Systems Engineering and RDBMS

Exporting Windows Event Viewer data for compliance

Posted by decipherinfosys on June 26, 2009

The companies that are subjected to regulatory compliance are often required to store and archive the logs from various part of their infrastructure such as applications, firewalls, VPN and servers. Most of the network devices support Syslog and if you have any syslog server in your environment you should be able to view, collect and archive the syslog data. Kiwi Syslog server is one of the best tools available in the market.

Windows servers do not have a syslog client by default and usually all the system related warnings, alerts and information are stored and displayed in the Windows Event Viewer. Event viewer allows exporting of data locally in different formats for review. However, in an enterprise environment, there is no tool exists to automate the collection of event viewer from a centralized location.

One great solution for this is using software called ‘winlogd’. Winlogd converts the windows event viewer logs into syslog and send it to the syslog server. Winlogd installs itself as a windows service and requires a registry edit to specify the syslog server IP.
It can be easily pushed to all the servers in an enterprise environment using a .reg file.
Once the syslog server can receive the data from servers, it can be viewed and archived for compliance purposes.

One limitation of Winlogd is it doesn’t allow filtering the window event viewer logs. So, all the data that is going to Windows Event Viewer (including ‘information’) will be sent to syslog server. If you have many chatty servers that would cause lot of informational event logs, it may generate tons of syslog data and network traffic. I’m hoping that winlogd community will fix this in their next release. Nevertheless winlogd is a great tool!

More information on ‘winlogd’ can be found here:  http://edoceo.com/creo/winlogd

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