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ESX & ESXi Monitoring

Posted on 2010-08-20
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We have a number of Dell and HP servers which have ESX and ESXi installed. Whilst we can monitor the Windows host with a range of monitoring products, we're not monitoring the physical Dell or HP hardware.

How do we monitor this hardware? Is there software that can be installed on ESX and ESXi which will do this? I'm speculating that HP and Dell have OpenManage and Proliant Management Pack software that can be installed?
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Question by:Hypervizor
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
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if you use the "HP version of ESXi" it contains the CIM Agents that talks to the hardware, this can then be monitored via Insight Manager or Viewed within vSphere Centre.

if you use the standard version of ESXi, it does not contain the CIM agents, and you'll notice this, if your fans are running at high speed in your HP Proliant Servers.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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I assume the same can be said for Dell Servers, you would need the OEM ESXi version from them, with the additional components, I've not heard of be able to install anything in the ESXi embedded version.

Also you can install HP ProLiant Agents for ESX, download from HP website, and monitor as usual with HP Systems Manager. Like you would manage any Windows physical HP Proliant.
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by:Hypervizor
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THanks for the quick response.

If you can install HP agents within ESX, how is it managed in the same way as a Windows host? With a Windows host you have the managed tools installed in the Windows OS. Are you saying you have to manage it with the tools installed on Wnidows or is there another way to send information to a syslog, SNMP etc from ESX?

Same question for the vendor specific versions of ESXi - can you do this without vCenter or Insight Manager?
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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The HP Agents are installed on the ESX server, just like a Windows Server.

This HP Insight Managed Server (ESX) is then added to your HP Insight Manager Windows Server, it's then managed from there, just like any other Windows server. Errors in the hardware will then trigger warnings and alerts on the HP SIM Monitoring Server.

When using the VI Client you be able to see the hardware status, if you do not have full blown vCenter server. But you'll need Insight Manager to manage the Insight Agents on the ESXi host.
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by:Hypervizor
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I really want to avoid having to setup HP Insight Manager because we use a totally differnet management / monitoring solution. Is there no other way? Can the server not send specific info via SNMP?
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by:Michael W
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Both ESX and ESXi can be configured to use SNMP. Do note, though, that ESXi only allows for a limited amount of data to be made available (i.e. CPU load, memory and processes) in read-only mode and that traps are also disabled under ESXi as well.

Configuring the Net-SNMP Agent on ESX Hosts
http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsp_4_snmp_config.pdf

Configuring VMWare ESX4i / vSphere for SNMP
http://techblog.sunsetsurf.co.uk/2009/06/configuring-vmware-esx4i-vsphere-for-snmp/

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by:bgoering
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Actually I believe the "paid" version of ESXi does allow read/write access to many features that are disabled under the free mode. SNMP is one of those features and, if you have the paid version, offers the same feature set as ESX.

Good Luck
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by:Hypervizor
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One of the main things I'd be interetsed in monitoring is disk health, i.e. signs of impending failure.

I guess I wouldn't get that with SNMP?
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by:bgoering
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Do you have vCenter Server? It has many of those monitoring/alerting features built in.
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by:bgoering
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Hardware health would depend on the CIM provider, either the default ones that come with ESX(i), or vendor specific ones you can download from your server vendor to load into ESX(i). (or come with a vendor provided install image of same).

You might look at http://vanleur.eu/kb/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=55:using-snmp-to-monitor-the-computer-running-esx-server&catid=34:esx&Itemid=15. Based on the date of the article I suspect it is for ESX(i) 3.5, but I expect it would work much the same in 4.x

Good Luck
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by:mastoo
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We use the freebie zenoss virtual appliance to monitor everything via snmp.  I haven't gotten to it yet, but Dell tells me there is some Dell download I can install in ESXi to get full hardware snmp access.  I presume HP has similar.
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by:Michael W
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You might want to take a look at using "Veeam Monitor Free Edition":

http://www.veeam.com/esxi-monitoring-free.html

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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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Disk Health is a feature of the HP Storage Agents
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