Log Insight 3.3 for vCenter Server

A major announcement with Log Insight 3.3 is that everyone with a supported vCenter Server Standard, Enterprise, or Enterprise Plus license gets an edition of Log Insight for free. If you own vCenter Server you should definitely take a look at Log Insight now that you are entitled to it. I would talk about everything you need to know on my blog, but I helped co-write the Log Insight for vCenter Server FAQ. Note the FAQ went live on February 10, nearly a month before the GA of Log Insight 3.3. It has received a major overhaul as of yesterday (2016-03-21) so even if you have seen this post in the past, please read it again from top to bottom.


I will reiterate some of the most important pieces here:

  • If you have a vCenter Server 6.0 Standard, Enterprise, or Enterprise Plus license then Log Insight 3.3 will accept it to enabled Log Insight for vCenter Server edition.
  • If you have a vCenter Server 5.0, 5.1, or 5.5 Standard, Enterprise, or Enterprise Plus license then on the vSphere download page you will see a link to Log Insight — the read more link for the Log Insight virtual appliance contains a key that can be used — Log Insight 3.3 will NOT accept keys from vCenter Server 5.x.
  • Only one Log Insight for vCenter Server key can be applied per Log Insight instance and it must be the first license added (e.g. before evaluation license) — you cannot downgrade to Log Insight for vCenter Server edition.
  • Log Insight for vCenter Server limits you to a standalone Log Insight node (no clustering/VIP), one vSphere integration (no auto configuration of ESXi), VMware product content packs (based on namespace not author), and disabled enterprise features including event forwarding, archiving, and SSL.
  • The Log Insight for vCenter Server license entitles you to 25 OSI, which can be used for any device logging whether physical or virtual, application or OS, etc.
  • If a standard license is added to a Log Insight instance with an existing vCenter Server license then the vCenter Server license is converted to a standard license as well (i.e. you get 25 OSI of standard for free with the purchase of any standard license).

Configuring Remote Syslog on vSphere Using vCenter Log Insight

Now that you have vCenter Log Insight deployed and configured, you need to configure sources to send their log messages to Log Insight. If you enabled vCenter Server integration then you should start to receive log messages, but this is only the beginning of configuring remote syslog sources.

IMPORTANT: Configuring vCenter Server integration does not configure vCenter Server or ESX/ESXi hosts connected to vCenter Server to send remote syslog to Log Insight. For more information continue reading!

Let’s start by going over what Log Insight supports today and what mechanisms it has to configure vSphere devices for you.

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Automating VCSA Configuration

If you have deployed the VCSA a couple of dozen times like me then you quickly realize that it is necessary to script the initial configuration of the device. I would highly recommend taking a look at William Lam’s blog for some great setup scripts including:

Something that I noticed was missing from William’s scripts was the ability to configure application layer services such as NTP and Syslog. As such, I put together a couple quick scripts shared below.

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