giovedì 24 luglio 2014

VMware vCenter Log Insight Series Part1 - Introduction

It has been a while since my last post, so I decided to write some new content regarding my latest work. Recently I've been intensively working with VMware vCenter Log Insight 2.0 and I've to admit that this is a really valuable tool, so I decided to start a small post series regarding Log Insight.

In this first post I'll give you a brief introduction about this great piece of software.

Log Insight is an analytics tool that acts as a centralized logs server and is deployed in a VMware environment as a virtual appliance. The cool aspect of Log Insight is that it supports the collection of logs either from VMware infrastructure (i.e. ESXi hosts) either from physical infrastructure (i.e. physical servers, physical switches, etc.) either from application (i.e. virtual/physical machines guest operating systems).

Log Insight provides an easy to use interface to analyze, search, and aggregate informations from logs. It supports real-time complex queries against massive log datasets all accessible by using a web browser.

Log Insight use cases are:

-Identify issues during troubleshooting.
-Gain visibility across all infrastructure, either physical, either virtual, from a single log collection point.

Log Insight can be deployed following two reference architectures:

1)Centralized Log Management: where every log is sent directly over to Log Insight. This is best suited to be used in small to medium size environments.

2)Hub-Spoke: this is usually adopted in larger environments, even geographically dispersed, where all logs are first sent over to a syslog collector and only later are offloaded from the syslog collector over to VMware Log Insight.

Log Insight itself is designed to be scaled up and out. Scale-up capability is provided by supporting the size increase of the virtual appliance partition used for storing logs. Scale-out is achieved by native cluster support. Log Insight supports up to six nodes clustered to provide greater throughput and greater availability. A master node exists within the cluster and up to five slaves, referred as worker nodes, can exist.

During the installation of Log Insight you will be prompted to select the appliance size. According to the size of the infrastructure you are up to monitor you can either choose from Small to Large sizing deployment.

Small deployment requires 4 CPUs and 8GB of RAM and it supports the processing of up to 3GB of log files per day (with an average of 200 logs entries per second). Large deployment supports up to 113GB of log files per day with an average of 7500 log entries per second. It also requires 16CPUs and 32GB of RAM.

That's all for this first post, in the coming up articles I will guide you through installation and initial setup, configurations and analytics creation.

Other articles in this series:
VMware vCenter Log Insight Series Part1 - Introduction
VMware vCenter Log Insight Series Part2 - Installation and Configuration 
VMware vCenter Log Insight Series Part3 - Collecting Logs  
VMware vCenter Log Insight Series Part4 - Creating Analytics

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