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Analyze MySQL Audit Logs with ClickHouse and ClickTail

 | March 29, 2018 |  Posted In: Database Monitoring, MySQL, Yandex ClickHouse


MySQL Audit LogsIn this blog post, I’ll look at how you can analyze MySQL audit logs (Percona Server for MySQL) with ClickHouse and ClickTail.

Audit logs are available with a free plugin for Percona Server for MySQL ( Besides providing insights about activity on your server, you might need the logs for compliance purposes.

However, on an active server, the logs can get very large. Under a sysbench-tpcc workload, for example, I was able to generate 24GB worth of logs just within one hour.

So we are going to use the ClickTail tool, which Peter Zaitsev mentioned in Analyze Your Raw MySQL Query Logs with ClickHouse and the Altinity team describes in the ClickTail Introduction.

Clicktail extracts all fields available in Percona Server for MySQL’s audit log in JSON format, as you can see in Schema. I used the command:

clicktail --dataset='clicktail.mysql_audit_log' --parser=mysqlaudit --file=/mnt/nvmi/mysql/audit.log --backfill

In my setup, ClickTail imported records at the rate of 1.5 to 2 million records/minute. Once we have ClickTail setup, we can do some work on audit logs. Below are some examples of queries.

Check if some queries were run with errors:

First, it is very impressive to see the performance of 2.5 billion row/s analyzed. And second, there are really some queries with non-zero (errors) statuses.

We can dig into and check what exactly caused an 1193 error (MySQL Error Code: 1193. Unknown system variable):

So this was SELECT @@query_response_time_stats, which I believe comes from the Percona Monitoring and Management (PMM) MySQL Metrics exporter.

Similarly, we can check what queries types were run on MySQL:

There are more fields available, like:

to understand who accessed a MySQL instance, and from where.

If you ever need to do some advanced work with MySQL audit logs, consider doing it with ClickHouse and ClickTail!

Vadim Tkachenko

Vadim Tkachenko co-founded Percona in 2006 and serves as its Chief Technology Officer. Vadim leads Percona Labs, which focuses on technology research and performance evaluations of Percona’s and third-party products. Percona Labs designs no-gimmick tests of hardware, filesystems, storage engines, and databases that surpass the standard performance and functionality scenario benchmarks. Vadim’s expertise in LAMP performance and multi-threaded programming help optimize MySQL and InnoDB internals to take full advantage of modern hardware. Oracle Corporation and its predecessors have incorporated Vadim’s source code patches into the mainstream MySQL and InnoDB products. He also co-authored the book High Performance MySQL: Optimization, Backups, and Replication 3rd Edition.

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