Tintri Syslog Configuration with VMware Log Insight


Tintri T600 series

Some of you might have missed the recent big announcement from Tintri, but we launched a new product line to expand our rock solid platform.  The T600 series (picture above) was launched shortly after VMworld this year.  Our customers love Tintri and how we help them manage their virtual environments and are screaming for more.  Our flash first file system gives them the feel of an all flash array but at a fraction of the cost.  This platform not only brings new hardware models to our customers so they can be very prescriptive on their storage requirements, but it also brings a few new exciting software features to the table as well.


Tintri OS 2.1

The new Tintri OS (where much of our intellectual property exists) continues to get better and better offering more features that our customers have been asking for.  The 2.1 version of code now offers several new features:

  • Snapshot enhancements
  • SNMP support (published MIB)
  • LACP support for advanced network configuration
  • Software upgrades from the UI
  • Syslog Integration

I thought I would dive into the syslog feature since I just had a customer ask about configuring this the other day.


Setting up Syslog configuration in Tintri

If you are an existing Tintri customer, you will notice that the menu list under settings now looks a bit different.  Notice the “more” tab in the image below on the left hand side.  This is where some of the new features such as LACP and upgrading from the UI now exist.




To configure the syslog integration, we will want to select the “Alerts” link about halfway down the menu options.  You will be presented with a screen that should look similar to what you see in the image below.  Most likely your email alerting will already be configured if you are an existing T540 customer and upgraded to 2.1.x.




The syslog configuration setting is the new field titled “Remote Server”.  This is where you will enter your syslog dns hostname or ip address so we can forward messages to your instance of VMware Log Insight.  Once you enter the correct values for your environment, select the option “Test forwarding” to ensure that communications are working correctly between the Tintri datastore and Log Insight.


Validate Log Insight is getting data

VMware Log Insight is designed to accept incoming syslog messages by default so there is no configuration that is needed to enable syslog support.  So, It’s time to check the Log insight server for our test data!  Login to your own instance of Log Insight and select the “Interactive Analytics” option at the top of the screen.  In the search column, insert the value “test” to search for our recently sent test message from the Tintri datastore.




You can see in the example above that we are getting the test messages from the selected datastores that I have configured for syslog monitoring.  You can now begin to create saved queries for events that you are interested in, such as cloning, system health metrics, as well as hardware related issues.

Currently there is no Tintri Content pack listed in Solution Exchange but this is something that I am planning on changing in the not so distant future!


vCenter LogInsight with vCOPS integration


I will be posting instructional notes to go along with this video shortly…



In short, this demonstration shows how to do the following:

  • Deploy and configure the vCenter LogInsight Virtual Appliance
  • Integrate vCenter and vCOPS
  • Add ESXi hosts to the LogInsight Server
  • Add a Linux server to LogInsight
  • Configure a managed alert
  • Create a custom dashboard in vCOPS to view captured alerts

A new blog for Aaron

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 1.59.59 PM

When I started VirtualInsanity in 2008, I never anticipated what it would become.  Instead of just place where I would post random thoughts ever so often, it has become a place that many new and part-time bloggers have come to call their virtual home.  By this measure alone, I think VirtualInsanity can be deemed a “success.” 


The one challenge I personally have with VirtualInsanity, is that the content of our bloggers is very much virtualization and infrastructure heavy.  That is by no means a bad thing.  Not at all.  But for me, my focus the past few years has been on automation and orchestration, application development, and an overall trend/ movement that is known as DevOps.   Can I create content in my newer areas of focus here on VirtualInsanity?  Sure, but I don’t think it resonates very well with the typical VirtualInsanity reader.



Therefore I’ve decided it’s time for me to create a new blog, ActualClouds which will be a site dedicated to the non-infrastructure and non-virtualization pieces of cloud computing.  But let me also be clear about one thing … VirtualInsanity is going no where.  I plan to transfer ownership of the blog to Scott Sauer, one of my original co-authors, where he and the other bloggers will continue to post here (as will I from time to time).


So, wish me luck.  ActualClouds is live and I posted my first entry this morning, BladeLogic Integration via vCO and SOAP.  Please stop by and check it out.  And if you like what you see, please help me get the word out about ActualClouds.


–Aaron Sweemer (Principal Systems Engineer @ VMware)

Have you discovered the elephant in the room?


clip_image002Over the past couple of years Big Data has been growing in popularity. Companies are trying to figure out how to better utilize data across their organization and social media sites. They want to utilize this data to:


· Develop Search engines and improve accuracy

· Develop patterns to better understand customers

· Make better predictions about customer needs

· Target marketing to customers


and many more ways that I am sure we don’t know about (is the NSA listening?). You may not even know if your company is running this or starting to look at this technology and that is why it is important to understand what it is and how you can help. Typically the infrastructure guys don’t find out about applications until there is an issue. They just need a server right?

Infrastructure IT has to align with the business and understand the business requirements as virtualization grows in our organizations. We can’t just give them a server and move on any more. As automation continues to make its way into the environment this becomes more important for us to understand. We need to start designing for requirements or scale appropriately. So do you know if Hadoop is being deployed or discussed in your organization?

If yes? As a VMware administrator you can provide value to the business in their efforts. In the vSphere 5.5 release Big Data Extensions (BDE) was announced as part of vSphere Enterprise and Enterprise Plus editions. This new tool helps you deploy and manage Hadoop clusters running on vSphere. Those features include:


Quickly Deploy, Manage, and Scale Hadoop Clusters. Big Data Extensions enables the rapid deployment of Hadoop clusters on VMware vSphere. You can quickly deploy, manage, and scale Hadoop nodes using the virtual machine as a simple and elegant container. Big Data Extensions provides a simple deployment toolkit that can be accessed though VMware vCenter Server to deploy a highly available Hadoop cluster in minutes using the Big Data Extensions user interface.

Support for Major Hadoop Distributions. Big Data Extensions includes support for Apache Hadoop, Cloudera, Greenplum, Hortonworks, MapR, Pivotal and (coming soon) Intel. HBase, Pig, and Hive are also supported. The Big Data Extensions virtual appliance includes Apache Hadoop 1.2. Customers can easily upload distributions of their choice and configure Big Data Extensions to deploy their preferred distributions.

Graphical User Interface Simplifies Management Tasks. The Big Data Extensions plug-in, a graphical user interface integrated with vSphere Web Client, lets you easily perform common Hadoop infrastructure and cluster management administrative tasks.

Elastic Scaling Lets You Optimize Cluster Performance and Resource Utilization. Elasticity-enabled clusters start and stop virtual machines automatically and dynamically to optimize resource consumption. Elasticity is ideal in a mixed workload environment to ensure that high priority jobs are assigned sufficient resources. Elasticity adjusts the number of active compute virtual machines based on configuration settings you specify.




That’s great but what is Hadoop? Apache Hadoop is an open source large scale distributed batch processing infrastructure. Got all of that? Well the easiest way to explain it is we want to collect data and figure out how to make it useful. The goal is to take large amounts of data and break it into smaller, easier data sets that can be processed at the same time. This also allows for the data to be crawled for interesting data about you and what you did last night on Twitter. An example might be to collect data from your company website and/or other social media sites and look for trends in what people are saying about your products and where they are at. This way they can focus marketing in a particular area. As infrastructure folks we need to pay attention to the scale because Hadoop can run a lot of nodes and process a lot of data. It can run on local disk as it has its own file system HDFS or can integrate with storage systems like EMC Isilon that has HDFS already (Check out the EMC Starter kit below if you have Isilon).

That said; if your company is just getting started with Hadoop this is the perfect time to look at Big Data Extensions. It can help you accelerate your deployment as well as take advantage of all of the existing advantages you get with vSphere. Are you interested in taking a look at the demo? Interested in learning more about BDE if so you can visit these sites:


VMware Apache Hadoop on vSphere

Try/Download vSphere BDE

Benchmarking Case Study Hadoop Performance on vSphere

EMC Starter Kit


Don’t forget to get some hands on training at VMware Labs; the Hol-SDC-1309 is the lab for Big Data Extensions. There are other distributions of Hadoop that are supported and offer downloads of their products for you to try out:







I wanted to say thank you to Kevin Leong and Sarah Korah for spending some time with our customers and educating us all on the great stuff VMware is doing. If you or anyone you know is going to be at the Hadoop World /Strata later this month in NYC (October 28th – 30th) stop by, say hello to the VMware BDE team and join the Hadoop virtualization action.

Home Lab Series: Brief Status Update


This is a slight side step from my ‘ESXi 5.5, VSAN, and Mac Mini series’, which I am still very much working on.  I am presently testing a custom ISO I built that should replace the need for the work around outlined in William Lam’s post covering the Mac Mini Thunderbolt adapter caveat.  The issue at its core is that the Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter device id is missing from the driver map file and as such is not loaded by the kernel at boot.  The immediate work around can be run manually and/or added into an ESXi host’s /etc/rc.local.d/local.sh file to run automatically at startup.

The issue I have experienced with this workaround is that, when a host is rebooted, the existing binding for the thunderbolt adapter is lost and needs to be reconfigured.  An additional reboot/reload of the vmkdevmgr is required to clear out the old adapter before it can be re-added. multipleNIC1

This is not a show stopper, it simply adds the task of gracefully removing the adapter from its vSwitch/VDS prior to performing maintenance on a host.  Which I have successfully done without impact to my VMs even when running on VSAN. 

This is where the custom ESXi installation ISO I’m working on comes into play.  It includes a modified driver map file with the device id for the Apple thunderbolt adapter by default.  (I already covered some statements on supportability in my first entry on this topic, and this certainly falls into that category).  I will include the ISO and the steps to build one yourself in part two as soon as I validate it!  Until then, here is a little of what I have been doing with my home lab. 


(Slightly off-topic and a bit dated at almost a year, but check out this post on a company who took it upon themselves to leverage 160 Mac Mini servers to replace Apple’s retired Xserve platform.)

labvmsI underestimated just how much I would nerd out after getting this lab running.  In my nested environment I was constrained by resources and availability (too noisy to leave on), which prevented me from getting too carried away.  That’s a bloated apology for taking my time with this second update, but as you’ll see in the screenshot to the right, I was far from idle. 

Does standing up a virtual load balancer to test external NAT to my VPN and Ventrilo servers in the midst of other tasks qualify as a symtom of ADD? 

To assist in benchmarking this new environment, I prioritized an evaluation version of vCenter Operations Manager.  Establishing baselines and understanding workloads is the best way to maximize a home lab investment.  You may have also noticed the ‘MacOSX’ VM, which plays host to my family’s Plex Media Server.  This system has a stringent SLA agreement, that my wife often monitors, and I dare not risk breaching it.  (She holds a large stake in the budgeting process).

Apart from playing with F5s BigIP LTM VE and the OpenVPN appliance, I have flashed my ASUS RT-N16 router firmware, replacing it with DD-WRT to test out the OpenVPN integration and other features.  All of course with some future projects and home lab scenarios in mind.

In short, this lab is already paying dividends by providing a place for me to both learn, work, and play.  The uptime of my first few VMs is nearing the two week mark, power outages and all.  Check back soon or follow me on Twitter for more details about my next update.


VMware and Puppet Labs

One of the most popular partner labs at VMworld this year was Puppet Labs, HOL-PRT-1307 (Automate vSphere Provisioning and Management). If you haven’t heard of these guys you should take a look at what they are doing. Puppet allows you to manage your infrastructure through the lifecycle of the deployment. That means provisioning and configuration and of course they are working with VMware to create integrations that will benefit your infrastructure.

If you are interested in checking out some of these integrations that are coming take a look at the presentation that Becky Smith did at PuppetConf. Have you heard of Project Zombie? If not again Nick Weaver from VMware talked about VMware Hybrid Services and how we are leveraging Puppet to manage those environments. This should give you some insight around the benefits that the products together are providing. It is pretty typical to hear the Linux team in an organization talk about using Puppet or something similar. Recently I heard a lot of development teams talking about how they can leverage it. It has a lot of uses in other parts of the infrastructure as well as you can see in the presentations from PuppetConf. Take a look at Puppet Forge and you will see not only Operating Systems, (including Windows) middleware, applications, networking and storage.

Interested in getting started with Puppet and seeing how it could help you manage your vSphere environment? Start by reading some great articles already put together by:

Nick Weaver

William Lam

Nan Liu

Also there is some training out on the Puppet Labs website that you can get started with: https://puppetlabs.com/learn don’t forget integration with App Director and vCAC there is training available:

vCloud Automation Center

Application Director

Stay tuned for additional info and how to articles.

Building a Home Lab with ESXi 5.5, VSAN, and Mac Mini Server (6,2) (Part 1 of 3)


This will be a three part series around my experience building a lab environment utilizing Apple’s Mac Mini with ESXi 5.5 and VMWare VSAN therein.  This first post will focus on my choice of hardware components and supportability topics.  In part two I will provide a detailed account of the steps taken to run ESXi 5.5 on the Mini, the configuration of VSAN, and creation of a VM Storage Profile.  Lastly, in part three, I will focus on performance of my VSAN datastore using esxtop and testing failure/maintenance scenarios of the environment.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me on Twitter (@initDave) with any questions, comments, or critiques you might have.

Having a place to experiment on software and hardware without the fear of impacting the work or services of others is a beautiful thing.  You can make and break configurations all day long without any apprehension or fear of it affecting others.  Nesting an environment, that is running VMs within VMs, is also a great way to get your hands dirty in this way.  This is the method I used for the last several years on a Dell PowerEdge 2950 Server and it has served me very well.

With that, I am excited to announce this server’s retirement and to usher in my Home Lab v2.0, stepping away from nested while simultaneously reducing my footprint.  (Sort of, the Synology NAS and Cisco 200 Series switch may challenge that argument).  For the last three weeks I have been running vSphere 5.5 with VSAN Beta and it has been working great.  I’d say that I’m sad to see my rackmount server go, but I’d be lying.


old New

Home Lab v1.0

Dell PowerEdge 2950

2x Quad Core Xeon E5500


6x 450GB 15k SAS (LSI Raid Controller)

2x 1GB NIC

Home Lab v2.0

3x Mac Mini Server

2.3GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7


128GB Samsung 840 SSD


Synology DS1813+ NAS (8x 2TB WD Red)

Cisco SG200-26 24 Port GigE Switch (LACP and Static VLAN)


What drew me in to the idea of running this lab on the Mac Mini was the novelty, the challenge, and size of it.  I referenced William Lam’s work over at virtuallyghetto prior to and after purchasing my lab. I highly recommend you survey the waters prior to committing to any one build. Chris Wahl on his website, details his own lab while providing a plethora of links to HCL and non-HCL compliant builds of others.

An important choice I had to make when designing this home infrastructure setup was supportability.  The Mac Mini hardware is not on the official VMWare HCL list NOR is its AHCI controller as it pertains to VSAN.  With this project being a personal investment, it is important you understand and are comfortable with that.  However, while still not ‘official’, the VMWare Community is filled with a rock solid group of enthusiasts and professionals who impress me more and more everyday.  I utilized some stellar blogs in this little project of mine and I will be providing a consolidated reference list of all the articles I leveraged at the end of this series.  If you aren’t already reading or following the likes of William Lam, Duncan Epping, Scott Lowe, and Cormac Hogan, I highly suggest you do!

Lets get into the details of the hardware.


An additional benefit of the Mac as an ESXi host is the ability to run OS X virtualized without any special tomfoolery.  If you follow me on twitter you may have seen that I run a 2007 Mac Pro as a Plex Media server and I felt it was time to take this thing virtual.  The Mini was intriguing to me in conjunction with VSAN due to how small the footprint of the environment is.  My cluster capacity stands at 28Ghz across 12 Physical Hyper-Threading enabled cores, 48GB of Memory, 2.73TB of data storage, and 300GB of SSD read caching.  All of that and you can barely even tell they are powered on, which when compared to the full rackmount server, well.. you can’t compare.


Another key design element was a highly redundant form of storage for family photos, videos, and general backups, hence the Synology DS1813+.  The folks over at Synology caught my eye on the VMWorld floor with their iSCSI storage replication/failover features, scalability, Time Machine drive emulation, and VAAI support.  A great alternative would be the DS1513+, which is a 5-Bay NAS and is cheaper.  I was also interested in a storage solution that would function independently of my vSphere environment, which I fully intend to destroy and rebuild at least 10x in the next month or two.


For the network side I chose the Cisco SG200 series because I couldn’t afford a GigE Catalyst switch and this was a cheap alternative that fit my needs.  The 200 series supports LACP (up to four groups) and VLANs with static routing, which covers everything I was looking for in my attempt to simulate a segmented physical network.  I would have liked the additional features a full IOS or NX-OS implementation would bring, but my basement is not in that market segment unfortunately.

Look for part two in the next couple days where I dive into the technical bits of configuring ESXi 5.5 and VSAN on Mac Mini.  I’ll leave you off with a shopping list of the components inside this apparatus and links to some great immediate resources.

Apple Mac Mini Server (2012)

Corsair 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600Mhz

Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB SSD

SanDisk Cruzer Fit 8GB (For ESXi installation)

Apple Thunderbolt to GigE Adapter

Synology DS1813+ iSCSI NAS

2TB Western Digital Red NAS Hard Drive

Cisco SG200-26 24 Port GigE Smart Switch


Duncan Epping – http://www.yellow-bricks.com

William Lam – http://www.virtuallyghetto.com

Cormac Hogan – http://cormachogan.com

Central Ohio VMUG VMWorld RECAP


Missed VMworld, or just looking for a recap of what was announced? The Central Ohio VMUG will be held September 24, 8:30a.m. – 11:30a.m. at:

Tree of life

5000 Arlington Centre Boulevard

Upper Arlington, OH 43220

Click here for directions


8:30 a.m. – Check-In, Networking, Morning Refreshments

9:00 a.m. – VMworld 2013 Recap by Randy Snyder & Tom Mackay, VMware

10:00 a.m. – Break

10:10 a.m. – Fishbowl Conversation

- VMworld 2013 focus

- Attendees expected to get in the bowl!

10:40 a.m. – Introducing VMware NSX by Ahmed Ali, VMware NSX Specialist

11:40 a.m. – VMware Announcements, Q&A, Wrap Up


Join the local VMUG team and VMware team, see you there.

VMworld 2013

350 breakout sessions and over 70,000+ vm’s later and VMworld 2013 San Francisco wrapped up this week with over 23,000 attendee’s. By the way did I mention that it was the 10 year anniversary for VMworld? There were some great announcements and lots of information released. Actually I had over 500 RSS updates when I got home, mostly related to the event so I am going to try and get this down to something a little easier to consume.

First let’s start with the 11 minute Mother of all demo’s if you haven’t seen the full video and are not sure where to start reviewing all of the information start here. The entire video is 1.5 hours and is part of the Keynote presentation from day 2. Both the VMworld General Sessions are available online now. Did you know that the top 10 sessions from VMworld are already on line?

Here are some highlights on the announcements:

End User Computing:

End user computing meets the Software defined datacenter full session

EUC Strategy with new DaaS offering

Why I am excited about EUC

First Smart phone available on all major US carriers to launch VMware mobile virtualization solution

Next generation virtual desktop as a service

New Vmware ready devices

vCloud Suite Sphere 5.5:  

· 2x performance and scale improvements (including 64TB VMDK’s).

· Focus on application performance and availability with Big Data Extensions, improved App HA and wicked improvements to SRM including vSphere replication integration.

· A whole host of other improvements further validating that the "Compute Layer" of the SDDC continues to extend its market leadership position. 

vSphere 5.5 datasheet
What’s new in vSphere 5.5

vCloud Suite 5.5 clickable demo’s

It’s all about the applications

Big Data at VMworld

NSX and Network Virtualization:

· NSX does for the network what ESX did for compute: abstract, pool, and makes automation much easier.  This is a play on Agility & Simplicity and is about the services not the physical medium of the network.

· NSX is a bridging technology just like everything else we do. We sit on top of the physical Network, we don’t replace it, we extend it and make it better.

Introducing VMware NSX platform for network virtualization

Introducing VMware NSX

Changing the economics of Firewall services

vSAN and Storage Virtualization (beta announced)

· VSAN takes the local storage in a vSphere cluster and turns it into a big pool that can be used as any other target for storage resources.

What’s new in vSphere 5.5 Storage

Strategy for software defined storage

Hybrid Cloud Services (vCHS)

· Our long awaited and highly anticipated public cloud offering is live and available.

· Additional Data Centers in California and Virginia will be coming on-line to compliment the DC in Las Vegas.

· New service offerings such as Cloud Foundry, Desktop as a Service and DR as a Service were announced.

Hybrid Cloud Services at VMworld

Now available Vmware Hybrid Cloud Services

vCloud Hybrid Service marketplace

vCAC & vCenter Operations Management 5.5

· Support for vSphere 5.5 with focus on scalability & performance

· Support of Application HA, Big Data Extensions, vSphere Replication, Flash Read Cache and vSphere DRP

New Services and Certifications

· New Certifications are available for cloud (VCA-Cloud), data center virtualization (VCA-DCV), and network virtualization (VCA-NV), these certifications offer a new credential to validate entry-level skills VMware Certified Associate before progressing on to the VMware Certified Professional (VCP) certifications.

VMworld Wrap up

Press Releases

VMware Unveils Next-Generation Products and Services to Further Enable the Software-Defined Data Center

VMware Delivers vCloud(R) Hybrid Service(TM)

VMware and Pivotal Expand Strategic Partnership

VMware Cloud Management Helps Drive Adoption of Software-Defined Data Center Architecture


Get all of the news at VMworld TV

Tintri @ VMworld 2013


Tintri is a platinum sponsor this year at VMworld 2013, so look forward to seeing a lot of great things while you are out at the conference from us!  You can even win a trip to Ireland where you get a chance to grab a pint with our CEO Kieran Harty!  Pretty cool stuff!

Most importantly, –> insert shameless self serving plug here:  Come see my session!



Come join Rob Girard and I in session STO6557 as we cover how Tintri helped MaplesFS transform their storage landscape into high performing predictable infrastructure that is purpose build for virtual machines.  Hear it first hand from Rob as he dives into what technical reasons drove him to chose Tintri over the competition and how he drove MaplesFS to 100% virtualized.  I can promise that you will not be bored!  Between the technical speaking content, Rob and I will be cramming two live demo’s into this session so, strap in and hold onto your armchairs!   (No they don’t actually have arm rests at the event).  I promise I will explain what Tintri really means during our session (Hint:  See picture above).

Make sure you also check out the following 2 sessions if you are interested in hearing more from the smart people over at Tintri!  Rex and Justin are two individuals that will make your socks go up and down when it comes to understanding Storage + VMware.  Their session abstracts along with the numbers are listed below:

STO6558: Flash Storage Deep Dive: It’s Not as Simple as Replacing Disks with SSDs
Monday, August 26, 5:00 – 6:00 PM

- Rex Walters, Vice President, Technology & Strategic Alliances, Tintri


STO6559: Increasing VM Density — Realizing the Promise of More with Less
Thursday, August 29, 10:30 – 11:30 AM

- Justin Lauer, Senior Systems Engineer and vExpert, Tintri


I will be helping man the Tintri booth (1705) everyday from 2-6 p.m.  If you can’t make my session make sure to at least swing by the booth and say hello!  Looking forward to a great event this year and catching up with a lot of you out in San Francisco!