Collate and route organization-level logs to supported destinations

This document describes how to create aggregated sinks. For information about managing existing sinks, see Route logs to supported destinations: Manage sinks.

Overview

Aggregated sinks combine and route log entries from the Google Cloud resources contained by an organization or folder. For example, you might aggregate and route audit log entries from all the folders contained by an organization to a Cloud Storage bucket.

Without the aggregated sink feature, sinks are limited to routing log entries from the exact resource in which the sink was created: a Google Cloud project, organization, folder, or billing account.

You can create aggregated sinks for Google Cloud folders and organizations. Because neither Google Cloud projects nor billing accounts contain child resources, you can't create aggregated sinks for those.

Supported destinations

You can use aggregated sinks to route logs within or between the same organizations and folders to the following destinations:

  • Cloud Logging log buckets: Provides storage in Cloud Logging. A log bucket can store logs that are received by multiple Google Cloud projects. You can combine your Cloud Logging data with other data by upgrading a log bucket to use Log Analytics, and then creating a linked BigQuery dataset. For information about viewing logs stored in log buckets, see Query and view logs overview and View logs routed to Cloud Logging buckets.
  • Google Cloud projects: Route log entries to a different Google Cloud project. When you route logs to a different Google Cloud project, the destination project's Log Router receives the logs and processes them. The sinks in the destination project determine how the received log entries are routed. Log entries that are routed to a different Google Cloud project can't be analyzed by Error Reporting.
  • Pub/Sub topics: Provides support for third-party integrations, such as Splunk. Log entries are formatted into JSON and then routed to a Pub/Sub topic. For information about viewing logs routed to Pub/Sub, see View logs routed to Pub/Sub.
  • BigQuery datasets: Provides storage of log entries in BigQuery datasets. You can use big data analysis capabilities on the stored logs. To combine your Cloud Logging data with other data sources, we recommend that you upgrade your log buckets to use Log Analytics and then create a linked BigQuery dataset. For information about viewing logs routed to BigQuery, see View logs routed to BigQuery.
  • Cloud Storage buckets: Provides storage of log data in Cloud Storage. Log entries are stored as JSON files. For information about viewing logs routed to Cloud Storage, see View logs routed to Cloud Storage.

Before you begin

Before you create a sink, ensure the following:

  • You have a Google Cloud folder or organization with logs that you can see in the Logs Explorer.

  • You have one of the following IAM roles for the Google Cloud organization or folder from which you're routing logs.

    • Owner (roles/owner)
    • Logging Admin (roles/logging.admin)
    • Logs Configuration Writer (roles/logging.configWriter)

    The permissions contained in these roles allow you to create, delete, or modify sinks. For information about setting IAM roles, see the Logging Access control guide.

  • You have a resource in a supported destination or have the ability to create one.

    The routing destination has to be created before the sink, through either Google Cloud CLI, Google Cloud console, or the Google Cloud APIs. You can create the destination in any Google Cloud project in any organization, but you need to make sure that the service account from the sink has permissions to write to the destination.

Create an aggregated sink

To use aggregated sinks, you create a sink in a Google Cloud organization or folder, and set the sink's includeChildren parameter to True. When you set the includeChildren parameter, the sink can route log entries from the organization or folder, plus (recursively) from any contained folders, billing accounts, or Google Cloud projects.

To specify log entries that you want to route to your destination, you set the sink's inclusion and exclusion filters.

You can create up to 200 sinks per folder or organization.

To create an aggregated sink for your folder or organization, do the following:

Console

  1. In the navigation panel of the Google Cloud console, select Logging, and then select Log Router:

    Go to Log Router

  2. Select an existing folder or organization.

  3. Select Create sink.

  4. In the Sink details panel, enter the following details:

    • Sink name: Provide an identifier for the sink; note that after you create the sink, you can't rename the sink but you can delete it and create a new sink.

    • Sink description (optional): Describe the purpose or use case for the sink.

  5. In the Sink destination panel, select the sink service and destination:

    • Select sink service: Select the service where you want your logs routed.

    Based on the service that you select, you can select from the following destinations:

    • Cloud Logging bucket: Select or create a Logging bucket. If you create a log bucket, it must be at the project level. You can't create a log bucket at the folder or organization level.
    • BigQuery table: Select or create the particular dataset to receive the routed logs. You also have the option to use partitioned tables.
    • Cloud Storage bucket: Select or create the particular Cloud Storage bucket to receive the routed logs.
    • Pub/Sub topic: Select or create the particular topic to receive the routed logs.
    • Splunk: Select the Pub/Sub topic for your Splunk service.

      For example, if your sink destination is a BigQuery dataset, the sink destination would be the following:

      bigquery.googleapis.com/projects/PROJECT_ID/datasets/DATASET_ID
      
  6. In the Choose logs to include in sink panel, do the following:

    1. Select Include logs ingested by this resource and all child resources, which creates an aggregated sink.

    2. In the Build inclusion filter field, enter a filter expression that matches the log entries you want to include. If you don't set a filter, all logs from your selected resource are routed to the destination.

      For example, you might want to build a filter to route all Data Access audit logs to a single Logging bucket. This filter looks like the following:

      LOG_ID("cloudaudit.googleapis.com/data_access") OR LOG_ID("externalaudit.googleapis.com/data_access")
      

      Note that the length of a filter can't exceed 20,000 characters.

    3. To verify you entered the correct filter, select Preview logs. This opens the Logs Explorer in a new tab with the filter prepopulated.

  7. (Optional) In the Choose logs to exclude from the sink panel, do the following:

    1. In the Exclusion filter name field, enter a name.

    2. In the Build an exclusion filter field, enter a filter expression that matches the log entries you want to exclude. You can also use the sample function to select a portion of the log entries to exclude.

      For example, to exclude the logs from a specific project from being routed to the destination, add the following exclusion filter:

      logName:projects/PROJECT_ID
      

      To exclude logs from multiple projects, use the logical-OR operator to join logName clauses.

    You can create up to 50 exclusion filters per sink. Note that the length of a filter can't exceed 20,000 characters.

  8. Select Create sink.

API

To create a sink, use organizations.sinks.create or folders.sinks.create in the Logging API. Prepare the arguments to the method as follows:

  1. Set the parent parameter to be the Google Cloud organization or folder in which to create the sink. The parent must be one of the following:

    • organizations/ORGANIZATION_ID
    • folders/FOLDER_ID
  2. In the LogSink object in the method request body, do the following:

  3. Call organizations.sinks.create or folders.sinks.create to create the sink.

  4. Retrieve the service account name from the writer_identity field returned from the API response.

  5. Give that service account permission to write to your sink destination.

    If you don't have permission to make that change to the sink destination, then send the service account name to someone who can make that change for you.

    For more information about granting service accounts permissions for resources, see the set destination permissions section.

gcloud

To create a sink, use the logging sinks create command.

  1. Supply the sink name, sink destination, filter, and the ID of the folder or organization from which you're routing logs:

    gcloud logging sinks create SINK_NAME \
      SINK_DESTINATION  --include-children \
      --folder=FOLDER_ID --log-filter="LOG_FILTER"
    

    For example, if you're creating an aggregated sink at the folder level and whose destination is a BigQuery dataset, your command might look like the following:

    gcloud logging sinks create SINK_NAME \
      bigquery.googleapis.com/projects/PROJECT_ID/datasets/DATASET_ID --include-children \
      --folder=FOLDER_ID --log-filter="logName:activity"
    

    Notes:

    • To create a sink at the organization level, replace --folder=FOLDER_ID with --organization=ORGANIZATION_ID.

    • For the sink to include all resources within the organization, the --include-children flag must be set, even when the --organization flag is passed to create. When set to false (the default), a sink will only route logs from the host resource.

    • For some examples of useful filters, see Create filters for aggregated sinks.

  2. Retrieve the service account name used to create the sink from the command output.

  3. Give that service account permission to write to your sink destination.

    If you don't have permission to make that change to the sink destination, then send the service account name to someone who can make that change for you.

    For more information about granting service accounts permissions for resources, see the set destination permissions section.

Any changes made to a sink might take a few minutes to apply.

Create filters for aggregated sinks

Like any sink, your aggregated sink contains a filter that selects individual log entries. For examples of filters that you might use to create your aggregated sink, see Sample queries using the Logs Explorer.

Following are some examples of filter comparisons that are useful when using the aggregated sinks feature. Some examples use the following notation:

  • : is the substring operator. Don't substitute the = operator.
  • ... represents any additional filter comparisons.
  • Variables are indicated by colored text. Replace them with valid values.

Note that the length of a filter can't exceed 20,000 characters.

For more details about the filtering syntax, see Logging query language.

Select the log source

For an aggregated sink, for each child resource of the organization or folder, the sink's inclusion and exclusion filters are applied to each log entry that is sent to the child resource. A log entry that matches the inclusion filter and that isn't excluded, is routed.

If you want your sink to route logs from all child resources, then don't specify a project, folder, or organization in your sink's inclusion and exclusion filters. For example, suppose you configure an aggregated sink for an organization with the following filter:

resource.type="gce_instance"

With the previous filter, logs with a resource type of Compute Engine instances that are written to any child of that organization are routed by the aggregated sink to the destination.

However, there might be situations where you want to use an aggregated sink to route logs only from specific child resources. For example, for compliance reasons you might want to store audit logs from specific folders or projects in their own Cloud Storage bucket. In these situations, configure your inclusion filter to specify each child resource whose logs you want routed. If you want to route logs from a folder and all projects within that folder, then the filter must list the folder and each of the projects contained by that folder, and also join the statements with an OR clause.

The following filters restrict logs to specific Google Cloud projects, folders, or organizations:

logName:"projects/PROJECT_ID/logs/" AND ... 
logName:("projects/PROJECT_A_ID/logs/" OR "projects/PROJECT_B_ID/logs/") AND ... 
logName:"folders/FOLDER_ID/logs/" AND ... 
logName:"organizations/ORGANIZATION_ID/logs/" AND ... 

For example, to route only logs written to Compute Engine instances that were written to the folder my-folder, use the following filter:

logName:"folders/my-folder/logs/" AND resource.type="gce_instance"

With the previous filter, logs written to any resource other than my-folder, including logs written to Google Cloud projects that are children of my-folder, aren't routed to the destination.

Select the monitored resource

To route logs from only a specific monitored resource in a Google Cloud project, use multiple comparisons to specify the resource exactly:

logName:"projects/PROJECT_ID/logs" AND
resource.type=RESOURCE_TYPE AND
resource.labels.instance_id=INSTANCE_ID

For a list of resource types, see Monitored resource types.

Select a sample of log entries

To route a random sample of log entries, add the sample built-in function. For example, to route only ten percent of the log entries matching your current filter, use this addition:

sample(insertId, 0.10) AND ...

For more information, see the sample function.

For more information about Cloud Logging filters, see Logging query language.

Set destination permissions

This section describes how to grant Logging the Identity and Access Management permissions to write logs to your sink's destination. For the full list of Logging roles and permissions, see Access control.

When you create or update a sink that routes logs to any destination other than a log bucket in the current project, a service account for that sink is required. Logging automatically creates and manages the service account for you:

  • As of May 22, 2023, when you create a sink and no service account for the underlying resource exists, Logging creates the service account. Logging uses the same service account for all sinks in the underlying resource. Resources can be a Google Cloud project, an organization, a folder, or a billing account.
  • Before May 22, 2023, Logging created a service account for each sink. As of May 22, 2023, Logging uses a shared service account for all sinks in the underlying resource.

The writer identity of a sink is the identifier of the service account associated with that sink. All sinks have a writer identity unless they write to a log bucket in the current Google Cloud project.

To route logs to a resource protected by a service perimeter, you must add the service account for that sink to an access level and then assign it to the destination service perimeter. This isn't necessary for non-aggregated sinks. For details, see VPC Service Controls: Cloud Logging.

To set permissions for your sink to route to its destination, do the following:

Console

  1. To get information about the service account for your sink, do the following:

    1. In the navigation panel of the Google Cloud console, select Logging, and then select Log Router:

      Go to Log Router

    2. Select Menu and then select View sink details.

      In the Sink details panel, the writerIdentity field contains the identity of the service account. The serviceAccount: string is part of the service account identity. For example:

      serviceAccount:service-123456789012@gcp-sa-logging.iam.gserviceaccount.com
      
  2. On the destination project, grant the writer identity the role required for the service account to write to the destination. To grant a role to a principal, you must have the role of Owner (roles/owner):

    • For Cloud Storage destinations, add the sink's writer identity as a principal by using IAM, and then grant it the Storage Object Creator role (roles/storage.objectCreator).
    • For BigQuery destinations, add the sink's writer identity as a principal by using IAM, and then grant it the BigQuery Data Editor role (roles/bigquery.dataEditor).
    • For Pub/Sub destinations, including Splunk, add the sink's writer identity as a principal by using IAM, and then grant it the Pub/Sub Publisher role (roles/pubsub.publisher).
    • For Logging bucket destinations in different Google Cloud projects, add the sink's writer identity as a principal by using IAM, and then grant it the Logs Bucket Writer role (roles/logging.bucketWriter).
    • For Google Cloud projects destinations, add the sink's writer identity as a principal by using IAM, and then grant it the Logs Writer role (roles/logging.logWriter). Specifically, a principal needs the logging.logEntries.route permission.
    If you don't have Owner access to the destination of the sink, then ask a project owner to add the writer identity as a principal.

API

  1. To get information about the service account for your sink, call the API method organizations.sinks.get or folders.sinks.get.

    The writerIdentity field contains the identity of the service account. The serviceAccount: string is part of the service account identity. For example:

    serviceAccount:service-123456789012@gcp-sa-logging.iam.gserviceaccount.com
    
  2. On the destination project, grant the writer identity the role required for the service account to write to the destination. To grant a role to a principal, you must have the role of Owner (roles/owner):

    • For Cloud Storage destinations, add the sink's writer identity as a principal by using IAM, and then grant it the Storage Object Creator role (roles/storage.objectCreator).
    • For BigQuery destinations, add the sink's writer identity as a principal by using IAM, and then grant it the BigQuery Data Editor role (roles/bigquery.dataEditor).
    • For Pub/Sub destinations, including Splunk, add the sink's writer identity as a principal by using IAM, and then grant it the Pub/Sub Publisher role (roles/pubsub.publisher).
    • For Logging bucket destinations in different Google Cloud projects, add the sink's writer identity as a principal by using IAM, and then grant it the Logs Bucket Writer role (roles/logging.bucketWriter).
    • For Google Cloud projects destinations, add the sink's writer identity as a principal by using IAM, and then grant it the Logs Writer role (roles/logging.logWriter). Specifically, a principal needs the logging.logEntries.route permission.
    If you don't have Owner access to the destination of the sink, then ask a project owner to add the writer identity as a principal.

gcloud

  1. To get information about the service account for your sink, run the following command:

    gcloud logging sinks describe SINK_NAME
    

    The writerIdentity field contains the identity of the service account. The serviceAccount: string is part of the service account identity. For example:

    serviceAccount:service-123456789012@gcp-sa-logging.iam.gserviceaccount.com
    
  2. On the destination project, grant the writer identity the role required for the service account to write to the destination. To grant a role to a principal, you must have the role of Owner (roles/owner):

    • For Cloud Storage destinations, add the sink's writer identity as a principal by using IAM, and then grant it the Storage Object Creator role (roles/storage.objectCreator).
    • For BigQuery destinations, add the sink's writer identity as a principal by using IAM, and then grant it the BigQuery Data Editor role (roles/bigquery.dataEditor).
    • For Pub/Sub destinations, including Splunk, add the sink's writer identity as a principal by using IAM, and then grant it the Pub/Sub Publisher role (roles/pubsub.publisher).
    • For Logging bucket destinations in different Google Cloud projects, add the sink's writer identity as a principal by using IAM, and then grant it the Logs Bucket Writer role (roles/logging.bucketWriter).
    • For Google Cloud projects destinations, add the sink's writer identity as a principal by using IAM, and then grant it the Logs Writer role (roles/logging.logWriter). Specifically, a principal needs the logging.logEntries.route permission.
    If you don't have Owner access to the destination of the sink, then ask a project owner to add the writer identity as a principal.

What's next