posted

2 Comments

The vRealize Automation 7.0 Content Pack for Log Insight has just been released, and is packed full of content specific to the new version. Those who are familiar with version 7 of vRealize Automation are aware of some significant changes in the product, many of which make the previous content pack for version 6.1 / 6.2 incompatible. Here is a quick rundown of some of the enhancements:

    1. Ease of configuration – developed using Log Insight 3.3, the vRA 7 Content Pack leverages Agent Groups for agent setup (see Steve Flanders’ post for more details on Agent Groups)
    2. Application Authoring Dashboard replaces the Application Services Dashboard as vRA 7 now includes this functionality in the core product and not as a separate tool
    3. Catalog Dashboard with queries to leverage end-to-end Request tracing
    4. Designer Dashboard focusing on the composition service used to track each component of a blueprint throughout provisioning
    5. Extensibility Dashboard focused on the Event Broker, the preferred extensibility mechanism for the machine lifecycle
    6. Authentication Dashboard replaces the SSO queries with new ones for VMware Identity Manager (vIDM)
    7. NSX Dashboard, specifically related to integration and data collection for vRA (leveraging embedded vRO)
    8. vRealize Orchestrator section has been removed as there is a separate Content Pack just for vRO now!

Read on to find out more…

Ease of configuration

With the Agent Groups built into the vRealize Automation 7 Content Pack, setting up the agents to collect logs is a breeze! You can copy the Agent Group template which comes as part of the content pack, provide a name, and save it. Then you just need to provide a filtered list of hosts (by name, IP address, etc) which have already registered to Log Insight via the Agent, and save the Agent Group. The configuration is automatically pushed out to the selected hosts and log messages will begin flowing in.

LI-Agents-Page

Log Insight Agents Page

LI-Agent-Config

Log Insight Agent Configuration

When you are setting up the Agent Group for the IaaS Windows host(s), you will need to actually update the file paths for some of the components as they are unique to each installation based on information provided at install time. For example, the DEO component will always be in a folder prefixed by the installed host name, as shown below, and therefore will need to have the basic setup provided in the Agent Group definition updated with the correct path.

vRA-Agent-DEO-Config

vRA DEO LI Agent Config

Application Authoring

Now that Application Authoring within the unified blueprint designer has replaced the external Application Services appliance, this dashboard was completely overhauled. As shown below, you can see the started and completed software provisioning workflow count, as well as software agent events.

vRealize Automation 7.0 Content Pack for Log Insight

vRA 7 LI Content Pack – App Authoring

Catalog Dashboard

The Catalog dashboard provides you with the necessary queries to leverage the end-to-end Request tracing capabilities introduced in vRA 7. This feature allows you to search log files for a common GUID related to a specific request to retrieve (nearly) all of the related logs. The reason I say “nearly” is because there are a couple of the IaaS components which are missing from this view, but the majority are there. Additionally, vRealize Orchestrator (vRO) logs can be traced back to the original request when vRO workflows are used for extending the provisioning lifecycle.

vRA7-CP-Catalog

vRA 7 LI Content Pack – Catalog

You can start by finding a specific request, using the “Catalog requests with context by user” query, and opening it up in the Interactive Analytics tab.

vRA7-CP-Catalog-Req-User

vRA 7 LI Content Pack – Catalog – Requests by User

Copy the context value to use as a parameter in the next step.

vRA7-CP-Catalog-CopyContext

vRA 7 LI Content Pack – Catalog – Copy Context value

Once you have the Context value, you can return to the Dashboards tab and paste the context value into the provided query parameter at the top of the page and refresh. You can now see all of the queries are filtered by this context value, and you can also leverage the saved queries in the “Queries to use by Context string” list.

vRA7-CP-Catalog-FilterByContext

vRA 7 LI Content Pack – Catalog – Filter by Context

Double clicking on the “All vRA Events with Context over time” query will open it in the Query Analytics page, with the context value already set. This gives you a complete view of nearly all log entries related to the specific request of interest.

vRA7-CP-Catalog-AllLogsContext

vRA 7 LI Content Pack – Catalog – All Logs for Context value

Executing the “Count by vRA Component of events for Context String” provides a graphical view of the logs by vRA Component. Some of the IaaS logs, including the IaaS Web, DEMs and Agents, are missing the Context value at the moment, but this will be added in an upcoming release.

vRA7-CP-Catalog-ComponentsByContext

vRA 7 LI Content Pack – Catalog – Component Logs by Context

Designer Dashboard

The Designer dashboard focuses on the logs reported by the composition service, which is responsible for recursing blueprint objects and breaking them down into their various components for processing through out the provisioning process. It is a very complex process, which is reflected by the volume of logs generated by this service. You can see successful vs failed requests, and in case of a failure, you will be able to see which component specifically failed and view related logs.

vRA7-CP-Designer

vRA 7 LI Content Pack – Designer

Extensibility Dashboard

The Extensibility Dashboard can be used to track Event Broker log events, including views over time, topic registration, errors, and logs by priority.

vRA7-CP-Extensibility

vRA 7 LI Content Pack – Extensibility

Authentication Dashboard

The SSO Dashboard in the vRA 6.1/6.2 Content Pack has been replaced with a Dashboard specific to VMware Identity Manager for authentication and authorization. vIDM is installed on the vRA Virtual Appliance, so its logs come from the same host as other vRA appliance logs.

vRA7-CP-Authentication

vRA 7 LI Content Pack – Authentication

NSX Dashboard

The NSX Dashboard included as part of the vRA Content Pack is confined to details about data collection which occurs via the NSX vRO plugin. Here you will find information about data collections and errors that may have occurred. If NSX is part of your SDDC solution, you will want to install and use the complete NSX Content Pack for Log Insight to compliment the vRA Content Pack.

vRA7-CP-NSX

vRA 7 LI Content Pack – NSX

vRealize Orchestrator

The previous release of the vRA Content Pack for 6.1/6.2 included a dedicated vRealize Orchestrator Dashboard. This has been removed for the version 7 Content Pack because a more robust vRO Content Pack has also been released. This is another one which is highly recommended, in addition to this vRA Content Pack, for either the vRO embedded on the vRA Appliance or an external vRA host or cluster. See the next post for more details.

Downloading and Configuring

The vRealize Automation 7.0 Content Pack for Log Insight is available from the in-product Log Insight Marketplace or on VMware Solution Exchange. If you are looking for information on how to configure vRealize Automation components to log to Log Insight, see the Setup Instructions embedded in the Content Pack.

vRA7-CP-SetupInstructions

vRA 7 LI Content Pack – Setup Instructions

I hope you find this new Content Pack helpful in monitoring your vRA environment. Feel free to leave a comment or reach out to me via Twitter for with feedback or enhancement requests. Happy Troubleshooting!