syslog-ng / nmon-logger deployment


Syslog deployment topology - Generate and forward Nmon performance data from syslog-ng clients to your centralized syslog-ng servers

Introduced with the Nmon Performance Monitor 1.6.14, you can now get real time Nmon data from end servers even without any Splunk Universal Forwarders deployment.

This will be achieved using:

  • The nmon-logger package to be deployed on servers:
  • syslog-ng locally available on servers and configured to send data to central syslog servers
  • Splunk Universal or Heavy Forwarder instance installed in syslog-ng servers (collector or additional relays) that will monitor and send data in a “key=value” format to Splunk
  • Deploying the nmon-logger package to your end-servers, the package is now provided in rpm and deb packages

Optionally, a deployment tool manager like (Ansible, Chef…) is recommended, note that Playbooks for Ansible are provided with the nmon-logger package

Please review requirements in the above section.

Fast testing using Vagrant and Ansible:

If you are interested in a very fast and automated way to test the Nmon Performance Application with an rsyslog deployment, checkout the provided configuration using the excellent Vagrant ( and Ansible configuration management (

In about 5 minutes, have a running and automated deployment working !

Key concepts of an syslog-ng deployment:

Why an syslog topology versus Universal Forwarders deployment ?:

  • At first, this provides a powerful and resilient alternative way to deploy the Nmon Performance monitor
  • Syslog is a Unix / Linux standard, and available on many servers
  • Because you may already have an syslog-ng centralization available and you do not want to deploy any additional software on servers
  • Because sometimes companies don’t want to rely on proprietary software on end servers, deploying Universal Forwarders is not an option

Key concepts :

  • 100% of Application features over a traditional Universal Forwarders deployment
  • In a standard deployment of the TA-nmon and the Nmon Performance application, hosts generates Nmon Performance in csv structured data
  • To be transported over syslog, csv data are being transformed in a key=value format
  • While csv structured data is known in Splunk as “an indexing field structure”, key=value format will be extracted on the fly (parsing at extraction time)
  • csv structured data has an higher disk space cost but offers a very low level of volume of data to index (and so a low level of licence cost), and offers best performances at search time in SPL (Search Language Processing)
  • key=value format generates an higher volume of data and requires more power at extraction time, but it does not generate indexed fields, this also represents less disk space
  • Nmon Performance massively uses data model acceleration, key=value searching performance versus csv structured data will not be different from standard deployment

Can i send data directory from syslog to Splunk ?

Yes it is possible, but this is not the deployment topology i would recommend for multiple reasons, as exposed above:

  • You cannot guarantee that syslog-ng will send data in the order it should, this is especially true with multi-line events that could be mixed between hosts
  • syslog-ng can easily identify the host origin of the incoming data and generate per host files, which guarantees management of Nmon data (like large multi-line configuration data)
  • For resilient reasons, once it is configured, you will few often restart syslog-ng. (most often while rebooting the machine)
  • This is less true with Splunk as you will want to upgrade it from time to time, or deploy new configuration or application to manage new data
  • Finally syslog speaks to syslog, with the same native implementation and features

What about the nmon-logger deployment management ?:

  • In standard Universal Forwarder management, you can easily rely on native Splunk deployment servers to push and maintain the TA-nmon package
  • In the syslog deployment, you will deploy nmon-logger packages (rpm, deb) or deploy nmon-logger manually

Topology: Examples of possible implementations:

Example 1: Splunk Universal or Heavy forwarder installed on main syslog-ng collectors:


Example 2: Splunk Universal or Heavy forwarder installed third party servers running syslog-ng:



  • Splunk + Nmon Performance app:

First of all, have a Splunk working installation, and the Nmon Performance up and running ! (yeah, songs like an evidence :-)

Some specific requirements must be respected to achieve a deployment that uses syslog-ng as the transport layer:

  • SYSLOG-NG (V3.x minimal recommended):

Syslog-ng is required to forward Nmon Performance data to centralized syslog-ng servers, see:

  • Python 2.7.x OR Perl with the module Time::HiRes:

The nmon-logger will by default search for a Python 2.7.x environment. If it is not available, scripts will use Perl, when using Perl note that the Time::HiRes module is required.

STEP 1 : Syslog-ng configuration for central collectors:

A minimal configuration is required on Syslog collectors, this will make syslog-ng to listen on a dedicated TCP port to receive incoming data from end servers.

In the following example, syslog-ng will listen to the TCP / 514 port:

Let’s create a central configuration that will both log remote hosts messages and nmon-logger data (without duplicating them in both locations):


# syslog-ng configuration for central logging

options {

source s_tcp {

destination d_host-specific {

log {
       filter(f_nmon_performance); destination(d_nmon_performance); flags(final);

log {
       filter(f_nmon_config); destination(d_nmon_config); flags(final);

log {
       filter(f_nmon_collect); destination(d_nmon_collect); flags(final);

log {
       filter(f_nmon_processing); destination(d_nmon_processing); flags(final);

log {
       filter(f_nmon_clean); destination(d_nmon_clean); flags(final);

log {

Now create the nmon-logger configuration file:


# nmon-logger.conf

# Generic options
options {

# setup destination for Nmon performance data
destination d_nmon_performance {
        file("/var/log/nmon-performance/$HOST/nmon_performance.log" );
destination d_nmon_config {
        file("/var/log/nmon-performance/$HOST/nmon_config.log" );
destination d_nmon_collect {
        file("/var/log/nmon-performance/$HOST/nmon_collect.log" );
destination d_nmon_processing {
        file("/var/log/nmon-performance/$HOST/nmon_processing.log" );
destination d_nmon_clean {
        file("/var/log/nmon-performance/$HOST/nmon_clean.log" );

# filter all messages, on the "program" field.
filter f_nmon_performance {
filter f_nmon_config {
filter f_nmon_collect {
filter f_nmon_processing {

filter f_nmon_clean {

Restart syslog-ng:

sudo service syslog-ng restart

STEP 2 : syslog-ng configuration for end servers:

Each of your end servers must be configured to send its syslog data to the central syslog-ng server.

Create the central client configuration that forwards local log to central servers:


# Client configuration for central logging
# log all syslog messages to remote syslog-ng server

destination d_net { tcp("syslog-ng-central" port(514) log_fifo_size(1000)); };
log { source(s_src); destination(d_net); };

IMPORTANT: syslog-ng does not natively support fail over mechanism, such mechanism must be operating on Operating system level (OS cluster) or using third party software such as HA-proxy.

Restart syslog-ng:

sudo service syslog-ng restart

Immediately after the restart, syslog-ng starts to forward data to central syslog-ng server.

STEP 3 : Deploy the nmon-logger to your end servers

On each end server, you must deploy the “nmon-logger” package:

Using your package manager

For compatible operating systems using the “deb” Debian package manager (Debian, Ubuntu…) and the “rpm” Redhat package manager (CentOS, RHEL…) you can easily deploy the pre-configured package matching your system:

Manual deployment

Ansible Playbooks are available in the Git repository, with Ansible the nmon-logger package is being totally deployed, up and running in a few seconds !!!

Deploying manually must be achieve the following way:

  • If not existing, create a system account for the non privilege “nmon” user:
useradd -r -m -c "system account for nmon-logger" nmon
  • Copy each file and directory to its destination by respecting the files and directories structure from the package

Package content description:

### Content:                    ###

### nmon-logger-syslog-ng: ###

  • Set correct permissions for each piece of the package:

Execute these commands as root:

mkdir /var/log/nmon-logger; chown nmon:nmon /var/log/nmon-logger; chmod 0755 /var/log/nmon-logger

chown -R nmon:nmon /etc/nmon-logger; chmod -R 0755 /etc/nmon-logger

chown root:root /etc/cron.d/nmon-logger; chmod 0644 /etc/cron.d/nmon-logger

chown root:root /etc/logrotate.d/nmon-logger; chmod 0644 /etc/logrotate.d/nmon-logger

chown root:root /etc/syslog-ng/conf.d/nmon-logger.conf; chmod 0644 /etc/syslog-ng/conf.d/nmon-logger.conf

OPTIONAL : Verification on end server(s)

For trouble shooting or verification purposes, you may want to verify that things are working fine on the server where the nmon-logger has been deployed.

Nmon processes:

After a few minutes upon the deployment, a new nmon process must be running:

root@syslog-client:/var/log/nmon-logger# ps -ef | grep nmon
nmon      7029     1  0 22:07 ?        00:00:00 /etc/nmon-logger/bin/linux/generic/nmon_linux_x86_64 -f -T -d 1500 -s 60 -c 120 -p

Various log will be generated about nmon data management:

root@syslog-client:/var/log/nmon-logger# ls -ltr /var/log/nmon-logger/
total 156
-rw-rw-r-- 1 nmon nmon   3441 janv. 26 21:15 nmon_clean.log
drwxrwxr-x 6 nmon nmon   4096 janv. 27 22:07 var
-rw-rw-r-- 1 nmon nmon  18719 janv. 27 22:10 nmon_collect.log
-rw-rw-r-- 1 nmon nmon 122781 janv. 27 22:10 nmon_processing.log

And Nmon Performance data:

root@syslog-client:/var/log/nmon-logger# ls -ltr /var/log/nmon-logger/var/*
-rw-rw-r-- 1 nmon nmon    5 janv. 27 22:07 /var/log/nmon-logger/var/

total 112
-rw-rw-r-- 1 nmon nmon 111509 janv. 27 22:07 nmon_configdata.log

total 6068
-rw-rw-r-- 1 nmon nmon 6206333 janv. 27 22:12 nmon_perfdata.log

Et voila !

OPTIONAL : Verifications on syslog-ng collector(s)

On syslog-ng collector(s), a directory with the name of the server will host Nmon logs:

root@syslog-ng-central:~# ls -ltr /var/log/nmon_performance/syslog-ng-client/
total 1960
-rw-r----- 1 root adm   35220 janv. 30 12:54 nmon_config.log
-rw-r----- 1 root adm    5604 janv. 30 13:50 nmon_clean.log
-rw-r----- 1 root adm   23343 janv. 30 13:53 nmon_collect.log
-rw-r----- 1 root adm  193058 janv. 30 13:53 nmon_processing.log
-rw-r----- 1 root adm 1724814 janv. 30 13:53 nmon_performance.log

STEP 4 : Splunk it !

The last step is getting the data indexed in Splunk:

  • Have Splunk forwarding data to your indexer(s)
  • Deploy the TA-nmon to your instance
  • Create a local/inputs.conf to index Nmon Performance data, example:
# inputs.conf

disabled = false
index = nmon
sourcetype = nmon_data:fromsyslog
source = perfdata:syslog

disabled = false
index = nmon
sourcetype = nmon_config:fromsyslog
source = configdata:syslog

disabled = false
index = nmon
sourcetype = nmon_collect:fromsyslog
source = nmon_collect:syslog

disabled = false
index = nmon
sourcetype = nmon_clean:fromsyslog
source = nmon_cleaner:syslog

disabled = false
index = nmon
sourcetype = nmon_processing:fromsyslog
source = nmon_processing:syslog
# Wait additional time to avoid incorrect event breaking
multiline_event_extra_waittime = true

Restart Splunk

Et voilà !

If everything is fine in your configuration, you should start to receive incoming data in Nmon Performance monitor application.

OPTIONAL : Check your work !

Running a search over the hostname of the end server:


Interface example: