vSphere 6.0: Managing vCenter Server Inventory

In previous post of this series, we’ve learnt about how vSphere Web Client works in your virtual environment. If you’ve missed previous posts regarding vCenter Server, you can follow them:

  1. vCenter Server Architecture
  2. Installing vCenter Server with Embedded PSC
  3. Installing vCenter Server with External PSC
  4. Installing vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA)
  5. Using vSphere Web Client to Login to vCenter Server

In this post, we’ll learn how to create and organize vCenter Server Inventory objects, custom inventory tags, and recognize how to view vCenter Server logs and events.

Data Center Objects

A virtual data center is a container for all the inventory objects required to complete a fully functional environment for operating VMs. vCenter Server inventory is a hierarchy of objects. These objects are either containers of other objects, such as folders, or objects that you manage. Hosts, virtual machines, templates, clusters, resource pools, datastores, or virtual networks can be objects.

vCenter Server can be used to manage one or more data centers. Each data center has its own hosts, virtual machines, templates, datastore, and networks.

vCenter Server with multiple data centers

Organizing Inventory Objects into Folders

Items in the data center can be placed into folders. Folders and sub-folders can be created to better organize systems. Virtual machines and templates are placed in folders that are based on functions. In following figure, you can see hosts are placed in folders that are based on CPU family such as Intel, AMD.

Using Folders

You can use folders to group objects of the same type for easier management, for example, permissions can be applied to folders, enabling you to use folders to group objects that should have a common set of permissions. You can create Hosts and Clusters folders, Network folders, storage, VM and Template folders.

Adding Host to vCenter Server Inventory

A host can be added under a data center, folder, or cluster object. If a host contains VMs, those VMs will be added to inventory together with the host.

To add an ESXi host in vCenter Server inventory, Add Host Wizard will be used, and following information will be specified:

  • Fully qualified domain name
  • Root user account and password
  • Lockdown mode setting (optional, disables remote access for the root account)

vCenter Server Events

Events are records of user or system actions that occur on vCenter Server objects such as hosts, VMs etc.

Following actions are recorded as events:

  • A license key expires
  • A VM is powered on
  • A user logs in to a VM
  • A host connection is lost

Events are available in the form of information, warning, and error.

vCenter Server System Logs

All vSphere events are recorded in vCenter Server databases. System logs include information such as who generated the event, when the event was created, and the type of event. All logs regarding vCenter Server can be exported to a compressed archive file. Logs are useful when we troubleshoot vCenter Server problems.

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