Discover a tool: the management of Syslog messages

The management of Syslog messages is a major issue in network management. An essential tool and a real keystone for the network administrator, the Syslog protocol is a bit like its surveillance camera, its archive room and its alarm system. Let's take a closer look at what Syslog is, why, and how it is used.

What is Syslog?

Syslog is an acronym which stands for System Logging Protocol. This is a standard protocol that allows system log files (such as crash error messages) to be sent to a dedicated server. This server is called a Syslog server.

This protocol is particularly useful in order to collect the various event logs from different machines and then centralize them on the same central server. This keeps track of recent and older events.

Nowadays, this protocol is present on all network devices, whether routers, firewalls, printers or scanners. However, it does not come with Windows, while it is integrated with other OS such as Linux, and for good reason, Windows has its own system called Event Log.

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What is a syslog message?

A syslog message is not particularly difficult to understand. Most of the time, it is made up of three elements:

  • Priority level : it indicates whether the message is important or serious, and obeys a complex numerical rule. The latter is divided into two numerical values. The first value indicates the importance of the message, and the second indicates its seriousness.
  • The header : also called "header", it contains the identification information, in addition to the date and time of the event. Most often, we find version information, the identification of the host and the name of the application involved in the error.
  • The message : it is this last part which contains the description of the event that has occurred and which will be entered in the log.

The benefit of managing Syslog messages

The main reason and the main interest of using Syslog messages lies in the possibility of monitoring and judging the state of health of a network. Indeed, an event log full of alerts and warnings is never a good sign and does not really inspire confidence in the general good condition. The management of Syslog messages therefore allows you to quickly diagnose problems one by one, but also to get an overview, like a doctor with his patient.

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Depending on the tool selected to manage the Syslog messages, the user benefits from additional options to facilitate his mission. Among these options, we could cite for example the management of Syslog data remotely through secure access, or the scheduled management of Syslog reports that the user can receive by email.

En conclusion

The management of Syslog messages is necessary for the proper maintenance of a network architecture. It can be seen both as a simple monitoring tool, but also as a bulwark against attacks. Indispensable in business, it is nowadays part of the minimum toolbox of all network administrators.

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