Chronicle forwarder for Windows on Docker

This document describes how to install and configure the Chronicle forwarder for Windows on Docker.

System requirements

The following are general recommendations. For recommendations specific to your system, contact Chronicle Support.

  • Windows Server Version: The Chronicle forwarder is supported on Microsoft Windows Server 2022.
  • RAM: 1.5 GB for each collected log type. For example, endpoint detection and response (EDR), DNS, and DHCP are all separate log types. You would need 4.5 GB of RAM to collect data for all three. For a list of supported default parsers and log types, see Supported default parsers.
  • CPU: 2 CPUs are sufficient to handle less than 10,000 events per second (EPS) total across all data types. If you expect to send more than 10,000 EPS, then 4 to 6 CPUs are necessary.
  • Disk: 100 MB of disk space is sufficient, regardless of how much data the Chronicle forwarder handles. You can buffer the disk by adding write_to_disk_buffer_enabled and write_to_disk_dir_path parameters in the configuration file.

    For example:

    - <collector>:
         common:
             ...
             write_to_disk_buffer_enabled: true
             write_to_disk_dir_path: directory_path 
             ...
    

Google IP address ranges

You might need the IP address range to open when setting up a Chronicle forwarder configuration, such as when setting up the configuration for your firewall. It's not possible for Google to provide a specific list of IP addresses. However, you can obtain Google IP address ranges.

Verify the firewall configuration

If you have firewalls or authenticated proxies between the Chronicle forwarder container and the internet, they require rules to allow access to the following Google Cloud hosts:

Connection Type Destination Port
TCP malachiteingestion-pa.googleapis.com 443
TCP asia-northeast1-malachiteingestion-pa.googleapis.com 443
TCP asia-south1-malachiteingestion-pa.googleapis.com 443
TCP asia-southeast1-malachiteingestion-pa.googleapis.com 443
TCP australia-southeast1-malachiteingestion-pa.googleapis.com 443
TCP europe-malachiteingestion-pa.googleapis.com 443
TCP europe-west2-malachiteingestion-pa.googleapis.com 443
TCP europe-west3-malachiteingestion-pa.googleapis.com 443
TCP europe-west6-malachiteingestion-pa.googleapis.com 443
TCP me-central2-malachiteingestion-pa.googleapis.com 443
TCP me-west1-malachiteingestion-pa.googleapis.com 443
TCP accounts.google.com 443
TCP gcr.io 443
TCP oauth2.googleapis.com 443
TCP storage.googleapis.com 443

You can check network connectivity to Google Cloud using the following steps:

  1. Start Windows PowerShell with administrator privileges (Click Start, type PowerShell, right-click Windows PowerShell, and click Run as administrator).

  2. Run the following command.

    C:\> test-netconnection <host> -port <port>

    The command returns that TcpTestSucceeded is true.

    For example:

    C:\> test-netconnection malachiteingestion-pa.googleapis.com -port 443
    ComputerName     :  malachiteingestion-pa.googleapis.com
    RemoteAddress    : 198.51.100.1
    RemotePort       : 443
    InterfaceAlias   : Ethernet
    SourceAddress    : 203.0.113.1
    TcpTestSucceeded : True
    

Install Docker on Microsoft Windows

This section describes how to install Docker on Microsoft Windows using the command-line interface and PowerShell.

Advantages of Chronicle forwarder using a container:

  • Better security through isolation:
    • Customer environment and requirements do not affect Chronicle forwarder.
    • Chronicle forwarder environment and requirements do not affect the customer.
    • Container distribution mechanism already exists and can be private and separate for Google Cloud and customers. For more information, see Artifact Registry.

Complete the following steps on Microsoft Windows Server Core 2022.

  1. Enable the Microsoft Windows container feature.

    Install-WindowsFeature containers -Restart
    
  2. Execute the following command in PowerShell Administrator mode to install Docker CE:

    Invoke-WebRequest -UseBasicParsing "https://raw.githubusercontent.com/microsoft/Windows-Containers/Main/helpful_tools/Install-DockerCE/install-docker-ce.ps1" -o install-docker-ce.ps1
    
    .\install-docker-ce.ps1
    
    
  3. Test the Docker command line interface by running the command docker ps, which returns a list of running containers. If the command does not list any containers that are running, the installation is successful. If Docker is not installed properly, an error is displayed.

    For more information, see Get started: Prep Windows for containers.

    For enterprise deployments, install Mirantis Container Runtime, also known as Docker EE.

Configure the Chronicle forwarder

To configure the Chronicle forwarder for Windows on Docker, see Manage forwarder configurations through the Chronicle UI.

When you configure the Chronicle forwarder, ensure that all paths in the forwarder start with the `c:` prefix.

Any changes made to the configuration file will be automatically applied by the Chronicle forwarder within 5 minutes.

To collect packet data using the Chronicle forwarder for Windows on Docker, see Collect packet data.

Run the Chronicle forwarder within the Docker container

  1. If you are upgrading the Chronicle forwarder, start by cleaning up previous Docker runs. In the following example, the name of the Docker container is cfps.

    docker stop cfps
    
    docker rm cfps
    
  2. Obtain the latest Docker image from Google Cloud using this Docker pull command.

    docker pull gcr.io/chronicle-container/cf_production_stable_windows
    
  3. Start the Chronicle forwarder from the Docker container.

    docker run `
    --detach `
    --name cfps `
    --restart=always `
    --log-opt max-size=100m `
    --log-opt max-file=10 `
    -p 10514:10514 `
    -v C:\config\:C:/opt/chronicle/external `
    gcr.io/chronicle-container/cf_production_stable_windows
    

    You can add multiple ports using multiple options or multiple ranges. For example: -p 3001:3000 -p 2023:2022 or -p 7000-8000:7000-8000

View forwarder logs

To view the Chronicle forwarder logs, execute the following command:

  sudo docker logs cfps

To view the path of the file in which the logs are stored, execute the following command:

docker inspect --format='{{.LogPath}}' CONTAINER_NAME
 

To view the live running logs, execute the following command:

  sudo docker logs cfps -f

To store the logs in a file, execute the following command:

  sudo docker logs cfps &> logs.txt

Uninstall the Chronicle forwarder

The following Docker commands enable you to stop and uninstall or remove the Chronicle forwarder.

This command stops the Chronicle forwarder container:

  docker stop cfps

This command removes the Chronicle forwarder container:

  docker rm cfps

Upgrade the Chronicle forwarder

The Chronicle forwarder for Windows on Docker is constantly updated using a shell script in the Docker image so there is no need to provide any executable for this.

Collect data

The following sections help you configure the Chronicle forwarder to ingest different types of data, which is forwarded to the Chronicle instance.

Do not configure a value greater than 1 MB for batch_n_bytes. If you configure the value greater than 1 MB, it will automatically reset the value to 1 MB.

Collect Splunk data

You can configure the Chronicle forwarder to forward your Splunk data to Chronicle. Google Cloud configures the Chronicle forwarder with the following information to forward your data from Splunk:

  • URL for the Splunk REST API (for example, https://10.0.113.15:8089).

  • Splunk queries to generate data for each of the required data types (for example, index=dns).

FORWARDER_NAME.conf
output:
collectors:
  - splunk:
      common:
        enabled: true
        data_type: WINDOWS_DNS
        data_hint: "#fields ts      uid     id.orig_h       id.orig_p       id.resp_h         id.resp_p       proto   trans_id        query   qclass  qclass_name"
        batch_n_seconds: 10
        batch_n_bytes: 819200
      url: https://127.0.0.1:8089
      is_ignore_cert: true
      minimum_window_size: 10s
      maximum_window_size: 30s
      query_string: search index=* sourcetype=dns
      query_mode: realtime
  • Make your Splunk account credentials available to the Chronicle forwarder. You can do this by creating a creds.txt file.

To use a creds.txt file:

  1. Create a local file for your Splunk credentials and name it creds.txt.

  2. Place your username on the first line and the password on the second line:

    cat creds.txt
    
    myusername
    mypassword
    
  3. To use the Chronicle forwarder to access a Splunk instance, copy the creds.txt file to the configuration directory (the same directory where the configuration files reside). For example:

    cp creds.txt c:/opt/chronicle/config/creds.txt
    
  4. Verify the creds.txt file is in its proper location:

    ls c:/opt/chronicle/config
    

Collect syslog data

The Chronicle forwarder can work as a syslog server. You can configure any appliance or server that supports sending syslog data over a TCP or UDP connection to forward its data to the Chronicle forwarder. You can control the exact data that the appliance or the server sends to the Chronicle forwarder. The Chronicle forwarder can then forward the data to Chronicle.

The FORWARDER_NAME.conf configuration file (provided by Google Cloud) specifies which ports to monitor for each type of forwarded data (for example, port 10514). By default, the Chronicle forwarder accepts both TCP and UDP connections.

Configure rsyslog

To configure rsyslog, you need to specify a target for each port (for example, each data type). Consult your system documentation for the correct syntax. The following examples illustrate the rsyslog target configuration:

  • TCP log traffic: dns.* @@192.168.0.12:10514

  • UDP log traffic: dns.* @192.168.0.12:10514

Enable TLS for syslog configurations

You can enable TLS for the syslog connection to the Chronicle forwarder. In the Chronicle forwarder configuration file (FORWARDER_NAME.conf), specify the location of your own generated certificate and certificate key as shown in the following example:

certificate c:/opt/chronicle/external/certs/client_generated_cert.pem
certificate_key c:/opt/chronicle/external/certs/client_generated_cert.key

Based on the example shown, modify the Chronicle forwarder configuration file (FORWARDER_NAME.conf) as follows:

  collectors:
- syslog:
    common:
      enabled: true
      data_type: WINDOWS_DNS
      data_hint:
      batch_n_seconds: 10
      batch_n_bytes: 1048576
    tcp_address: 0.0.0.0:10515
    tcp_buffer_size: 65536
    connection_timeout_sec: 60
    certificate: "c:/opt/chronicle/external/certs/client_generated_cert.pem"
    certificate_key: "c:/opt/chronicle/external/certs/client_generated_cert.key"
    minimum_tls_version: "TLSv1_3"

A few important points to note:

  • You can configure the TCP buffer size. The default TCP buffer size is 64 KB.

  • The default and recommended value for connection_timeout is 60 seconds. If the connection is inactive for a specified time, then the TCP connection is terminated.

  • The minimum TLS version is checked against the TLS version of the input request. The TLS version of the input request should be greater than the minimum TLS version. The minimum TLS version should be one of the following values: TLSv1_0, TLSv1_1, TLSv1_2, TLSv1_3.

You can create a certs directory under the configuration directory and store the certificate files there.

Collect file data

A file collector is designed to fetch the logs from a file. The file should be bound to the Docker container.

Use this if you want to manually upload logs from a single log file. This can be used to backfill logs for a particular log file.

Start the Chronicle forwarder from the Docker container:

  docker run `
    --name cfps `
    --log-opt max-size=100m `
    --log-opt max-file=10 `
    -p 10514:10514 `
    -v c:/opt/chronicle/config:c:/opt/chronicle/external `
    -v c:/var/log/crowdstrike/falconhoseclient:c:/opt/chronicle/edr `
     gcr.io/chronicle-container/cf_production_stable

You can add multiple ports using multiple options or multiple ranges. For example: -p 3001:3000 -p 2023:2022 or -p 7000-8000:7000-8000

This docker run command is critical to map the load volume to the container.

Based on this example, you should modify the Chronicle forwarder configuration (FORWARDER_NAME.conf file) as follows. The sample.txt file should be present in the /var/log/crowdstrike/falconhostclient folder.

 collectors:
  - file:
       common:
         enabled: true
         data_type: CS_EDR
         data_hint:
         batch_n_seconds: 10
         batch_n_bytes: 1048576
       file_path: c:/opt/chronicle/edr/output/sample.txt
       filter:

Flag configurations

skip_seek_to_end (bool): This flag is set to false by default and the file input only sends new log lines as input. Setting this to true causes all the previous log lines to be sent again during forwarder restarts. This causes log duplication. Setting this flag to true is helpful in certain situations (for example, during outages), because restarting the forwarder sends the missing log lines again.

poll (bool): File collector uses the Tail library to check for any changes in the file system. By setting this flag to true, the Tail library uses the polling method instead of the default notify method.

Collect packet data

The Chronicle forwarder can capture packets directly from a network interface using Npcap on Windows systems.

Packets are captured and sent to Google Cloud instead of log entries. Capture is done from a local interface only.

Contact Chronicle Support to update your Chronicle forwarder configuration file to support packet capture.

To run a Packet Capture (PCAP) forwarder, you need the following:

  • Install Npcap on the Microsoft Windows host.

  • Grant the Chronicle forwarder root or administrator privileges to monitor the network interface.

  • No command-line options are needed.

  • On the Npcap installation, enable WinPcap compatibility mode.

To configure a PCAP forwarder, Google Cloud needs the GUID for the interface used to capture packets. Run getmac.exe on the machine where you plan to install the Chronicle forwarder (either the server or the machine listening on the span port) and send the output to Chronicle.

Alternatively, you could modify the configuration file. Locate the PCAP section and replace the GUID value shown next to interface with GUID displayed from running getmac.exe.

For example, here is an original PCAP section:

- pcap:
      common:
        enabled: true
        data_type: PCAP_DNS
        batch_n_seconds: 10
        batch_n_bytes: 1048576
      interface: \Device\NPF_{1A7E7C8B-DD7B-4E13-9637-0437AB1A12FE}
      bpf: udp port 53

Here is the output from running getmac.exe:

C:\>getmac.exe
  Physical Address    Transport Name
  ===========================================================================
  A4-73-9F-ED-E1-82   \Device\Tcpip_{2E0E9440-ABFF-4E5B-B43C-E188FCAD1234}

And finally, here is the revised PCAP section with the new GUID:

- pcap:
      common:
        enabled: true
        data_type: PCAP_DNS
        batch_n_seconds: 10
        batch_n_bytes: 1048576
      interface: \Device\NPF_{2E0E9440-ABFF-4E5B-B43C-E188FCAD9734}
      bpf: udp port 53

Collect data from Kafka topic

You can ingest data from the Kafka topics just like you can from syslog. The consumer groups are used to enable you to deploy up to three Chronicle forwarders and pull data from the same Kafka topic. For more information, refer to Kafka.

For more information on Kafka consumer groups, refer to Kafka consumer groups

Example configuration: Kafka input

The following Chronicle forwarder configuration shows how to set up the Chronicle forwarder to ingest data from the Kafka topics.

FORWARDER_NAME.conf file

collectors:
- kafka:
      common:
        batch_n_bytes: 1048576
        batch_n_seconds: 10
        data_hint: null
        data_type: NIX_SYSTEM
        enabled: true
      topic: example-topic
      group_id: chronicle-forwarder
      timeout: 60s
      brokers: ["broker-1:9092", "broker-2:9093"]
      tls:
        insecureSkipVerify: true
        certificate: "c:/path/to/cert.pem"
        certificate_key: "c:/path/to/cert.key"
- syslog:
      common:
        batch_n_bytes: 1048576
        batch_n_seconds: 10
        data_hint: null
        data_type: WINEVTLOG
        enabled: true
      tcp_address: 0.0.0.0:30001
      connection_timeout_sec: 60

FORWARDER_NAME_auth.conf file

collectors:
- kafka:
      username: user
      password: password
- syslog:

Collect WebProxy data

The Chronicle forwarder can capture WebProxy data directly from a network interface using Npcap and send it to Google Cloud.

To enable WebProxy data capture for your system, contact Chronicle Support.

Before you run a WebProxy forwarder, do the following:

  1. Install Npcap on the Microsoft Windows host. Enable WinPcap compatibility mode during the installation.

  2. Grant root or administrator privileges to the Chronicle forwarder to monitor the network interface.

  3. To configure a WebProxy forwarder, Google Cloud needs the GUID for the interface used to capture the WebProxy packets.

    Run getmac.exe on the machine where you want to install the Chronicle forwarder and send the output to Chronicle. Alternatively, you can modify the configuration file. Locate the WebProxy section and replace the GUID shown next to the interface with the GUID displayed after running getmac.exe.

    Modify the Chronicle forwarder configuration (FORWARDER_NAME.conf) file as follows:

      - webproxy:
        common:
            enabled : true
            data_type: <Your LogType>
            batch_n_seconds: 10
            batch_n_bytes: 1048576
          interface: \Device\NPF_{2E0E9440-ABFF-4E5B-B43C-E188FCAD9734}
          bpf: tcp and dst port 80
    

Customize configurations

The following table lists important parameters used in the forwarder configuration file.

Parameter Description
data_type The type of log data that the collector can collect and process.
metadata Metadata, which overrides global metadata.
max_file_buffer_bytes Maximum number of bytes that can be accumulated in the disk or file buffer. The default value is 1073741824, which is 1 GB.
max_memory_buffer_bytes Maximum number of bytes that can be accumulated in the memory buffer. The default value is 1073741824, which is 1 GB.
write_to_disk_dir_path The path to be used for file or disk buffer.
write_to_disk_buffer_enabled If true, disk buffer is used instead of memory buffer. The default value is false.
batch_n_bytes Maximum number of bytes that can be accumulated by the collector after which the data is batched. The default value is 1048576, which is 1 MB.
batch_n_seconds The number of seconds after which the data gathered by the collector is batched. The default value is 11 seconds.
data_hint Data format that the collector can receive (usually the log file header that describes the format).

For an extensive list of parameters used in the configuration file, see Forwarder configuration fields and Collector configuration fields.

Toggle data compression

Log compression reduces network bandwidth consumption when transferring logs to Chronicle. However, the compression might cause an increase in CPU usage. The trade-off between CPU usage and bandwidth depends on many factors, including the type of log data, the compressibility of that data, the availability of CPU cycles on the host running the Chronicle forwarder, and the need for reducing network bandwidth consumption.

For example, text-based logs compress well and can provide substantial bandwidth savings with low CPU usage. However, encrypted payloads of raw packets do not compress well and incur higher CPU usage.

By default, log compression is disabled. Enabling log compression might reduce bandwidth consumption. However, enabling log compression might also increase CPU usage. Be aware of the trade-off.

To enable log compression, set the compression field to true in the Chronicle forwarder configuration file as shown in the following example:

FORWARDER_NAME.conf file

output:
  compression: true
    url: malachiteingestion-pa.googleapis.com:443
    identity:
      identity:
      collector_id: 10479925-878c-11e7-9421-10604b7cb5c1
      customer_id: ebdc4bb9-878b-11e7-8455-10604b7cb5c1
...

The FORWARDER_NAME_auth.conf file

output:
  identity:
    secret_key: |
    {
     "type": "service_account",
...
    }

Configure disk buffering

Disk buffering enables you to buffer backlogged messages to disk as opposed to memory. The backlogged messages can be stored in case the Chronicle forwarder crashes or the underlying host crashes. Be aware that enabling disk buffering can affect performance.

If disk buffering is disabled, the Chronicle forwarder uses 1 GB of memory (RAM) for each log type (for example, for each connector). Specify the max_memory_buffer_bytes configuration parameter. The maximum memory allowed is 4 GB.

You can configure automatic disk buffering to use a dynamically shared buffer across collectors, which deals better with spikes in traffic. To enable the dynamically shared buffer, add the following in your forwarder config:

auto_buffer:
  enabled: true
  target_memory_utilization: 80

If automatic disk buffering is enabled but target_memory_utilization is not defined, it uses a default value of 70.

If you are running the Chronicle forwarder using Docker, Google recommends mounting a volume separate from your configuration volume for isolation purposes. Also, each input should be isolated with its own directory or volume to avoid conflicts.

Example configuration: disk buffering

The following configuration includes syntax to enable disk buffering:

collectors:
- syslog:
    common:
      write_to_disk_buffer_enabled: true
      # c:/buffers/NIX_SYSTEM is part of the external mounted volume for the
forwarder
      write_to_disk_dir_path: c:/buffers/NIX_SYSTEM
      max_file_buffer_bytes: 1073741824
      batch_n_bytes: 1048576
      batch_n_seconds: 10
      data_hint: null
      data_type: NIX_SYSTEM
      enabled: true
    tcp_address: 0.0.0.0:30000
    connection_timeout_sec: 60
- syslog:
    common:
      batch_n_bytes: 1048576
      batch_n_seconds: 10
      data_hint: null
      data_type: WINEVTLOG
      enabled: true
    tcp_address: 0.0.0.0:30001
    connection_timeout_sec: 60

Set regular expression filters

Regular expression filters enable you to filter logs based on regular expression matches against raw logs.

The filters employ the RE2 syntax.

The filters must include a regular expression and, optionally, define a behavior when there is a match. The default behavior on a match is block (you can also explicitly configure it as block).

Alternatively, you can specify filters with the allow behavior. If you specify any allow filters, the Chronicle forwarder blocks any logs that do not match at least one allow filter.

It is possible to define an arbitrary number of filters. Block filters take precedence over allow filters.

When filters are defined, they must be assigned a name. The names of active filters will be reported to Chronicle using Forwarder health metrics. Filters defined at the root of the configuration are merged with filters defined at the collector level. The collector level filters take precedence in cases of conflicting names. If no filters are defined either at the root or collector level, the behavior is to allow all.

Example configuration: regular expression filters

In the following Chronicle forwarder configuration, the WINEVTLOG logs that do not match the root filter (allow_filter) are blocked. Given the regular expression, the filter only allows logs with priorities between 0 and 99. However, any NIX_SYSTEM logs containing 'foo' or 'bar' are blocked, despite the allow_filter. This is because the filters use a logical OR. All logs are processed until a filter is triggered.

regex_filters:
  allow_filter:
    regexp: ^<[1-9][0-9]?$>.*$
    behavior_on_match: allow
collectors:
- syslog:
    common:
      regex_filters:
        block_filter_1:
          regexp: ^.*foo.*$
          behavior_on_match: block
        block_filter_2:
          regexp: ^.*bar.*$
      batch_n_bytes: 1048576
      batch_n_seconds: 10
      data_hint: null
      data_type: NIX_SYSTEM
      enabled: true
    tcp_address: 0.0.0.0:30000
    connection_timeout_sec: 60
- syslog:
    common:
      batch_n_bytes: 1048576
      batch_n_seconds: 10
      data_hint: null
      data_type: WINEVTLOG
      enabled: true
    tcp_address: 0.0.0.0:30001
    connection_timeout_sec: 60

Configure arbitrary labels

Labels are used to attach arbitrary metadata to logs using key and value pairs. Labels can be configured for an entire Chronicle forwarder or within a specific collector of a Chronicle forwarder. If both are provided, the labels are merged with the collector's keys taking precedence over the Chronicle forwarder's keys if the keys overlap.

Example configuration: arbitrary labels

In the following Chronicle forwarder configuration, the foo=bar and meow=mix key and value pairs are both attached to WINEVTLOG logs, and the foo=baz and meow=mix key and value pairs are attached to the NIX_SYSTEM logs.

metadata:
  labels:
    foo: bar
    meow: mix
collectors:
syslog:
    common:
      metadata:
        labels:
          foo: baz
          meow: mix
      batch_n_bytes: 1048576
      batch_n_seconds: 10
      data_hint: null
      data_type: NIX_SYSTEM
      enabled: true
    tcp_address: 0.0.0.0:30000
    connection_timeout_sec: 60
syslog:
    common:
      batch_n_bytes: 1048576
      batch_n_seconds: 10
      data_hint: null
      data_type: WINEVTLOG
      enabled: true
    tcp_address: 0.0.0.0:30001
    connection_timeout_sec: 60

Configure namespaces

Use namespace labels to identify logs from distinct network segments and deconflict overlapping IP addresses. You can configure a namespace label for an entire Chronicle forwarder or within a specific collector of the Chronicle forwarder. If both are included then the specific collector's namespace takes precedence.

Any namespace configured for the Chronicle forwarder appears with the associated assets in the Chronicle user interface. You can also search for namespaces using the Chronicle Search feature.

For information about how to view namespaces in the Chronicle user interface, see here.

Example configuration: namespaces

In the following Chronicle forwarder configuration, the WINEVTLOG logs are attached to the FORWARDER namespace and NIX_SYSTEM logs are attached to the CORPORATE namespace.

metadata:
  namespace: FORWARDER
collectors:
- syslog:
      common:
        metadata:
          namespace: CORPORATE
        batch_n_bytes: 1048576
        batch_n_seconds: 10
        data_hint: null
        data_type: NIX_SYSTEM
        enabled: true
      tcp_address: 0.0.0.0:30000
      connection_timeout_sec: 60
- syslog:
      common:
        batch_n_bytes: 1048576
        batch_n_seconds: 10
        data_hint: null
        data_type: WINEVTLOG
        enabled: true
      tcp_address: 0.0.0.0:30001
      connection_timeout_sec: 60

Configure load balancing and high availability options

The Chronicle forwarder for Windows on Docker can be deployed in an environment where a Layer 4 load balancer is installed between the data source and Chronicle forwarder instances. This allows you to distribute the log collection across multiple Chronicle forwarders or send logs to a different Chronicle forwarder if one fails. This feature is supported only with the syslog collection type.

The Chronicle forwarder for Windows on Docker includes a built-in HTTP server that responds to HTTP health checks from the load balancer. The HTTP server also helps ensure that logs are not lost during startup or shutdown of a Chronicle forwarder.

Configure the HTTP server, load balancing, and high availability options in the server section of the Chronicle forwarder configuration file. These options support setting timeout durations and status codes returned in response to health checks received in container scheduler and orchestration-based deployments, as well as from conventional load balancers.

Use the following URL paths for health, readiness, and liveness checks. The <host:port> values are defined in the Chronicle forwarder configuration.

  • http://<host:port>/meta/available: liveness checks for container schedulers/orchestrators, such as Kubernetes.
  • http://<host:port>/meta/ready: readiness checks and traditional load balancer health checks.

The following Chronicle forwarder configuration is an example for load balancing and high availability:

collectors:
- syslog:
    common:
      batch_n_bytes: 1048576
      batch_n_seconds: 10
      data_hint: null
      data_type: NIX_SYSTEM
      enabled: true
    tcp_address: 0.0.0.0:30000
    connection_timeout_sec: 60
- syslog:
    common:
      batch_n_bytes: 1048576
      batch_n_seconds: 10
      data_hint: null
      data_type: WINEVTLOG
      enabled: true
    tcp_address: 0.0.0.0:30001
    connection_timeout_sec: 60
server:
  graceful_timeout: 15s
  drain_timeout: 10s
  http:
    port: 8080
    host: 0.0.0.0
    read_timeout: 3s
    read_header_timeout: 3s
    write_timeout: 3s
    idle_timeout: 3s
    routes:
    - meta:
        available_status: 204
        ready_status: 204
        unready_status: 503
Configuration path Description
server : graceful_timeout The amount of time the Chronicle forwarder returns a bad readiness/health check and still accepts new connections. This is also the time to wait between receiving a signal to stop and actually beginning the shutdown of the server itself. This allows the load balancer time to remove the Chronicle forwarder from the pool.
server : drain_timeout The amount of time the Chronicle forwarder waits for active connections to successfully close on their own before being closed by the server.
server : http : port The port number that the HTTP server listens on for health checks from the load balancer. Must be between 1024-65535.
server : http : host The IP address, or hostname that can be resolved to IP addresses, that the server should listen to. If empty, the default value is local system (0.0.0.0).
server : http : read_timeout Used to tune the HTTP server. Typically, does not need to be changed from the default setting. The maximum amount of time allowed to read the entire request, both the header and the body. You can set both read_timeout and read_header_timeout.
server : http : read_header_timeout Used to tune the HTTP server. Typically, does not need to be changed from the default setting. The maximum amount of time allowed to read request headers. The connection's read the deadline is reset after reading the header.
server : http : write_timeout Used to tune the HTTP server. Typically, does not need to be changed from the default setting. The maximum amount of time allowed to send a response. It is reset when a new request header is read.
server : http : idle_timeout Used to tune the HTTP server. Typically, does not need to be changed from the default setting. The maximum amount of time to wait for the next request when idle connections are enabled. If idle_timeout is zero, the value of read_timeout is used. If both are zero, the read_header_timeout is used.
routes : meta : ready_status The status code the Chronicle forwarder returns when it is ready to accept the traffic in either of the following situations:
  • Readiness check is received from a container scheduler or orchestrator, such as Kubernetes.
  • Health check is received from a traditional load balancer.
routes : meta : unready_status The status code the Chronicle forwarder returns when it is not ready to accept traffic.
routes : meta : available_status The status code the Chronicle forwarder returns when a liveness check is received and the Chronicle forwarder is available. Container schedulers/orchestrators such as Kubernetes often send liveness checks.