Friday, June 1, 2012

Changing VMware ESXi host logging level

Collecting logs from an ESXi host is a recommended best practice, but if you ever tried to collect ESXi host logs over syslog, you may have noticed that ESXi hosts can be very chatty and spam your syslog server relentlessly. 

There are 8 logging levels of the ESXi host agent (hostd) and these are (sorted by the amount of information logged in the increasing order): "none", "quiet", "panic", "error", "warning", "info", "verbose" and "trivia". vCenter agent (vpxa) has 6 logging levels: "none", "error", "warning", "info", "verbose" and "trivia". Default logging levels for both host and vCenter agent in ESXi 5.x is "verbose" and this is the reason why your syslog server is filled with a lot of seemingly useless information.

If you want to change the logging level, fire up your vSphere Client, connect to vCenter/host, select a host in the inventory, then the Configuration tab -> Advanced Settings -> Config -> HostAgent -> Log. Here you'll be able to review all logging levels for hostd and vpxa agents and change logging levels by typing in name of the desired level (hostd) or selecting from a drop down menu (vpxa). This setting takes effect immediately after clicking OK (no host or hostd/vpxa restart is required).

ESXi host hostd and vpxa logging levels

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