Stuff about vCenter Configuration Manager [5.7] (1/3)

Stuff about vCenter Configuration Manager [5.7] (1/3)

This is the last part of this series of posts about VMware vCenter Configuration Manager.

For more information about VMware vCenter Configuration Manager, check documentation.


  • vCM is also Asset Management System.
  • Information are collected by OS Agents.
  • Export data to do further analysis using tools like Excel.
  • There are 4 DBs:
    • VCM_Raw. Raw data, is recreated every 24 hours; does not to be in a backup.
    • VCM_Coll. Data about collectors and schedules. In huge environments, backup it; often its faster to recreate collectors and schedules.
    • VCM. All information except data about Unix machines. DB it to backup!
    • VCM_UNIX. All information about Unix machines. Backup it!
  • You need to license vCM within the vCM Server
    • Use c:\program files (x86)\vmware\vcm\tools\ -k xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx
    • If there are errors, restart all vCM services or reboot the vCM server.
  • CARMA = Collect + Analyse + Report + Manage (in terms of what to do with the data) + Action
  • First Step after Installation is to Collect data.
  • To let vCM communicate to 3rd-party service desk software, you need VMware Professional Services to configure this communication.
  • By default, vCM adds the domain it is located in. If you have multiple domains, you need to add domains manually and network authorities. These are used to install the agent.

Discover machines

  • Types of machines
    • Available machines
      Discovery, but not licensed
    • Licensed machines
      An available machine needs to be Licensed to be a licensed machine. To license a ignored machine, you need to move it to available machines first.
    • Ignored machines
      Discovery, not licensed. If you don’t want vCM to discover a machine again, move it to ignored machines.
  • Best practice: run discovery once a week.
  • Add a discover rule to define settings for discovery.
  • Different methods to do a discovery.
  • Discovery using a text file:
    • Format: Machine Name, Domain Name, Domain Type, Machine Class, Protocol Type, Port Address, HTTP Proxy, Platform ID, Internal IP address, External IP address
      if internal = external address, both values must be set
    • Domain type: 1=AD, 2=DNS, 4=NetBios   Machine class: 1=server, 2=workstation, 3=UNIX Server, 4=Linux/MAC
    • Machine class: 1=server, 2=workstation, 3=UNIX Server, 4=Linux/MAC, ESX, 10=Linux/Mac Workstation
    • Protocol Type: 1=DCOM, 2=HTTP
    • Port Address: 0=DCOM, 65535=HTTP (higher range preferred)
    • Platform ID: 2=Red Hat, 4=Solaris, 5=Windows, 8=AIX, 9=HPUX, 10=SUSE, 31=CentOS, 32=Oracle Linux, 11=ESX, 12=Debian, 14=Mac, 26=vCenter, 27=vCloud, 28=vShield
  • For the discovery process you can choose to automatically license discovery machines. This is just a good idea if you own enough licenses.

Install the agent

  • Windows Managing Agent: a kind of proxy; you must not install agent on vCenter or any appliances, so you need a proxy.
  • Configure firewall to allow bidirectional communication on port tcp/26542
  • For installation on Windows systems: the firewall must be powered off! Installation uses DCOM to communicate. After Installation change protocol to HTTP and turn on firewall again.
  • Machines in DMZ need to be added manually.
  • For Windows 2008 R2: .Net framework must be enabled!
  • Installing the agent on Unix/Linux/Mac is similar to Windows, but:
    • You need to configure an account for installation.
    • Trust a windows agent and delegate installation.
    • Allow HTTP communication when entering sensitive parameter values in collector.
    • Enable automatic Linux Agent Install in collector.
    • Check installation guide for details.
  • Option: lock machine: agent can not be upgraded or removed
  • Option: reinstall agent: uninstalls and installs it again

Managing data

  • Groups
    • Can be static or dynamic.
    • For dynamic groups filters are defined.
    • For membership of dynamic filters, current collected machine data are necessary.
  • Be aware of the filters.
    • There are many options to use filters
    • You can use filters of filters of …
  • Check detailed information of jobs by selecting Administration –> Job Manager. With Machine Detail you can even see file size of data.
  • More information an machines: click View Raw Cell.
  • Grouping tables by drag a column headline into the Column Grouping section.


  • Is the data not collected or is the data just not shown because of a filter.
  • Check permission and privileges according to installation guide!
  • Check name resolution (like always!)
  • Is it possible to connect to Admin$ share?
  • Firewalls!
  • Are SQL service, IIS services, vCM services running?
  • vCM ping: collect –> machine data

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