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VMware Guest Monitoring - HowTo Needed !!

Oran Turner
Occasional Contributor

VMware Guest Monitoring - HowTo Needed !!

I've used SIM for years, and have found it tricky at best. Now with VMware thrown in, it's downright elusive. Don't get me wrong...SIM is successfully monitoring nearly 200 of our physical HP servers, but so far it's virtual machine monitoring hasn't fared as well.

I jumped through all of the hoops to get our 4 BL460c ESX 3.01 servers registered in SIM as virtual machine hosts. Their homepages all display correctly, and I've got nice green checkboxes everywhere. Once that pain was over, I thought my VM guests would all start populating. Guess again...

Our ESX servers are running 35 VM guests, but SIM has only managed to find 10 of these. Of these 10, SIM manages to display a random scattering of information about each, but nothing consistent.

So what's the secret here? Exactly what do I need to do in order for SIM to find and give reliable and consistent status information for our VM hosts? Is there something the VM hosts need installed or configured?

Will SIM on VM hosts ever be as good as SIM on physical servers? Please at least give me good disk space monitoring and alerting...that's one part of SIM that been very valuable.
7 REPLIES
Oran Turner
Occasional Contributor

Re: VMware Guest Monitoring - HowTo Needed !!

Clarifying a bit... As an example, VM Host1 has 9 VM guests. Only 2 of these VM guests appear in the "All Virtual Machines" section of SIM, and appear in the "All Systems" view as "Hosted by VM Host1". The other 7 do not. However, in the SIM details of VM Host1, under "Virtual Machines", all 9 VM guests appears. The 2 VM guests that have populated SIM successfully are the only two with a "System IP Address" in this view. Also, between the 2 VM guests that have populated SIM successfully, only one is properly showing it's disk partition information.
samuel_34
Advisor

Re: VMware Guest Monitoring - HowTo Needed !!

Hi Oran,

We're running just shy of 200 VMware guests on 10 ESX (v 2.5.2 - 3.0.1) hosts. What you have to remember is that a guest server is just the same as any other server, so treat troubleshooting it the same - as long as snmp is installed & configured correctly (community name, traps, and permitted IP addresses) then you should get info back.
Oran Turner
Occasional Contributor

Re: VMware Guest Monitoring - HowTo Needed !!

Samuel,

Thanks for your reply. SNMP wasn't installed on several of the VM guests, so it looks like that's the problem. We typically configure SNMP on our physical servers using "Configure or Repair Agents" in SIM, but this doesn't work on the VM guests since the Insight Manager agents aren't installed on these servers. Besides the trap destination and permitted hosts, do we only need to enter the read SNMP community name? Once SNMP is properly configured, do the guest need to be manually added to SIM, or will they be automatically discovered and added since they're guests of a registered VM host?

Re: VMware Guest Monitoring - HowTo Needed !!

You have to run a discovery on the ip address of the vm on the esx servers. Also what version SIM are you running 5.1 fixed a lot of issues. Still a little quirky I still have to stop and start the wmi map services before I run a discovery but at least they do not disappear when they are discovered. We are up to 106 production ESX and over 1400 vm.

They also came out with a service pack which I have not applied as yet so the issue might be fixed.

I wish there was more reporting and alerts on the vm. Right now they just have cpu thresholds. Evaluating there PMP because I get the idea a lot of the vm reporting is moving in that direction
Oran Turner
Occasional Contributor

Re: VMware Guest Monitoring - HowTo Needed !!

It looks like the key to VM guests appearing in SIM is Automatic Discovery. Manually adding a guest doesn't work, but adding it via Automatic Discovery does. Thanks!

However, I'm still not clear regarding the need for SNMP on the VM guests. From what I've seen so far, after running automatic discovery, the VM guests appear the same in SIM, and report the same information, whether they have SNMP installed and configured or not. So do we need SNMP on our VM guests or not?
Rob Buxton
Honored Contributor

Re: VMware Guest Monitoring - HowTo Needed !!

A couple of ways to enhance management of VMware Guests.
Use HPs VMM Pack, it's an add-on that costs.

Rather than SNMP, I enable wbem for the guest servers. I enable wbem globally, but don't insert any global credentials and then manage wbem globally for each VM guest.

I also maintain a bat file that uses mxnodesecurity that can be used if the domain account / password that wbem uses is changed.

In additon, if you have PMP and the host is licensed then you get PMP info for all of the guests, it's not as extensive as for physical windows hosts, but is there.
Oran Turner
Occasional Contributor

Re: VMware Guest Monitoring - HowTo Needed !!

We're currently using demo VMM licenses.

Now I understand why the guests are being added to SIM successfully without SNMP. It's because WBEM is enabled globally.

If we use only WBEM, is SNMP necessary? Do WBEM and SNMP provide the same information? That is, is one preferable over the other?