Welcome to the extraxi blog...

If you found this page accidentally and don't know what extraxi is about... we specialise in reporting solutions for the Cisco Secure ACS and Funk SBR access control servers (aka AAA servers).

The servers are predominantly used to secure network services such as dial, wireless lan, vpn, firewall and network device management.

Typically these servers just chuck out MBs of raw CSV log data about network activity. What we do is to help collect this data then import and turn it into useable information.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Why we do CSV

We still get the occasionall comment about why aaa-reports! uses CSVs to import data from ACS - as opposed to syslog and ODBC (both of which will be supported in future) and this week a good reminder surfaced. 

While looking at some release notes for ACS v4.2 we stumbled across CSCsg62239. This bug blandly says "Binary text appears [randomly] in syslog output". Nice one.
In our experience CSV logging tends (with a few minor issues) to just work. ODBC logging slows the ACS to a crawl and syslog packets could go into a black hole and you'd never know.
If you have a legal or audit requirement to retain logs for any period of time - you need to use CSV based logs and collect/archive them regularly. This is where our csvsync client can help :)

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