Skip to main content

vCenter 6 Windows Syslog Server Config

In vSphere 6 when deploying vCenter for Windows VMware syslog server is deployed with it by default. In this post I will describe how you can locate the config file and some of the changes I have performed for my setup

1) As you can see when you log in to vCenter and drill down to a particular vCenter instance and go to Manage > Settings > Syslog collector you will see the current settings. If you have selected, the default installation path of vCenter then you can see that the logs are stored at "C:\ProgramData\VMware\vCenterServer\data\vmsyslogcollector" otherwise it will be stored accordingly the drive you installed vCenter to. i.e. if you installed to the e:\ drive then your logs should default to "E:\ProgramData\.."

Also under Windows Services you should see the service "VMware Syslog Collector" running.

The first step would be to modify the log path to match your needs as you most likely not want it on your OS drive C:\.

2) Go to "C:\ProgramData\VMware\vCenterServer\cfg\vmsyslogcollector", use your favourite text editor to open config.xml file

3) Locate "<defaultDataPath> </defaultDataPath>" tag and you should see the current path of where the logs will go and it should match what you find in step 1

4) Edit the path to where you would like to store your logs, I have amended my one to point to my e:\vmsyslog folder and save the file.

5)Now restart the Windows Services for this component which is "VMware Syslog Collector"

6)If you drill back down to your vCenter settings Manage > Settings > Syslog Collector you should see the log path should have changed to reflect your new folder

7) If you look at the previous screenshot you can see that there are other settings such as ports to listen on, log file size rotations etc. All these settings are also within config.xml file which you can modify (Step 2 for path of config file).

If you do decide to change the default ports (UDP 514 or TCP 1514 for SSL) for syslog to listen on, then you need to make sure you change the Windows Firewall Rules (Windows Server 2012 R2) to allow the ports. There are 3 rule in Windows Firewall "VMware Common Logging Service", "VMware Syslog Collector" and "VMware Syslog Collector" which corresponds to the default syslog ports. The two rules that I would change would be "VMware Syslog Collector" and "VMware Syslog Collector" as I believe "VMware Common Logging Service" rule is used for other VMware related services as well. 

Other things to look out for is to make sure the rule is "Enabled" and also the "Profiles" that the rules apply to matches your Network Card Profile.

I will have another post which will document how you get your ESXi to send their logs across to this vCenter Syslog server.


Popular posts from this blog

Rolling back a version of ESXi

There is an option in VMware where after you have performed an major upgrade of ESXi you can roll back to your previous version. The benefit of this is that you would not need to reinstall your ESXi and its configuration if you had issues with the new software. I had to do this on one occassion in my lab where I upgraded from 6.5 to 6.7 and my VMs would not run because the CPU was not supported in 6.7. Please remember if you are using ISO method to upgrade ESXi please ensure you select "Upgrade ESXi, preserve VMFS datastore". Selecting "Install ESXi, preserve VMFS datastore" does not mean preserving datastore means retaining ESXi as it will still do a clean install of ESXi. This method does not work for vSphere 7.0 as there are changes to the partitions on the boot device. Below are the steps to roll back to a previous version which is quite straight forward. As always perform an backup of your host configuration before you upgrade or rollback ( KB2042141 ). I have

Configuring ESXi 6 host to send logs to Syslog Server

In my previous post I talked about configuring VMware Syslog server for Windows which is installed and enabled by default on installation of vCenter 6 for Windows. I will now describe the basic configuration that is required on an ESXi 6 host to be able to send logs out to a syslog server using my vCenter as the example. 1) Navigate to your ESXi host within vCenter. Go to "Manage" tab and select "Settings" followed by "Advanced System Settings". Look for the settings "" and highlight this settings. Click the pencil icon to edit the configuration for this setting. 2) You can now add the host name or ip address of your syslog server/s. You can enter just hostname or IP address, use udp://hostname:514 or ssl://hostname:1514 to be more specific on the port and protocol to be used. If you have multiple hosts then you use the comma (,) to separate each server i.e. udp://,udp:// 3)We n

Custom ESXi Image - ISO using PowerCLI

There comes a time when you have purchased a new hardware to run your ESXi software and discover that the installable base media provided by VMware does not include the drivers or the drivers are out of date. In the world of Windows (Plug and Play) it would discover the hardware and prompt you to provide the drivers so that Windows would install/update the drivers for the hardware. For ESXi if the drivers are not present during load time then the hardware will possibly not work. VMware uses VIB (vSphere Installation Bundle) as a way for vendors to distribute their drivers. To install these VIBs you can either use Update Manager or command line (esxcli). Now this is all good but it does mean you have to first install the base ESXi then use one of the steps above to install/update the drivers.   Some people might feel that it is OK to update the drivers using the above methods but what if it was the network card that was the new hardware and you needed new drivers. Without the net