Cloud Bigtable Audit Logging Information

This page describes the audit logs created by Cloud Bigtable as part of Cloud Audit Logging.


Google Cloud Platform services write audit logs to help you answer the questions, "Who did what, where, and when?" Your GCP projects each contain only the audit logs for resources that are directly within the project. Other entities, including folders, organizations, and billing accounts, each contain the audit logs for the entity itself.

Cloud Bigtable writes audit logs for Admin Activity, which includes operations that modify the configuration or metadata of a resource. Cloud Bigtable provides these logs by default.

Data Access logs are not available for Cloud Bigtable.

Audited operations

The following table lists the Cloud Bigtable API operations that are audited:

Audit logs category Cloud Bigtable operations
Admin activity logs

Instance operations:

  • CreateInstance
  • DeleteInstance
  • PartialUpdateInstance
  • UpdateInstance

Cluster operations:

  • CreateCluster
  • DeleteCluster
  • UpdateCluster

Table operations:

  • CreateTable
  • DeleteTable
  • ModifyColumnFamilies

Identity and Access Management (IAM) operations:


Audit log format

Audit log entries—which can be viewed in Stackdriver Logging using the Logs Viewer, the API, or the SDK gcloud logging command—include the following objects:

  • The log entry itself, which is an object of type LogEntry. Useful fields include the following:

    • logName contains the project identification and audit log type
    • resource contains the target of the audited operation
    • timeStamp contains the time of the audited operation
    • protoPayload contains the audited information
  • The audit information, which is an AuditLog object held in the protoPayload field of the log entry.

  • Optional service-specific audit information, which is a service-specific object held in the serviceData field of the AuditLog object. For details, see Service-specific audit data.

For other fields in these objects, sample contents of them, and sample queries on information in the objects, see Audit Log Datatypes.

Log name

Cloud Audit Logging log names indicate the project or other entity that owns the audit logs, and whether the log contains Admin Activity or Data Access information. For example, the following shows log names for a project's Admin Activity logs and an organization's Data Access logs.


Service name

Cloud Bigtable audit logs use the service name

For more details on logging services, see Mapping services to resources.

Resource types

Cloud Bigtable audit logs use the resource types bigtable_instance, bigtable_cluster, and bigtable_table. In addition, for IAM operations, audit logs use the resource type audited_resource.

For a full list, see Monitored Resource Types.

Enabling audit logging

Admin Activity audit logs are enabled by default and cannot be disabled.

Data Access logs are not available for Cloud Bigtable.

Audit log permissions

Cloud Identity and Access Management permissions and roles determine which audit logs you can view or export. Logs reside in projects and in some other entities including organizations, folders, and billing accounts. For more information, see Understanding Roles.

To view Admin Activity logs, you must have one of the following Cloud IAM roles in the project that contains your audit logs:

Data Access logs are not available for Cloud Bigtable.

If you are using audit logs from a non-project entity, such as an organization, then change the Project roles to suitable organization roles.

Viewing logs

To view audit logs for one of your projects, do one of the following:

For more details, see the following options:

Basic Viewer

You can use the Logs Viewer basic interface to retrieve your audit log entries by doing the following:

  1. In the first menu, select the resource type whose audit logs you wish to see. Select a specific resource or all of them.
  2. In the second menu, select the log name you want to see: activity for Admin Activity audit logs and data_access for Data Access audit logs. If you do not see one or both of those options, then there are no audit logs of that type available.

Advanced Viewer

  1. Switch to the advanced filter interface in the Logs Viewer.
  2. Create a filter that specifies the resource type(s) and log names you want. For more information, see Retrieving audit logs.


To read your log entries through the Logging API, see entries.list.


To read your log entries using the Cloud SDK gcloud command-line tool, see Reading log entries.

Exporting audit logs

You can export audit logs in the same way you export other kinds of logs. For details about how to export your logs, see Exporting Logs. Here are some applications of exporting audit logs:

  • To keep audit logs for a longer period of time or to use more powerful search capabilities, you can export copies of your audit logs to Cloud Storage, BigQuery, or Cloud Pub/Sub. Using Cloud Pub/Sub, you can export to other applications, other repositories, and to third parties.

  • To manage your audit logs across an entire organization, you can create aggregated export sinks that can export logs from any or all projects in the organization.


Stackdriver gives each GCP project a logs allotment of not less than 50 GB per month.

Audit logs that are enabled by default, including all Admin Activity logs, are free. They do not count against your logs allotment.

For pricing and logs allotment details, see Stackdriver Pricing: Logging Services.