Capturing log messages from Viya deployments

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In a previous post, I discussed using logs to troubleshoot problems in your Viya environment. In this post, I will look at some additional ways to troubleshoot using some of the tools provided by the Viya Operations Infrastructure. With applications, servers and numerous micro-services all working together and generating their own logs in Viya, it can be difficult to find relevant logs. In order to manage the large number of logs and to enable you to locate messages of interest, the operations infrastructure provides components to collect and store log messages.

The collection process is illustrated in the diagram below.

Co-ordinated by the operations infrastructure:

  • sas-watch log continuously collects and sends log messages to the RabbitMQ exchange
  • sas-stream pulls the messages from RabbitMQ and writes them to disk as a tab-separated value (TSV) file
  • Every five minutes, the sas-ops-agentsrv runs the DatamartEtl task to extract log messages from the TSV file and load them into the VIYALOGS CAS-indexed search table

SAS Environment Manager uses the information in the VIYALOGS table and the VIYALOGS_SOURCES tables to display log messages and graphs that contain the frequency and trends of messages. The SAS Environment Manager LOG’s interface makes it really easy to search and analyze log messages. Using the interface, you can view, subset and search logs. The interface has the filtering capabilities on the left hand side and displays the messages on the right. By default, the filter is set to display all messages from all applications and services from the last 30 minutes.

You can modify the filter to extend or shorten the timeframe, subset the level of messages displayed or the source (service/application) that the messages are coming from. You can also search for any text within a message.

Many administrators would prefer a command-line interface, and the good news is there is one.

sas-ops is a command-line interface which allows for the monitoring of the operational infrastructure in a SAS Viya deployment environment.

I have found the sas-ops log command very useful to troubleshoot problems. The sas-ops log command can be used to stream log messages that are generated by SAS Viya applications and services. The messages can be streamed to a terminal window or piped to a file. The sas-ops logs command is located at /opt/sas/viya/home/bin and can be run from any machine in a Viya environment that is included in the CommandLine.

When would you use sas-ops logs to stream log messages? Some potential scenarios are to:

  • troubleshoot a poorly performing report or analysis
  • debug problems in the environment such as logon issues
  • monitor access to resources

In these cases, using sas-ops logs you can stream the log messages from all services to a single file or terminal.

In its simplest form, the command live streams all log messages from a Viya environment to the terminal. Selecting CTRC+C will stop the streaming.

./sas-ops logs

Partial output from the stream is shown below.

If you want to save the output, you can redirect the stream to a file.

 ./sas-ops logs > /tmp/mylog.log

You can get more creative and achieve more complex tasks. You can change the format of the message output using –format. For example, to create a file with json which could be read by another process use:

./sas-ops logs –format pretty > mylogs.json

You can also:

  • stream messages for just a specific Viya service
  • filter logs messages by text in a regular expression
  • stream for a specific duration

The duration is specified using the format 0h0m0s0ms, but you can also use individual parts of the specification, for example 30s for 30 seconds or 5m for 5 minutes.

Consider the situation where we want to monitor access to a particular CAS table over a specific period of time. The command below will output to a file all messages that contain the table name HR_SUMMARY for a period of 5 minutes.

./sas-ops logs –match HR_SUMMARY –timeout 5m >  /tmp/hr_summary_access.log

The output shows all the CAS actions that were performed on the table during the time period.

You can subset the stream to one service.

Consider a case where a user is having an issue logging in and you suspect you have an issue with the LDAP setup. To check the problem, you can firstly enable DEBUG logging on com.sas.identities. Then stream the log messages from the identities service.

./sas-ops logs –format pretty –source identities > logonerrors.json

Viewing the output shows that there is something wrong with the LDAP query.

I think you will agree that sas-ops logs is a very useful tool for monitoring and troubleshooting issues in a Viya environment. For more information, check out the following resources:

I would like to thank Bryan Ellington for his helpful input with this post.

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About Author

Gerry Nelson

Principal Technical Consultant

Gerry Nelson is a Principal Technical Architect in the Global Enablement and Learning (GEL) Team within SAS R&D's Global Technical Enablement Division. His primary focus is on administration of SAS environments, particularly migration, promotion and upgrading.

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