Logflare Is a Log Management and Event Analytics Platform

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Chase Granberry

In this episode of Running in Production, Chase Granberry goes over running a logging platform that deals with 7+ billion log events per month. The back-end and front-end is powered by a Phoenix / Elixir application that’s running on Google Cloud (GCP).

6 pretty beefy servers power everything but for a long time it was all on 1 server. Also, Live View is being used for search results and a few counters on the web dashboard. Phoenix Tracker is being used for a cluster-wide rate limiter too. The app is open source on GitHub.

Topics Include

  • 2:16 – Over 7 billion log events are being handled per month
  • 2:43 – What are CloudFlare apps?
  • 3:42 – In the future native language libraries will have more support
  • 4:11 – Currently there’s support in Elixir for the Logflare library
  • 5:13 – Elixir and Phoenix is powering the web front-end for Logflare
  • 5:35 – Motivation for choosing Elixir and Phoenix
  • 8:35 – Phoenix allowed Chase to get things up and running in a few months
  • 9:18 – The web UI is using server side templates with a touch of Live View
  • 11:04 – Live View is mostly used for counters but it powers a search page too
  • 12:24 – A monolithic / mono-repo Phoenix app ingests all of the logs
  • 12:49 – Phoenix contexts are being used to break up the domain a bit
  • 13:47 – Docker isn’t being used in dev, but it is in production on Google Cloud
  • 14:34 – Google’s managed instance groups are being used to host the app
  • 15:28 – These managed instance groups help with doing rolling deploys
  • 16:24 – Motivation for choosing GCP came down to free hosting credits mostly
  • 16:57 – (6) 16 CPU core / 32 GB of memory instances power the Phoenix app
  • 17:49 – Each instance has an identical copy of the Phoenix app
  • 18:23 – Google’s container-optimized OS is being used
  • 19:10 – PostgreSQL stores a bit of user data, but the logs are in BigQuery
  • 19:38 – BigQuery does not work with Ecto, but it’s a fairly simple set up
  • 19:58 – For development, Chase connects to a dev BigQuery database on GCP
  • 20:27 – Cowboy is in front of Google’s load balancer (nginx isn’t being used)
  • 20:51 – SSL certificates are issued and signed by CloudFlare
  • 21:35 – A step by step walk through of how code goes from development to production
  • 25:04 – It takes 5 minutes for each server to get drained, but it’s configurable
  • 25:45 – Having manual components of your deploy can be beneficial
  • 26:26 – Logflare is very stateful, so a 5 minute time-out is necessary
  • 27:43 – Chase uses his own tool and there are public charts to look at online
  • 28:44 – Scratching your own itch is a great way to build a useful service
  • 28:58 – Sign ups for free right now, but a billing system is coming soon
  • 29:26 – Getting $3,000, $17,000 and then $80,000 in GCP hosting credits for free
  • 30:51 – A majority of the cost is processing the log events on the web servers
  • 31:55 – Server costs could probably be cut down but Chase wanted to learn / experiment
  • 32:49 – Initially everything was on a single 32 CPU core server (3 billion reqs / month)
  • 33:54 – Rate limiting is cluster-wide and uses Phoenix Tracker
  • 36:34 – Using Redis vs rolling your own Elixir based set up for cluster state
  • 38:29 – Best tips? Stop over-thinking things because just starting helps a lot
  • 39:36 – Chase is on Twitter @chasers and Logflare is open source on GitHub
📄 References
⚙️ Tech Stack
🛠 Libraries Used

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Dec 30, 2019

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