Monday 21 February 2022

Step-by-step VMware Cloud Foundation 4.3 design and install vRLI

In my previous post Step-by-step VMware Cloud Foundation 4.3 design and install vROPS we have completed deployment of VMware vRealize operations manager, now we are ready to start deployment of vRealize log insight solution aka vRLI.

In order to proceed further in our journey of a complete software defined datacenter stack, we need to incorporate products and solutions which fulfills certain needs of the SDDC. So far we have added the capability of self driving operations with VMware vRealize operations manager. What we still lack is a solution with which we can do our logs management. In every organization we have compliance requirements which includes keeping logs available for a certain amount of time (Long term archival). In this post we will be adding that capability to our SDDC.

    What is vRealize log insight?

    As per VMware "vRealize Log Insight provides intelligent log management for infrastructure and applications in any environment. This highly scalable log management solution delivers intuitive, actionable dashboards, sophisticated analytics, and broad third-party extensibility across physical, virtual, and cloud environments."

    As we already discussed in brief about the need of a logs management solution which is needed in every organization for analysis or troubleshooting or just to meet the audit and compliance requirements. Each use case around logs, needs logs to be preserved. Based on industry vertical or region these requirements may change.

    There are many log management solutions are available in market Log insight is VMware's log management solution, where they have added some more capabilities which adds value in day to day operations, rather than just being a syslog for dumping logs. 

    What are the benefits of vRealize log insight?

    Like every other solution available in market vRealize log insight is also capable of saving logs, but that is not the only thing it is capable of. It brings in features which differentiates it from its competitors.

    1)    Faster time to resolution.

    As vRealize log insight uses AI and ML for indexing and grouping of logs, searching within TBs of data is three times faster that its leading competitors. All logs are available at one place and indexed for a faster search with keywords related to observed issue. This one feature itself reduces time of troubleshooting drastically. As we do not account for the time invested in moving from one system to another, login to them and navigating it from one system window to another searching for logs and then corelating it manually. It feels couple of extra minutes, however multiply it with the number of issues in a day to in a month and then in a year. These numbers will blow your mind as one could have finished an entire project in the time wasted in just navigating thru windows.

    2)    Presentation of data.

    We all know CxO levels are not interested in lengthy reports, they are more interested in well presented data points which conveys the message in no time (Time is money). Log insight is well equipped with generating easy to use graphical interface for generating presentable graphical reports which would make sense to CxO level. It automatically chooses the best visualization for the data.

    3)     Single solution for log management.

    As it is extensible across virtual, cloud and physical environments, you don't have to manage multiple solutions. You can easily use log insight as a centralized log management solution for all environments across different platforms. Easy interpretation and analysis of the data with the help of content packs provided by solution vendors (Third party content packs).

    4)    Integrations and third party extensions.

    vRealize log insight integrates with VMware vSphere and vROPs, brings unstructured and structured data which results in  end to end operations management. There are multiple third party extensions available on VMware solution exchange which works with log insight which makes it a better choice than its competition.

    5)    Data Retention

    Every sector have different requirements for data retention,  vRLI allows customization in logs retention, which can be tweaked as per the local law or business needs. It allows enterprises to stay compliant with the audit requirements and helps following internal security policies and utilizing space efficiently.

    These are some of the main features or capabilities of vRLI.

    Watch deployment video

    How to deploy VMware vRealize log insight?

    1)    In order to start deployment we need to login to SDDC manager

    2)    Navigate to workload domain>>management doamin>>services tab and select vRLCM.

    3)    Login to vRLCM using vcfadmin@local credentials.

    4)    Navigate to Locker to generate/import certificate for vRLI.

    5)    Click on add certificate to generate and provide required information. Remember vRLI is deployed in a cluster type hence provide all FQDN and IPs in the certificate.

    6)    Now navigate to lifecycle operations and select manage environment option.

    7)    Click on elipses of vRealize suite environment, and click on add product option.

    8)    Choose vRLI from the available products and click next at the bottom right.

    9)    Accept EULA and move next.

    10)    Add/Select a valid license and validate by pressing validate association, then move next.

    11)    Select certificate which we generated/imported initially and click next.

    12)    Review Infrastructure details, If you have latency in your network then you can choose enable content library option.

    13)    Review Network details.

    14)    In products page, select appliance size (based on design decisions) check/uncheck affinity or anti-affinity check box. Provide admin email, check integration with identity manager check box for integrating vRLI with WSA deployment for IAM.

    15)    Provide appliance names and IPs and move next.

    16)    Now run pre-checks.

    17)    Once pre-checks are complete, review summary and submit deployment task.

    18)    Wait for all stages to complete successfully.

    This will conclude your vRLI deployment in VCF environment. You need to manually integrate vRLI to any addition workload domain you will provision in future.

    In my next post I will cover deployment of vRA using vRealize lifecycle manager in VCF environment.

    I hope I was able to add value, if your answer is yes, then don't forget to share and follow. 😊

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