Log processing was one of the original purposes of MapReduce. Unfortunately, using Hadoop for MapReduce processing of logs is somewhat troublesome. Logs are generated incrementally across many machines, but Hadoop MapReduce works best on a small number of large files. Merging the reduced output of multiple runs may require additional mapreduce jobs. This creates some overhead for data management on Hadoop.

Chukwa is a Hadoop subproject devoted to bridging that gap between logs processing and Hadoop ecosystem. Chukwa is a scalable distributed monitoring and analysis system, particularly logs from Hadoop and other large systems.

The Chukwa Documentation provides the information you need to get started using Chukwa. You should start with the Architecture and Design document.

If you're trying to set up a Chukwa cluster from scratch, you should read the Chukwa Administration Guide which shows you how to setup and deploy Chukwa.

If you want to configure the Chukwa agent process, to control what's collected, you should read the Agent Guide. There's also a Collector Guide describing that part of the pipeline.

And if you want to use collected data, read the User and Programming Guide

If you have more questions, you can ask on the Chukwa mailing lists