Getting Started with Log Insight 1.5

As I am sure you have heard by now, VMware released the GA version of Log Insight 1.5 a week ago today. I wanted to put together a quick getting started guide for those who have not upgraded yet.

What is New

Lots! All of the features introduced in 1.5 TP2 and TP3 are incorporated into the product. For more information on these changes please see:

In addition, a few other changes have been made:

  • Upgrades in the UI are now done through PAK files instead of RPM files
  • When creating alerts to vCenter Operations Manager resources can be filtered in additional ways

From the VMware announcement:

Enterprise Readiness

  • Active Directory Support
  • Query Performance Optimization
  • Query Scheduling
  • Better support for vSphere & vC Ops

Analytics

  • Richer Visualizations
  • Scales to 1000s of fields
  • Field Auto-complete Query
  • Columnar Event View
  • Content Pack Framework

Platform & Usability Improvements

  • Improved Health Monitoring
  • Auto-sized Virtual Appliance
  • Simple Upgrades

What to Know

The documentation for Log Insight 1.5 has been significantly enhanced. Changes include:

  • All documentation is now centrally online
  • Documentation is now available in HTML form
  • Almost all information has been enhanced or completely rewritten

The one piece of documentation I recommend everyone read is theĀ release notes! Here are two items I think you should be aware of if upgrading from a TP release of Log Insight:

License file is overwritten during an upgrade

If you upgrade from Log Insight 1.5 TP3 by using the Web user interface, the license file gets overwritten with a blank one. After the upgrade the License section of the Administration page in the Web user interface shows an empy license key.

Workaround: In the Web user interface navigate to Administration > License, enter your license key and click Set Key.

Admin users that had configured Active Directory support in Log Insight 1.5 TP2 cannot add new AD users or groups after upgrading to Log Insight 1.5 GA

The way Log Insight handles AD authentication changed between the TP2 and the GA release. In the TP2 release, Admin users had to provide active directory credentials each time they added a new AD user or group. Log Insight 1.5 GA uses a binding user account to verify active directory users and groups. Admin users save the binding user credentials in the Administration UI and Log Insight GA uses them to verify AD users and groups instead of needing the credentials input each time.
Because Log Insight 1.5 TP2 does not store binding user credentials, Admin users cannot add new AD users or groups after upgrading to Log Insight 1.5 GA.

Workaround: Add a binding user in the Administration UI before you attempt to add new AD users or groups.

Note: Verify that you set the time on your machine with Log Insight instance to UTC time. Otherwise, the AD authentication will not work.
In the Log Insight Web user interface, navigate to the Administration UI.
Under Configuration, click Authentication.
Type the credentials of a binding user and click Save.

Upgrading

Considerations

Some common questions asked pre-upgrading are:

  • Should I do an in-place upgrade or a greenfield deployment? In-place! Log Insight fully supports and encourages in-place upgrades. Backups are recommended, but post-upgrade all information and configuration will remain.
  • Can I upgrade from 1.5 TP2 to 1.5 GA? Yes! Log Insight supports upgrading from 1.0 GA or newer to 1.5 GA.
  • Do I need to upgrade from 1.5 RC to 1.5 GA? No. 1.5 RC and 1.5 GA are the same build number so no need to upgrade.

How

Upgrading can be done from the command line or the GUI depending on what version of Log Insight you are upgrading from.

1.0 GA

In 1.0 only a command line upgrade is supported. The steps are:

  • Set the root password on the Log Insight virtual appliance (required for SSH access) – more information see the end of this post
  • Download and copy the 1.5 RPM to your Log Insight virtual appliance
  • On the Log Insight virtual appliance run the following commands:
    • service loginsight stop
    • rpm -Uvh <loginsight-15.rpm>
    • service loginsight start

Full directions can be found here.

1.5 TP <X>

In 1.5 TP2 a GUI option was introduced for upgrades. A command line upgrade is still possible, but it is recommend to use the GUI. The steps are:

  • Log into the Log Insight web UI with an admin account
  • Go to the administration section and the appliance page
  • Browse for the Log Insight 1.5 RPM you downloaded
  • Follow the prompts

Full directions can be found here.

Post-upgrade

After you upgraded, you and any other user who was logged into the instance will need to re-authenticate. The following steps are recommended post-upgrade:

Admin

  • If Active Directory support is desired then navigate to the Administration page and the Authentication section. After configuring Active Directory, navigate to the Users section to configure users and groups.
  • If using the configure-esxi script, reconfigure using the enhanced vSphere integration section of the Administration page. The command line utility is now deprecated in favor of the GUI option. Reconfiguration will ensure the proper status message is displayed in the UI and also address the syslog bug found in certain version of ESXi 5.0 and 5.1 (for more information on the bug see this post).

All

  • Try out the all-new vSphere content pack and consider enabling some of the defined alerts.

Free Licenses

If you have not yet tried out Log Insight or if you are looking for some free licenses then be sure to check out the promotion going on until the end of January. Basically if you purchase qualifying VMware software or support you can get 25 free licenses of Log Insight.

© 2014 – 2015, Steve Flanders. All rights reserved.

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