VCAP6-DCV Deployment – Objective 5.3 – Manage and analyze vSphere log files 2


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Objectives 5.3 are broke down as the following

  • Generate vSphere log bundles
  • Configure and test centralized logging
  • Analyze log entries to obtain configuration information
  • Analyze log entries to identify and resolve issues
  • Configure logging levels for vSphere

Generate vSphere log bundles

You can generate log bundle from the Web Client for ESXi hosts and for vCenter.  Web Client – vCenter Instance – Monitor – System Logs – Export System Logs.  Select the host or hosts and choose whether to Include vCenter Server and vSphere Web Client logs.

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Choose what logs you want to export, this process can take a while so I would imagine the exam would ask for specific logs rather than all of them.  Select here to Gather performance data and set a time period if required.

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You can generate a log bundle directly from vCenter or PSC appliance by browsing to the following and logging in as root

>https://vcenter-FQDN/appliance/support-bundle

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If vCenter is running on a Windows box run the script from Start > All Programs > VMware > Generate vCenter Server log bundle – Extended or Start > All Programs > VMware > vCenter Server> Generate vCenter Server log bundle.

To generate vCenter log bundles using PowerCLI I can run the following, first connect to vCenter using connect-VIServer then run

>Get-Log -Bundle -DestinationPath C:\OSFiles\VCLogs

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I can also use PowerCLI to pull the ESXi logs

>Get-VMHost lab-esxi-01.vjenner.com | Get-Log -Bundle -DestinationPath C:\OSFiles\HostLogs

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Configure and test centralized logging

A host can be configured to point to a Syslog Server using various methods the following will show the esxcli commands.  First SSH onto the host and run the following

>esxcli system syslog config set — loghost=’tcp://192.168.0.200:514′

Once added run the following

>esxcli system syslog reload

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To do from the client on a host I go to Configuration – Software – Advanced Settings – Syslog from here the global logging rotation settings and default size can be set.

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To increase the logging rotation and size of the hostd and vpxa logs further Advanced Settings – Syslog – Loggers – hostd / vpxa

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vCenter Syslog service can be configured to point to a syslog server on the network  Web Client – System Configuration – Services – VMware Syslog Service.  The syslog collector is also installed with vCenter should you want to use that, on the summary health message it will display the server details and if it is running

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If you want to change the local host to a remote central syslog server add the remote server details from the Manage tab

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Analyze log entries to obtain configuration information

To check the configuration file browse to the host using a web browser https://lab-esxi-01.vjenner.com/host

Configuration files can be viewed such as the host file, license file, certificate files and host agent config file.

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Analyze log entries to identify and resolve issues

Key logs to examine on a ESXi host are as follows, these are located in /var/log

  • hostd.log – Logs all hostd service operations.
  • vpxa.log – Logs interactions between the host vpxa agent and the vpxd service on vCenter Server.
  • vmkernel.log – Core VMkernel logs, including device discovery, storage and networking device and driver events, and virtual machine startup.
  • syslog.log – Default syslog catchall.
  • fdm.log – Logs related to vSphere HA clusters.
  • usb.log – USB related logs.
  • hostprofiletrace.log – Host profile trace logs.

Its difficult to illustrate an example here that might be included in the exam, a lot of this section will come down to experience.  If you have a lab the examine these logs for errors.


Configure logging levels for vSphere

To change the logging level of vCenter I go to Web Client – vCenter Instance – Manage – General – Edit – Logging Settings – Logging Options.

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Options here are as follows

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2 thoughts on “VCAP6-DCV Deployment – Objective 5.3 – Manage and analyze vSphere log files

  • Chris Lewis

    Hi Kyle

    Great Article from a configure and test centralized logging point of view, you seem to cover configure but not test.

    after a little poking around you could use the following to test to make sure the hosts are logging to the remote logging.

    esxcli system syslog mark -s “Syslog Test Message”