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This tutorial explains how to analyze Cloudflare Logs using Elastic and Kibana.

​​ Overview

If you have not used Cloudflare Logs before, refer to the Logs documentation for more details. Contact your Cloudflare Customer Account Team to enable logs for your account.

​​ Prerequisites

Before sending your Cloudflare log data to Elastic, make sure that you:

  • Have an existing Elastic instance (versions 6.x and 7.x supported)
  • Have a Cloudflare Enterprise account with Cloudflare Logs enabled
  • Configure Logpush or Logpull

​​ Task 1 - Preparation

Before getting Cloudflare logs into Elastic:

  1. Install an AWS Lambda function, available in the file from GitHub at this location:

  2. Upload the file to an S3 bucket.

    Uploading a file to an Amazon S3 bucket

​​ Task 2 - Create Elasticsearch deployment on Elastic Cloud

  1. Create an account on Elastic Cloud and log in.

  2. Once logged in, create a new deployment where the Cloudflare logs will reside.

    Create your first deployment page

  3. Configure your new deployment with the following parameters:

    • Name: cloudflare-elastic-logs

    • Cloud provider: Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud Platform

    • Region: Geographical region in which to host the deployment

    • Version: Choose version 6.x or 7.x

    • Template: Choose Hot-Warm Architecture (recommended) or I/O Optimize

      Creating an Elastic deployment from a template

  4. Click Customize Deployment. On this page, you can set your Elasticsearch cluster memory and storage.

    • I/O Optimized Template Configuration For this options, we recommend configuring your cluster to have 2 availability zones and 8 GB of RAM.

    • Hot-Warm Template Configuration For this option, we recommend configuring your cluster as:

      • Hot Zone: 2 availability zones, 8 GB RAM

      • Warm Zone: 2 availability zones, 8 GB RAM

      Configuring Fault tolerance
      In a hot-warm template, the system will automatically manage the data lifecycle for you by migrating old data to less expensive storage. To configure this, click Configure index management.

  5. Add an index pattern for cloudflare-* and set it to migrate data off the hot zone after 7 days.

    Adding an index pattern in the index curation section of the Index Management page

  6. You are now ready to create your Elastic deployment. Click Create deployment. The page will refresh with details of your new cluster. It is important to save the randomly generated password (see screenshot). All Elastic deployments are secure by default and are bootstrapped with a randomly generated password for the Elastic user. You will use this password to log in to view your Cloudflare logs.

Details of the user created: username, password, Cloud ID and APM Server secret token

​​ Task 3 - Configure the deployment

Next, to configure your deployment:

  1. From download the following files:

    • cloudflare-index-template.json

    • cloudflare-ingest-pipeline-daily.json

    • cloudflare-ingest-pipeline-weekly.json


    • dashboards.json

  2. Using the Elasticsearch endpoint for your new deployment (found on the main page), run the following command from a terminal, using the random password from above.

    ./ -u elastic -p <RANDOM PASSWORD> -e https://_<YOUR DEPLOYMENT ENDPOINT>_:9243
  3. To install the Cloudflare dashboards, log in to the Kibana user interface using the elastic username and the randomly generated password.

  4. Navigate to Management > Kibana > Saved Objects.

  5. Upload dashboards.json by clicking the Import link.

Importing Elastic Kibana saved objects

​​ Task 4 - Create the Lambda function in AWS

To create the Lambda function:

  1. Install the function: create the Lambda, which will read Cloudflare logs from S3 and import them into your Elastic cluster.

  2. Log in to your AWS console and navigate to the Lambda section. Create a new function, using the Java 8 runtime and give it a name such as cloudflare-elastic-logs.

  3. Configure the handler as com.cloudflare.elastic.ElasticLambdaForwarder::handleRequest and upload the function that we had previously saved to our S3 bucket.

    Configuring the handler and uploading the Lambda function

  4. Configure the function. The Lambda function requires the following environment variables:

    • elastic_hostname: Copy the Elasticsearch endpoint URL from your deployment. Remove the port number and https:// prefix; for example:

    • elastic_username: Enter elastic.

    • elastic_password: Use the randomly generated password that was created for you.

  5. To connect your Cloudflare S3 log bucket. the last step is to tell the Lambda function to listen for events on the S3 bucket where your Cloudflare logs reside. Choose the S3 trigger type and configure it with the name of the S3 bucket. For Event type, select All object create events.

  6. Ensure your execution role is configured. In order for the function to be able to read logs from the S3 bucket, you may have to configure the execution role.

    Configuring the Elastic Lambda execution role

  7. View the execution role and add an inline policy that enables the function to read from the bucket.

    Adding actions to Elastic AWS S3 bucket

  8. Give the policy a name and save it.

  9. Save the Lambda and start logging.

  10. Finally, save the Lambda configuration. Once it is saved, the Cloudflare logs will start showing up in Kibana on your Elastic Cloud deployment.

​​ Task 5 - View the Dashboards in Kibana

Once Successfully imported, you can find all Cloudflare dashboards under Kibana > Dashboard.

​​ About the dashboards

There are nine dashboards to help you analyze Cloudflare logs. You can also use filters within the dashboards to help narrow the analysis by date and time, device type, country, user agent, client IP, hostname, and more. Filtering can further help you with debugging and tracing.

​​ Snapshot

This is a quick overview of the most important metrics from your Cloudflare Logs, including the total number of requests, top visitors by geography, IP, user agent, traffic type, the total number of threats, and bandwidth usage.

Cloudflare dashboard showing Web Traffic Overview

​​ Security

Cloudflare - Security (Overview) - Get insights on threats to your websites and applications, including the number of threats stopped, threats over time, top threat countries, and more.

Cloudflare dashboard showing Threats

Cloudflare - Security (WAF) - Get insights on threat identification and mitigation by our Web Application Firewall, including events like SQL injections, XSS, and more. Use this data to fine tune the firewall to target obvious threats and prevent false positives.

Cloudflare dashboard showing security WAF

Cloudflare - Security (Rate Limiting) - Get insights on rate limiting protection against denial-of-service attacks, brute-force login attempts, and other types of abusive behavior targeted at your websites or applications.

Cloudflare dashboard showing security Rate Limiting

Cloudflare - Security (Bot Management) - Reliably detects and mitigates bad bots to prevent credential stuffing, spam registration, content scraping, click fraud, inventory hoarding, and other malicious activities.

Cloudflare dashboard showing bot management

​​ Performance

Cloudflare - Performance (Requests, Bandwidth, Cache) - Identify and address performance issues and caching misconfigurations. Metrics include total vs. cached bandwidth, saved bandwidth, total requests, cache ratio, top uncached requests, and more.

Cloudflare dashboard showing Performance Overiew (requests, bandwidth, cache)

Cloudflare - Performance (Hostname, Content Type, Request Methods, Connection Type) - Get insights into your most popular hostnames, most requested content types, breakdown of request methods, and connection type.

Cloudflare dashboard showing Origin Request hostname, content type, request methods, and connection type

Cloudflare - Performance (Static vs. Dynamic Content) - Get insights into the performance of your static and dynamic content, including slowest URLs.

Cloudflare dashboard showing static vs. dynamic content

​​ Reliability

Get insights on the availability of your websites and applications. Metrics include origin response error ratio, origin response status over time, percentage of 3xx/4xx/5xx errors over time, and more.

Cloudflare dashboard showing Summary of Edge and Origin Response Status

​​ Filters

All dashboard have a set of filters that you can apply to the entire dashboard, as shown in the following example. Filters are applied across the entire dashboard.

Cloudflare dashboard filters

The default time interval is set to 24 hours. Note that for correct calculations filter will need to exclude Worker subrequests (WorkerSubrequest = false) and purge requests (ClientRequestMethod is not PURGE).

​​ Available Filters

  • Date (EdgeStartTimestamp)

  • Device Type

  • Country

  • Hostname

  • Client IP

  • User Agent

  • Request URI

  • Edge Response Status

  • Origin Response Status

  • Origin IP

  • RayID

  • Worker Subrequest

  • Client Request Method

​​ Debugging tips

​​ Debug the AWS Lambda function

​​ Review the Lambda function logs in AWS

If you detect issues with your AWS Lambda function in Elastic, you can review the AWS CloudWatch logs that are generated automatically for the specific Lambda function.

To begin, in AWS:

  1. Go to Lambda > Functions > <your Lambda function>.
  2. Click the Monitoring tab.
  3. Click View logs in CloudWatch.

AWS Lambda function monitoring screen

A list of log streams generated by the Lambda function (see image below) appears. Each stream contains log messages. However, some log streams will either be empty or not contain any useful information. You might need to review several of them.

Visualizing AWS Lambda log streams

When you click to review a stream, you want to look for messages starting with the the text Connected to cluster: and ending with status: [GREEN] as shown in the image below.

Visualizing AWS Lambda log stream messages

If you see status: [RED], then your cluster isn’t healthy and it’s likely that your Cloudflare logs won’t appear. If this is the case, review how to debug in Kibana (see below).

It is important to verify the return status of the call to Elasticsearch. Lines starting with Flushing [N] logs to elasticsearch and followed by a response line indicate that everything is working as expected.

If you run into any other issues, take note of the exact return message and contact your Cloudflare support team.

​​ Review the AWS Lambda function health status from the Kibana console in Elastic Cloud

To analyze the health status of the Lambda function from Kibana:

  1. From Elastic Cloud, launch the Kibana console.
  2. Find the Dev Tools app on the left navigation bar.
  3. Under the Console tab, type the following into the left pane: GET _cat/indices?v&s=index.
  4. In the right pane, you should see a table of indices with the column headings: health status index, uuid, pri, rep, docs.count, docs.deleted, store.size, and

Kibana Dev Tools Console tab showing a table of indices with column headings

The first column should read green. If it does not, or if there are no cloudflare-<DATE> indices, then there is a problem loading the logs from the AWS Lambda function.

Example of a Lambda function health check in Elastic Kibana Dev Tools console