Configuring WebSphere Application Server logs for display in a Kibana dashboard

When WebSphere Application Server traditional is configured for High Performance Extensible Logging (HPEL) mode, log and trace data are output in a binary format rather than plain text. The HPEL LogViewer tool can then continuously output the log data in JSON format so that it can be displayed in a Kibana dashboard in IBM Cloud Private.

Note: One of the following versions of WebSphere Application Server is required for LogViewer to output in JSON format:

About HPEL mode logging

By default, WebSphere Application Server logs are output in plain text format, called basic mode logging. You can change the logging mode to High Performance Extensible Logging for enhanced log and trace capabilities.

In HPEL mode, the log and trace contents are written to a log data or trace data repository in a proprietary binary format. The use of a binary log format instead of a plain-text format is designed to improve performance of the server by providing faster log and trace handling capabilities. For more information, see High Performance Extensible Logging (HPEL) in the WebSphere Application Server documentation.

For WebSphere Application Server environments running in IBM Cloud Private, either on VM Quickstarter virtual machines or in a Kubernetes cluster, HPEL mode enables logs to be displayed in a Kibana dashboard through the HPEL LogViewer tool.

HPEL LogViewer

The HPEL LogViewer is a command-line tool in WebSphere Application Server that you can use to work with the HPEL log data and trace data repositories. The tool provides filtering and formatting options that simplify finding important content in the data repositories. LogViewer can also continuously monitor and output the data in JSON format, which makes it consumable by other services, such as Kibana in IBM Cloud Private. To learn more about LogViewer, see LogViewer command-line tool in the WebSphere Application Server documentation.

Enable HPEL mode logging with JSON output

  1. In your WebSphere Application Server environment in VM Quickstarter, change the basic logging mode to HPEL mode. For details, see Changing from basic mode to HPEL logging and tracing in the WebSphere Application Server documentation.
  2. Run the following LogViewer command, which outputs the log and trace data to the specified log file in JSON format and continuously monitors it.

    <WAS_ROOT>/bin/ -outLog <logviewer-output-log-file> -format json -resumable -resume -monitor &

What to do next

To view the WebSphere Application Server logs in a Kibana dashboard in IBM Cloud Private, you must configure your virtual machine to send the logs to IBM Cloud Private by using Filebeat. For detailed instructions, see Sending WebSphere logs to an IBM Cloud Private cluster.

The VM Quickstarter administrator must also enable IBM Cloud Private to receive and display WebSphere Application Server logs. See Monitoring WebSphere Application Server logs in IBM Cloud Private.