Everything You Need to Know About Syslog Server

Advantaltechnologies
3 min readDec 21, 2021

Network tools such as servers, firewalls, and routers create logs of events and statuses, making it difficult to keep track of everything. Using System Logging Protocol (aka Syslog), in conjunction with a Syslog Server (such as Advantal’s Syslog Server Solution), makes reviewing and managing logs a breeze.

In this article, we will answer

  1. What is Syslog?
  2. Why do enterprises use Syslog?
  3. What comprises a Syslog message?
  4. What is Syslog Server?
  5. What is the purpose of the Syslog Server?
  6. Difference between SNMP and Syslog Protocols.

What is Syslog?

Syslog is a message transport protocol that sends messages from network devices to a logging server, often known as a Syslog server. Thanks to its popularity, most operating systems (OS), like macOS, Linux, and Unix, support it.

Syslog has three layers — Syslog content (information like IP address, originator process ID, timestamp, facility code, and the severity level), Syslog application (generates, routes, interprets, and stores the message), and Syslog transport (transmission).

Why do enterprises use Syslog?

Network devices can malfunction abruptly, and outages could be impossible to track down. The Syslog server collects, categorises, and stores log messages for analysis, giving it a clear understanding of what is going on across the network.

The log server can monitor numerous Syslog events via log files, which is a significant advantage of Syslog. Devices like printers, routers, switches, firewalls, and servers, can create log messages. The Syslog protocol allows logging data from all these systems to consolidate at a single location.

Enterprise IT teams can use Syslog for system administration, security audits, logging compliance, analysis, and debugging messages.

What comprises a Syslog message?

A Syslog message contains — header, structured data, and the main message.

The header includes the version, timestamp, originator process ID, hostname, priority, application, and message ID, while the Structured data contains data blocks in a specific format. The log messages follow the data blocks.

Syslog server solutions encode the log messages in UTF-8 (8-bit Unicode Transformation Format). Each Syslog message has a priority level in its header, which tells about the device’s message creation procedure and a severity level.

The severity level of Syslog messages ranges from 0 to 7. Here are some severity levels meaning you must know:

  • 0 — Emergency (the system is unusable)
  • 1 — Alert (immediate action required)
  • 2 — Critical conditions
  • 3 — Error
  • 4 — Warning
  • 5 — Notice (nominal but significant conditions)
  • 6 — Informational messages
  • 7 — Debug-level messages

What is Syslog Server?

Enterprise IT solution providers, like Advantal Technologies, build Syslog servers to collect Syslog messages from throughout the IT infrastructure and consolidate them in one location. A Syslog server could be a physical machine, a virtual machine, or a software solution.

A competent Syslog server allows you to collect, examine, and filter Syslog messages all from one place. It should contain Syslog messages from all devices and operating systems, with the flexibility for secure access from anywhere.

A Syslog server can store event logs for a long time, allowing you to go back in history when necessary. Many Syslog solutions will cycle logs and produce new files regularly to keep them orderly.

What is the purpose of the Syslog Server?

A Syslog server’s main job is to collect Syslog data from across your IT infrastructure and consolidate it in one place for better network monitoring.

Enterprise IT teams can effortlessly analyse network measurements and spot inconsistencies by standardising logs into a consistent format. They can dig deeper into network fluctuations to determine the source of a problem and uncover underlying issues in your IT system.

Difference between SNMP and Syslog Protocols

Another protocol for network device monitoring is the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). SNMP functions differently, relying on polling devices for most of its data.

SNMP is suitable for confined settings with predictable conditions. On the other hand, Syslog is more expensive in scope and less constrained in style and can handle a wide range of events.

Advantal’s Syslog server streamlines log management by allowing admins to filter and focus on key messages. With an easy-to-use admin dashboard and flexible access for log display, our solution allows IT teams to monitor, manage, and store logs effortlessly. For more information about our Syslog server solution, click here.

Originally published at https://advantaltechnologies.com on December 21, 2021.

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Advantaltechnologies

Advantal Technologies is a leading software development company that builds software for large firms and SMEs to enhance online productivity.