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HTTP request log shipping

VIP’s Log Shipping automatically saves HTTP request logs to an Amazon Web Services S3 bucket at 5-minute intervals. The logs are then available for storage, process, or analysis. Logs are an important asset for understanding the use of your system, connectivity issues, performance tuning, usage patterns, and in analyzing service interruptions.

  • Enable Log Shipping in the VIP Dashboard.
  • HTTP (web) request logs show data about each request made to our edge network of servers.
  • The path used to write to the bucket is [bucket]/[app_name]/[app_environment] (e.g. my-log-bucket/my-app/production).
  • A single S3 bucket can be configured to receive logs from more than one app or environment.
  • Objects written to the specified S3 bucket are done so with the bucket-owner-full-control canned ACL.

Log contents

The log files are written as a series of gzipped JSON files. Here is a sample record:

{
  "client_site_id": "000",
  "remote_user": "",
  "request_url": "/",
  "wplogin": "-",
  "timestamp": "19/May/2020:17:03:58 +0000",
  "request_type": "GET",
  "scheme": "https",
  "http_referer": "https://example/",
  "http_x_forwarded_for": "",
  "true_client_ip": "",
  "remote_addr": "REDACTED",
  "tls_version": "TLSv1.3",
  "content_type": "text/html; charset=UTF-8",
  "upstream_country_code": "GB",
  "sent_cache_control": "max-age=300, must-revalidate",
  "timestamp_iso8601": "2020-05-19T17:03:58+00:00",
  "sent_vary": "Accept-Encoding",
  "sent_x_cache": "hit",
  "request_id": "81cd24c5c46d4c1aa0205dd8001cdba6",
  "request_time": "0.001",
  "http_host": "example.com",
  "http_accept_language": "en-US,en;q=0.9",
  "http_user_agent": "Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_15_4) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/81.0.4044.138 Safari/537.36",
  "http_version": "HTTP/2.0",
  "body_bytes_sent": "8981",
  "status": "200"
}

Description of fields

body_bytes_sent — total number of bytes sent to the client

client_site_id — an internal ID unique to this environment

content_type — the media type of the resource, e.g. text/html; charset=UTF-8

http_host — the domain, e.g. example.com

http_accept_language — the contents of the Accept-Language request HTTP header

http_user_agent — the contents of the User-Agent request header

http_version — HTTP protocol version

http_referer — the Referer request header, if available, containing the purported address of the web page from which a link to the currently requested page was followed

http_x_forwarded_for — a header that is a means of logging a client’s originating IP address

remote_user — the username if the request was authenticated with HTTP Basic Authentication (we don’t log the password)

request_id — unique request identifier, this value is set in the X-Request-ID HTTP request header which can be read by a WordPress or Node application

request_url — the path of the resources that was fetched, not including elements that are included elsewhere, e.g. the protocol (e.g. http://, see ‘scheme’), and the domain (e.g. example.com, see http_host)

request_time — the time taken for the request

request_type — the HTTP method

sent_cache_control — the contents of the Cache-Control HTTP response header

sent_x_cache — a header from the VIP platform indicating whether the response was from a cache hit, miss, or pass

scheme — either http or https

sent_vary — The contents of the Vary HTTP response header; note that we do not allow free use of the Vary header (e.g. Accept-Encoding)

status — the HTTP response status code, e.g. 200, 404, etc.

timestamp — UTC date and time of request

timestamp_iso8601 — UTC date and time of request in ISO format

true_client_ip — a request header commonly set by reverse proxies, including Cloudflare, to indicate the remote address of the client they are forwarding requests for (see also: http_x_forwarded_for

remote_addr — IP address of the client making the request (see also: true_client_ip and http_x_forwarded_for)

tls_version — TLS version used by the client

upstream_country_code — all requests are geocoded by country at the edge of the VIP CDN using the incoming IP address, e.g. “US”, “GB”, etc.

wplogin — the login name (i.e. user_login) of the authenticated WordPress user, if any; requests where there is no authenticated WordPress user this field will contain -

Using your log data

The JSON formatted log files are human-readable, but the benefits of analyzing logged data are only available by ingesting them into another service.

Some available services for ingesting log data, depending on your use cases:

Last updated: November 04, 2021