collect and distribute data. A viewer has full access to the data a server has collected once it has connected to that server. The ability to seamlessly network servers and viewers for the purpose of sharing data, configurations, and screens eliminates duplicate work and data. This efficient management of resources facilitates faster access to critical data needed for decision-making. Cimplicity is used in some of the largest manufacturing factories around the world.

Collecting GE CIMPLICITY logs

CIMPLICITY produces a wide variety of logs about its operations. Some of the logs are available through Windows Event Log and network monitoring, but most of the logs are in the format of flat files.

Due to the critical nature and scope of the systems CIMPLICITY controls, there is no room for errors. Its stable, uninterrupted operation is crucial to plant safety. Although CIMPLICITY logs 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. Owing to its rich set of features, it can read almost any log format and parse fields to produce structured data for further processing. For these reasons, it is the perfect tool for monitoring and collecting CIMPLICITY logs.

Logging and Archiving

CIMPLICITY provides a database logger which is capable of collecting, analyzing, and creating reports from a variety of ODBC (open database connectivity) complaint databases. You can create, configure, edit tables, and also specify when and what ODBC data source you would like to gather log events from, for any selected process.

Collecting GE CIMPLICITY logs from Windows Event Log

Windows Event Log is the primary logging facility on the Windows platform. The logs CIMPLICITY services generate contain project log files, system log files, and web configuration services logs. Logs can be read and collected using an event id related to CIMPLICITY or by a given source name.

Collecting GE CIMPLICITY logs from file

CIMPLICITY’s file-based logs include project status and system status logs, counters log files, protocol stack trace logs, as well as optional OPC client debug tracing. With CIMPLICITY Log Viewer’s powerful capabilities, you can view project status and system status log files in other formats including CSV, ASCII, or TXT.

GE CIMPLICITY passive network monitoring

NXLog can passively monitor network traffic and generate logs for most network protocols. This ability to log network communication between servers and viewers can provide another valuable log source.

Data normalization and log aggregation are other features that NXLog can provide CIMPLICITY. With NXLog’s ability to collect logs from literally any file, in any format, it is ideally suited for integrating with CIMPLICITY’s wide variety of log types and file formats.

For more information on integrating NXLog with Cimplicity, see the General Electric CIMPLICITY integration guide.

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

Sending logs to Sumo Logic

Sumo Logic is a real-time SaaS platform that collects, manages, and analyzes log data while securing cloud-scale applications. NXLog can be configured to send log data to Sumo Logic in syslog format over TCP or via a custom HTTP endpoint. It can also be configured to send host metrics via HTTP.

Data collection

Sumo Logic accepts data from two types of collectors, installed or hosted. Installed collectors are set up by installing agent software provided by Sumo Logic, whereas hosted collectors are used to send data over TCP or HTTP(S) from agents like NXLog.

Sending logs using TCP

Sumo Logic accepts log data as syslog messages in IETF (RFC 5424) format and requires sending data using TLS v1.2 over TCP. A Cloud Syslog Source must be created in Sumo Logic to use this method. Syslog messages should fully comply with RFC 5424 guidelines, otherwise Sumo Logic will drop them. Also, it should be noted that messages larger than 64 KB will be truncated.

Sending logs using HTTPS

Logs and host metrics can be sent to Sumo Logic over HTTP(S) using a unique URL generated for each source. An HTTP Logs & Metrics Source must be created in Sumo Logic for NXLog to be able to send data over HTTPS.

Sumo Logic supports metrics in the Graphite, Carbon 2.0, and Prometheus formats. NXLog can be configured to convert data into practically any desired format. It can read and convert the data to another format on the fly while forwarding, without the need to create a temporary file.

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

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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.