Since GA a couple weeks ago on NPM 10.0, there have been a few threads on thwack asking various questions about VMWare support, so I wanted to review the features and talk about those questions.

Question: So what exactly is different from our support from 9.5 vs. 10.0?   
Answer: We are not pulling any new data that we did not pull in 9.5.  What has changed is the methods in which we gather this data.  Instead of just relying only on SNMP, we are now also leveraging the VMWare API to gather some data.  See the below matrix for what we gather and how we gather it across the different versions and editions of VMWare.

In 9.5 we only supported ESX 3.5 formally.  Now that we are going through the API for some data we also now support vSphere 4 and can gather some information from ESXi.

3.5

3i

4

4i

Discover as ESX

API

API

API

API

Poll Volumes

SNMP

N/A

SNMP

N/A

Poll Interfaces

SNMP

N/A

SNMP

Partial SNMP (missing traffic)

Poll CPU

SNMP

N/A

SNMP

SNMP

Poll Memory

SNMP

N/A

SNMP

SNMP

Total Memory/CPU and Network Traffic Utilization

API

API

API

API

Guest VM List

API

API

API

API

Question: How do I setup SNMP across the various editions?   
Answer: Take a look at the doc we created configuration_of_SNMP_on_vmware_esx_3.5_and_4.0.pdf.  This walks you through with screenshots on how to set this up.

Question: How do I setup API Access on the various editions and what level of permissions does this user need?   
Answer: Take a look at the doc we created how_to_create_credentials_for_vmware_api_on_vmware_esx_3.5_and_4.0.pdf.  This walks you through with screenshots on how to set this up.  As for the user permission required for the API account, you only need RO access.

Question: Are you going through my vSphere server to gather this data through the API?   
Answer: No, we are not currently going directly through vSphere.  We are going to each ESX server individually.

Question: How do I troubleshoot if I can connect via the API?   
Answer: See if you can open a browser and connect to the IP Address of the ESX box and login with the account you are using in Orion.

Question: So I don’t want to setup SNMP on my ESX servers, do I need to have both SNMP and API for this to work?   
Answer: No, you don’t need to use both, just be aware based on the above chart you will only get certain info if you choose to only monitor via SNMP or API and not both.

Question: So I don’t have SNMP currently setup on my ESX servers, can you figure out which ones are ESX boxes?   
Answer: Yes, if you setup a discovery profile in Network Sonar you can choose to Poll for ESX.  We will the analyze the discovery results to determine which IP’s we discovered which support the VMWare API (see the first screenshot below).  Even if you don’t have the credentials we will notify you that we found some ESX servers (see the second screenshot below).

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Question: So what happens if I vMotion a guest from one ESX to another, do I need to go into Orion and update it manually?   
Answer: No, during the next polling cycle we will automatically detect this and make the appropriate changes within Orion to continue to monitor it as long as the two ESX servers are managed in Orion.  If only one is, you will just see it disappear and no longer being monitored.

That pretty much covers what I wanted to talk about today.  I would recommend also checking out these posts Denny and Chris did previously about other things you can do with VMWare and Orion Look Mom, I’m Virtual! and A Series of Unfortunate Events: Using Orion’s Syslog Server to Monitor VMware Events

I always like to end with some sweet screenshots, so check out below which I took from our online demo here

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