VMware vCenter Log Insight: A new approach to analyzing unstructured machine data

VMware vCenter Log Insight: A new approach to analyzing unstructured machine data

Posted on June 11, 2013 by 

Today, I am very excited to announce the availability of VMware vCenter Log Insight, our new log analytics and management solution. vCenter Log Insight helps customers quickly search and analyze all their IT log data, providing them with meaningful, actionable operational insights.

With vCenter Operations Management Suite, VMware introduced an analytics-based operations management solution that targets structured data (metrics, KPIs, events, alerts). Today, vCenter Log Insight extends our analytics-based approach to logs and unstructured machine-generated data. Together, these offerings provide a complete and integrated solution for cloud operations management.

vCenter Log Insight is now available as a full-featured beta download that customers can access and try out for free here.

The Emerging Need for Log Analytics

Log Analytics is becoming increasingly important to customers as their virtual environments grow in scale and as they move to the cloud. Logs contain valuable behavior and diagnostics information about dynamic environments that cannot be obtained from raw metrics alone. Increasingly, Enterprises and SMBs alike rank log analytics as a ‘must have’ capability.

At the same time, log analytics is a complex problem, as logs get generated from all types of sources and quickly add up to huge volumes that become difficult to manage. Digging through logs is a time-consuming affair which can take IT several hours of effort multiple times a week. Log data can be overwhelming – akin to metrics overload and alert storms. For example, an average vSphere host generates about 250 MB of logs per day, and Microsoft Exchange can generate up to 1 GB of logs per day.

Despite the issues with logs having existed for so long, log analytics is still an emerging market. We found that 73% of customers use only command line tools, or no tools at all, for log analytics. While some log management tools are available today, they are not yet widely adopted, due to their inherent complexity or because they’re too expensive. With Log Insight, VMware offers customers a fresh, powerful, easy to use and broadly accessible solution to solve their log data challenges.

vCenter Log Insight and Cloud Operations Management

vCenter Log Insight extends VMware’s analytics-based approach to IT operations to log data, with a powerful browser-based solution that is extremely intuitive and easy to use. Optimized to produce the best results for VMware environments, its search and analysis capabilities can also be applied to operating systems and applications, storage and networking devices, and more, delivering customers the operational intelligence they need across all tiers of their IT infrastructure.

Log Insight is a compelling tool for IT operations, and customers can use it for monitoring, troubleshooting and root cause analysis. Additional capabilities currently under development include security monitoring, compliance management, business transaction monitoring, and more. Upon general availability, vCenter Log Insight will come with a simple and predictable pricing model, making it accessible to a broad set of customers.

The tight integration of vCenter Log Insight with vCenter Operations Manager enables the seamless transition from monitoring to troubleshooting. It allows customers to easily traverse the last mile to root cause, reducing mean time to identification and resolution. vCenter Log Insight can send notifications to vCenter Operations Manager, bringing everything together in a single dashboard and enabling correlative analyses. Moreover, from vCenter Operations Manager, you can select any object and launch vCenter Log Insight in-context, to search through and analyze logs related to that object.

Try vCenter Log Insight for free!

Starting today, vCenter Log Insight is available as a full-featured free beta download for customers to try out and give us feedback. Your input will help us shape and improve the product in future releases. So go ahead, download the beta, try it out and let us know what you think.

Download the Free Beta Version
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