So VMware announced the release of vRealize Log Insight 2.5 today. One of the new features which comes with Log Insight is a Internal Load Balancer.
The Internal Load Balancer is for scale out, allowing you to load balance and scale out from out of the box. This has not been possible in previous versions, you needed to have a Hardware Load balancer for Versions 1,1.5, and 2.
However…… After a few conversations with the architects at VMworld, You can still use a third party Load balancing Solution Like KEMP. I disagree with comments made Like “no necessary to configure external load balancer” as there are still benefits for using a ADC.
So why would you use a Load Master to Load balance connection with Log Insight:
KEMP’s Solution works as follows:
Connections are made by clients to the LoadMaster to start communication using a Variety of protocols. As individual Syslog messages are received, the LoadMaster uses its L7 Visibility to parse the flows on a per message basis and ensures even distribution across the log insight cluster, even when members are removed and added. The Load Master executes health checks against the nodes to ensure that only healthy nodes are used as targets and if a node starts to fail health checks, it is automatically removed and re-added only when it returns to a healthy state.
Questions to be asked:
- Does the internal Load Balancer support Layer 7 Health Checks ?
- Does the Internal Load Balancer offer the intelligence KEMP offers ?
Third party Load Balancers should not be dismissed with the release of Log Insight 2.5. They can still offer value and functionally to the Log insight infrastructure. VMware has provided an out of the box solution to strengthen their solution, They have don’t dismissed or tried to remove the use of external Load balancing solutions.
The answer to both questions is yes. In addition, the internal load balance will feature L4 load balancing and all Log Insight nodes will support message rebalancing out of the box so any external load balancer would not need to provide that. This is not to say external load balancers cannot or should not be used. The purpose of the internal load balancer is not to replace external load balancers, but to minimize the barrier to entry for users who are not comfortable configuring external load balancers themselves and/or may have challenges having the network team do it. If a user has KEMP or any other external load balancer already with Log Insight then there is no need to switch to the internal load balancer. Similar to how Log Insight provides vSphere integration, which can be used to point ESXi hosts syslog to Log Insight. If you already have a solution to point ESXi hosts syslog to Log Insight (e.g. host profiles, PowerCLI, etc) then by all means. The goal is to minimize the barriers to entry not force one solution over the other.
Thanks Steve for your answers. It would be great to catch up with you this week if you are at VMworld Barcelona.