One of the features I didnt explore in the past is the ability to redirect VMware vCenter logs files to a different Syslog Server. For those who run Synology NAS devices in their homelabs I have great news: actually we can configure Synology Syslog Server App for VMware vCenter. In this instance I will redirect the logs from the latest VMware VCSA I have installed in my homelab.
Synology offers a wide range of Apps either developed internally or by third-party. They range from Backup, Multimedia, Business, Security and other types as well.
In this case the idea is to install the Synology Syslog Server App to use as a collector for the logs from other Server Applications. In this instance I will collect the data from the VMware VCSA 6.5 running in my homelab.
The entire process is really straight forward and very quick to complete. In a nutshell all is required is to install the Synology Syslog Server App from the Package Center. Run a quick configuration for the logs we want to collect and then point the Application, VMware VCSA in our case, to the Synology Syslog Server.
Without much more ado let’s take a look on how to implement this in our homelab.
Install and configure Synology Syslog Server
Once we login to the Synology Desktop interface let’s hit on Package Center. From here we can simply search for Syslog or Log Center which is the new name for this Synology App (DSM 6.1.7). The same App is also available in the Utilities section.
After installing the App, which really takes a few seconds, from the “Overview” we have access to the main information including a realtime Graph and Chart. We can configure the Synology Syslog Server App for both sending and receiving Logs.
Let’s move to the Log Receiving section and hit on create to setup the first rule. Ideally should create the folder location where to store the logs from the “Archive Settings”. In reality we can configure this one on the fly.
As per screeshot below let’s choose a name, which has to be unique and the log format. BSD, IETF or Custom format. BSD in our case is fine. In addtion, we have the option to specify the transfer protocol TCP pr UDP and the desired Network Port. Should there be a firewall between the VMware VCSA appliance and the Synology Syslog Server let’s make sure the chosen Network Ports are open.
As soon as we hit OK we now need to specify a folder where the logs will be sotred on the Synology NAS. So let’s click Yes to continue and move to the Archive Settings section.
In the Archive Setting section let’s create or point to an existing folder.
From the same section we can also choose other settings like the Archie Rules and format. Very helpful to keep the Logs Database tidy and not too big. Also the option to Archive old logs keepin them separate from other Servers Applications sending their logs.
At this point when we move back to the Log Receiving section we can create and enable the rule for VMware VCSA logs.
We can now move to the Syslog configuration section into VMware VCSA Appliance and hit on Edit.
From this screen now we can decide which logs we want to redirect to the Synology Syslog Server:
We can specify both an IP Address or FQDN name of the Synology SysLog Server along with the Network Port and Protocol.
In a matter of seconds we can now see the Graph and the Chart showing the new logs coming in. Let’s make sure from the drop-down menus we select the VMware VCSA IP address or FQDN name. The first one coded blu shows the logs collection from the VMware VCSA.
From the Logs section of course we can have deep dive on the actual logs. Hovering the mouse over the logs also provides more details. Very nicely on the bottom left we can see the total amount of logs and level. So this way it would be a lot easier to focus on the critical ones. Moreover we cannot just search for specific logs using the Advanced Search box but we can also export them into other formats like HTML and CSV.
If we now take a look at the foldet where the logs are saved we can see a SQLite Database for the purpose. In fact both .shm and .wal are temporary files for Shared Memory and Write-Ahead Logs used by SQLite.
This concludes a quick configuration to configure VMware VCSA with Synology Syslog Server App.
Do you know how the custom format rule works?
Hi Steve, Thanks for your comment.
I haven’t personally tried the custom format. It is based on patterns and expressions. More info with a sample can be found on this page from Synology with pertinent links: https://www.synology.com/en-uk/knowledgebase/DSM/help/LogCenter/logcenter_server. Hope it helps,