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 instance configuration can include one node or 3 through 18 nodes (two-node setups are not supported).
  • When one node from nodes 3 through 7 is down, or when one or two nodes from nodes 8 through 18 are down:
    • vIP remains available.
    • Ingestion and log forwarding continue to work.
    • Limited functionalities are impacted. For example, querying is affected. Because there is no log HA, querying does not include results from the nodes that are down.
  • When the primary node is down, in addition to the above behavior:
    • There are some UI limitations such as cluster page details and statistics.
    • You cannot add new nodes.
    • You cannot remove the existing nodes.
  • When more nodes are down, the cluster is unhealthy and additional functionalities are not available. As long as a node is up and running, you can send logs directly to the node. Log forwarding and running queries on the node continue to work.

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.