As I understand it there are two points of data collection, each presenting data in a separate layer of the Orion UI. It sounds like you own NPM and VMAN. NPM still relies on SNMP to collect detailed data from a node. VMAN collects detailed statistical data from the same node via the vCenter API or, if you don't have VMAN, via IVIM in NPM. Two data collection methods for the same node, both presented on the same UI. The question becomes -- which data is from which polling method?
With VMAN the delineation is pretty easy to spot --
The summary tab contains information collected via your polling method (SNMP or, for Windows WMI as an option) for the specific guest (or node in NPM speak). This information is collected on an interval selected via the NPM configuration and includes things like response time, node details, CPU and memory usage as reported by the guest OS, etc.
Vital Stats, Network and, if selected, Asset Inventory are all collected via your polling method.
Storage and Virtualization Summary are collected via VMAN.
The storage tab will give you things like IOPS and latency, which datastore(s) the guest belongs to, LUN paths, etc.
The virtualization tab shows host details along side your guest details.
So, why the difference? If you want the SNMP based statistics then you need to have node managed in NPM. However, through the VMAN monitoring the node does not need to be managed in NPM to provide statistics. You will only have the Storage and Virtualization Summary tabs above and will need to navigate to the guest off the virtualization tab in your banner bar but the data is there -- collected via VMAN but presented inside Orion!
I hope this helps...
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The answer is it depends... I don't need to manage with snmp directly all of the vmware guests. The API will give NPM a lot of info about the guests but it's pretty generic in a big picture of the the specific host kinda way like how many machines are on the esx, how much memory and cpu each has, what the machine names are, are they running or not. If you really need all of the normal NPM host kind of statistics from an individual guest you need to also manage the VM in NPM just like you would a physical host. I hope that makes sense.
I manage many vm's just as I would a physical server but not all. Through the vmware api I can still see them all on each esx server but it you want to be able to click on a vm guest and see all the host data it needs to also be a managed node in NPM.