In August 2013 I wrote about the VMAX Content Pack for VMware’s newly released Log Insight product (v1.0). At the time of release VMware was pushing hard for content packs and rode me pretty ragged for 2 weeks to produce one. As a result much of the detail around items like widgets was minimal. This was perfectly acceptable as VMware was also in the nascent stages of the product and content packs. Now with VMware’s release of Log Insight 1.5, they have made some important changes, particularly to the content pack component, which has allowed me to expand our VMAX Content Pack. As I’m only going to cover the new features of the content pack and how it relates to Log Insight v1.5, if you want the full Monty on Log Insight v1.5, VMware’s lead developer goes into detail here. Another great resource for everything Log Insight is Steve Flander’s blog: http://sflanders.net/ . Steve does a great job explaining the new features and how to use them as well as answering any questions.
***UPDATE 2/18/2013 version 1.5.1 of the content pack is now available which includes an important new feature to track the Symmetrix audit log. Check out Drew’s post about the enhancement here: https://drewtonnesen.wordpress.com/2014/02/12/auditing-with-the-vmax-content-pack-v1-5-1/***
Before I move on with the content pack let me point you to the VMware Cloud Marketplace where our content pack is located and also the original blog post on the content pack if you need a refresher:
So first recall that in Log Insight v1.0 any content pack was strictly read-only when imported. This could be a real pain if you wanted to modify anything since you had to first clone the widget, for instance, to the user-space (My Dashboards). One of the big changes in v1.5 is that the content pack can be imported into the user-space (now called My Content), thereby allowing direct customization without any tedious cloning (you still have the option of importing it read-only). This is a real time-saver. Once you customize the objects as desired, you can then export “My Content” and even choose what objects to export. Give it a name, and whatever other info you like – including an icon – and you have your own content pack to suit your environment.
The most obvious change in v1.5 around the content pack appearance is the definition in Log Insight. In the initial version of Log Insight, there was no capability to describe the content pack. Here is what the pack looked like in v1.0 of Log Insight:
As you can see, only basic information was provided. Compare this to the definition in v1.5:
Now we get a version and description of the content pack along with detail about each component of the pack. I found this particularly useful to get a high-level view of what each of the dashboard widgets is showing because the notes are included. The detail around the objects is another enhancement I made to the pack. As I mentioned, there was little time in the first release to do more than create the pack. I made it a point of concentrating on the notes for this release so that the user had more information at his fingertips without having to drag out the EMC documentation. So for instance here are the paltry notes for the Array state changes widget in v1.0
and now in v1.5.
I attempted to do the same for most of the widgets. Some of the notes will explain the various conditions the widget is showing while others will point the user to related documentation.
Along with the enhanced information I’ve added a bunch of alerts to this release. These alerts will be related to events that will also show up in one or more of the dashboard widgets. Note that some of the alerts require Unisphere for VMAX to be configured to send events to Log Insight.
By default, alerts are disabled so they must be manually activated if you want to use them.
There are a few other changes to the pack but you can discover those for yourself (or read the doc of course). When you download the zip file from the Solution Exchange it will contain both versions of the VMAX content pack along with the white paper which is also available on EMC.com. I hope you find the pack useful.
Check out the white paper here:
And the YouTube video:
Feel free to link out to the VMware Cloud Marketplace and download the pack – remember it’s free!