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Can vCenter Log Insight diagnose a slow NFS data store?

There are times when VMware's vCenter Log Insight needs a nudge to troubleshoot an underperforming vSphere data store.

Does vCenter Log Insight support NFS data stores to uncover latency issues?

Administrators armed with vCenter Log Insight, VMware's log analytics product, can peer deep into their virtual and physical infrastructure to root out bottlenecks. But, like any detective, the virtual appliance can only go so far based on the evidence it gathers.

For example, an ESXi host will gather extensive logs from a data store that runs on SCSI, which can be used to pin down a latency issue. But what about Network File System (NFS) data stores?

"By default, you will not see NFS latency like you see SCSI latency" in a vCenter Log Insight dashboard, said Steve Flanders, VMware senior solutions architect, during his presentation at a recent Boston VMUG user conference. However, a sysadmin could get around this by enabling a command on the host.

"ESX supports nfsstat3. It's another command on the ESX host itself. If you turn that on, you get very verbose logging," Flanders said. "VMware does not recommend [running nfsstat3] for extended periods of time because it logs so verbosely. So, could you get [NFS logging]? I believe so. Unfortunately, VMware doesn't make it very nice and easy."

Flanders directed attendees to the Knowledge Base article that shows how to enable the enhanced nfsstat3 logging, and explained that vCenter Log Insight was still a work in progress.

"We're working with engineering. We understand there are some limitations. NFS is one big one," said Flanders, adding, "I want better auditing. Get me more in-depth information about who's doing what. We're working with engineering to get the log messages improved."

This was first published in February 2014

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