You can deploy vRealize Log Insight with a single node, single cluster, or cluster with forwarders.

Note: External load balancers are not supported for use with vRealize Log Insight, including vRealize Log Insight clusters.

Installation Through vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager

The vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager automates the installation, configuration, upgrade, patch, configuration management, drift remediation, and health for Suites products. As an alternative to installation with vRealize Log Insight, you can install vRealize Log Insight through the vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager. You must be using vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager 1.2 or later and vRealize Log Insight 4.5.1 or later. See vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager documentation for more information.

Single Nodes

A basic vRealize Log Insight configuration includes a single node. Log sources can be applications, OS logs, virtual machine logs, hosts, the vCenter Server, virtual or physical switches and routers, storage hardware, and so on. Log streams are transported to the vRealize Log Insight node using syslog (UDP, TCP, TCP+SSL) or CFAPI (the vRealize Log Insight native ingestion protocol over HTTP or HTTPS), either directly by an application, syslog concentrator, or the vRealize Log Insight agent installed on the source.

As a best practice for single-node deployments to use the vRealize Log Insight Integrated Load Balancer (ILB) and to send queries and ingestion traffic to the ILB. This does not incur overhead and simplifies configuration if you want to add nodes to create a cluster for your deployment in the future.

As a best practice, do not use single nodes for production environments.


Production environments generally require the use of clusters. Clusters must meet the following requirements:

  • Nodes in clusters must all be of the same size and in the same data center.
  • The ILB used with clusters requires that nodes be in the same L2 network.
  • vRealize Log Insight virtual machines must be excluded from VMware NSX Distributed Firewall Protection.

    This is because virtual IPs for clusters use a Linux Virtual Server in Direct Server Return Mode (LVS-DR) for load balancing. Direct Server Return is more efficient than routing all response traffic through a single cluster member. However, it also resembles spoofed traffic, which NSX Distributed Firewall blocks.

Sizing Clusters

A vRealize Log Insight single cluster configuration can include 3-18 nodes. The feature availability depends on the quorum (minimum number of online/healthy nodes) as described in the following table.

Number of nodes Quorum Number of nodes that can fail
1 1 0
2 2 0
3 2 1
4 3 1
5 3 2
6 4 2
7-18* 4 3

*For clusters containing 7-18 nodes, the quorum is 4 and 3 nodes can fail.

  • The table shows the quorum that is supported now. The quorum column shows the minimum number of online/healthy nodes that clusters need to provide basic functionalities such as the ingestion of log events.
  • A cluster is considered unhealthy and no feature is guaranteed to work if the quorum is not met.

For information about sizing, see Sizing the vRealize Log Insight Virtual Appliance.

Clusters with Forwarders

A vRealize Log Insight cluster with forwarders configuration includes main indexing, storage, and a query cluster of three to 18 nodes using the ILB. A single log message is present in only one location within the main cluster, as for the single cluster.

The design is extended through the addition of multiple forwarder clusters at remote sites or clusters. Each forwarder cluster is configured to forward all its log messages to the main cluster and users connect to the main cluster, taking advantage of CFAPI for compression and resilience on the forwarding path. Forwarder clusters configured as top-of-rack can be configured with a larger local retention.

Cross-Forwarding for Redundancy

This vRealize Log Insight deployment scenario includes a cluster with forwarder that is extended and mirrored. Two main clusters are used for indexing, storage, and query. One main cluster is in each data center. Each is front-ended with a pair of dedicated forwarder clusters. All log sources from all top-of-rack aggregations concentrate at the forwarder clusters. You can independently query the same logs on both retention clusters.

vRealize Log Insight Integrated Load Balancer

To properly balance traffic across nodes in a cluster and to minimize administrative overhead, use the Integrated Load Balancer (ILB) for all deployments. This ensures that incoming ingestion traffic is accepted even if some vRealize Log Insight nodes are unavailable.