Log Insight Agent: Linux Configurations for Common Applications

In my previous post, I discussed how to configure vRA logging. In this post I would like to provide some Log Insight Linux agent configuration samples for common Linux and VMware applications. You may notice some duplication of information. I will be updating this post over time so be sure to check back from time to time!

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Log Insight Agent: Windows Configurations for Common Applications

In my previous post, I discussed how to build Log Insight Windows agent configuration sections for monitoring log files, in this post I would like to provide some additional sample configurations for common Microsoft and VMware applications. I will be updating this post over time so be sure to check back from time to time!

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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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Host is not responding

I was recently deploying a Cloud Foundry instance and was experiencing errors during the deployment. From the several failed deployments, I received the following BOSH error messages:

Error 100: Unable to communicate with the remote host, since it is disconnected.

mysql_node/54: Unable to communicate with the remote host, since it is disconnected.

Error 100: A general system error occurred: Server closed connection after 0 response bytes read; SSL(TCPClientSocket(this=000000000de625e0, state=CONNECTED, _connectSocket=TCP(fd=-1), error=(null)) TCPStreamWin32(socket=TCP(fd=23280) local=10.23.6.17:59642, peer=10.17.0.156:443))

Looking at the events on the ESXi host I saw the following:

Host is not responding

What was causing the issue and how can it be fixed?

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Cannot install the vCenter agent service. Cannot upload agent

During a recent change ticket in a non-production environment I was called into an All Paths Down (APD) situation on some ESXi hosts. For those who do not know what an APD is, it is when an ESXi host loses all paths to its shared storage. The ESXi hosts impacted in my particular case were hosting several virtual vCenter Server (vCS) instances. The virtual vCS VMs were being used by a group of developers for SOAP calls in order to provision, modify, and delete VMs. Once all the vCS instances had been recovered and vSphere client sessions verified that the instances were operational, the instances were turned back over to development. The developers immediately began complaining about SOAP commands failing to the vCS instances.

What was going on?

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A general system error occurred internal error vmodl.fault.HostCommunication

I am in the process of building my home lab. I recently purchased two servers and installed ESXi 4.1 on them. In addition, I deployed a test vCenter Server instance so I could run VUM. With vCenter Server up, I attempted to add the two ESXi servers. The first one added without issue, but the second one failed with the error messages:

Cannot complete the configuration of the HA agent on the host. See the task details for additional information.

Misconfiguration in the host network setup

I verified that the hosts were in fact configured identically and then tried to add the host again, but the same error messages were displayed. Based on the error messages, I found the following KB article: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1019200. Unfortunately, the link did not help.

Next, I removed the ESXi host from vCenter Server and tried to re-add it. This time I got a different error message:

A general system error occurred internal error vmodl.fault.HostCommunication

From this error message I found KB article: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1012154. This article pointed to name resolution (i.e. DNS) being my issue. I know of the importance of DNS with VMware products and was sure I had verified its configuration, but decided to double check. As suspected, DNS was configured and working as expected.

At this point, I decided to restart the management services as that fixes a majority of ESX(i) issues. Upon doing so and trying to add the ESXi server to vCenter Server, I received another new error message:

Unable to access the specified host, either it doesn’t exist, the server software is not responding, or there is a network problem

This error message pointed me to KB article: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1003409.

Again I tried everything suggested and was still receiving the same error message. At this point, I was frustrated. I decided to reboot the server just in case that fixed the issue. Upon restarting, the error message want back to the vmodl.fault.HostCommuncation one.

What was going on and how could this be fixed?

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fault.CustomizationPending.summary

Quick issue for you today. I was attempting to clone a RHEL 5 VM with a guest customization and the operation kept failing with: fault.CustomizationPending.summary. Turns out the VM I was attemping to clone was previously cloned with a guest customization, but was never powered on. The resolution is simply to power on the VM and once it boots up shut it down. Then you should be able to clone the VM with a guest customization without issue. VMware posted a KB article on the issue (http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1006809), but it only refers to VirtualCenter 2.5.x though I just experienced this issue on vCenter Server 4.1.

vCenter Server and MAC address conflicts

As I am sure you have heard by now, VMware recently released some updates including ESX/ESXi 4.1 Update 1, vCenter Server 4.1 Update 1 and vCloud Director 1.0 Update 1. Unlike many other bloggers, I opted not to write about the updates as I do not find any of the information all that important to talk about (i.e. it did not apply to me). However, while reading over the list of known issues with vCenter Server 4.1 Update 1 I came across an issue referring to vCenter Server instances and potential MAC address conflicts. Since I have seen a growing number of environments where multiple vCenter Server instances have been deployed, I thought I would talk about the issue and one of the best practices around deploying such an environment.

vCenter Server generates MAC addresses of virtual machines in part from an instance ID randomly generated and assigned to a vCenter Server instance at installation time. While this ID cannot be set during installation time it can be changed post installation. Why is this important? Well, if you only have one vCenter Server instance in your environment than it probably is not. Even if you do have multiple vCenter Server instances running (e.g. one for development and one for production) you will likely not run into any problems. With that said, if you have more than one vCenter Server running in your environment and by chance any of them have the same instance ID configured than it is possible that virtual machines in the vCenter Server instances with the same instance ID may have the same MAC address. As such, it is a best practice to ensure that each vCenter Server is configured with a unique instance ID.

Directions on how to check and set instance IDs are specified in the vCenter Server 4.1 Update 1 release notes and copied below.

Virtual machine MAC address conflicts

Each vCenter Server system has a vCenter Server instance ID. This ID is a number between 0 and 63 that is randomly generated at installation time but can be reconfigured after installation.
vCenter Server uses the vCenter instance ID to generate MAC addresses and UUIDs for virtual machines. If two vCenter Server systems have the same vCenter instance ID, they might generate identical MAC addresses for virtual machines. This can cause conflicts if the virtual machines are on the same network, leading to packet loss and other problems.

Workaround: If you deploy virtual machines from multiple vCenter Server systems to the same network, you must ensure that these vCenter Server systems have unique instance IDs.

To view or change the vCenter Server instance ID:

  1. Log in to vCenter Server using the vSphere Client, and select Administration > vCenter Server Settings.
  2. Select Runtime Settings.
    The vCenter Server Unique ID text box displays the current vCenter Server instance ID.
  3. If this ID is not unique, type a new unique value between 0 and 63 in the vCenter Unique ID text box and click OK.
  4. If you changed the vCenter Server instance ID, restart vCenter Server for the change to take effect.

If you have existing virtual machines with conflicting MAC addresses, edit the MAC addresses to make them unique:

  1. Ensure that the virtual machine is powered off.
  2. In the vSphere Client inventory, right-click the virtual machine and select Edit Settings.
  3. On the Hardware tab, select the virtual network adapter for the virtual machine.
  4. Under MAC Address, select Manual and specify a unique MAC address.
  5. Click OK.

Alternatively, you can force vCenter Server to generate a new MAC address for the virtual network adapter by configuring the virtual network adapter to use a Manual MAC address, and then reconfiguring it to Automatic.