vCenter Inventory

The vCenter inventory plugin connects BigPanda to your vCenter Server enriching incoming alerts with your up-to-date infrastructure information.

Supported VersionsTypeAuthentication Type
vCenter Server 6.5 update 2 and newerLocal PluginBearer Token

The vCenter inventory plugin connects BigPanda to your vCenter Server enriching incoming alerts with your up-to-date infrastructure information

The BigPanda vCenter Inventory integration works by registering a local plugin with your vCenter Server. Within the Configuration page of the plugin, one can set a schedule for how frequently to export data to BigPanda. All host and virtual machine inventory data is then transmitted to BigPanda for processing and transformation into a BigPanda enrichment which then immediately starts enriching your incoming alerts.

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Updating to vCenter 1.0.4

If you have already integrated BigPanda and vCenter and wish to upgrade to the latest version, you'll need to unregister and delete the previous version before installing the new version.

Key Features

  • Enriches alerts in BigPanda with topology information from vCenter Inventory export of hosts and virtual machines.
  • Schedule automatic exports of the vCenter Inventory.
  • Automatically creates and manages Enrichments in BigPanda.

Install the Integration

Before You Start

  • Ensure you have admin access to the vCenter Server

Register the plugin with vCenter Server

  1. Download the vSphere Client SDK (version 6.7 update 3).
  2. Using the terminal or command prompt, navigate to CLIENT_SDK/tools/vCenter plugin registration/prebuilt
  3. Run the following command to register the BigPanda Plugin with your vCenter Server.
    • Make sure to input the vCenter Server IP or FQDN as well as a user and password to access the server.
    • Make sure to use the correct script (shell/bash) based on the OS you are running.
./extension-registration.sh -action registerPlugin -local \
-n BigPanda \
-c BigPanda \
-v 1.0.4 \
-k io.bigpanda.vcenter \
-s "BigPanda export plugin" \
-pu https://bp-bin.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/integrations/vcenter/latest/bigpanda-plugin.zip \
-st E8:EE:A0:D0:24:8E:9C:2E:DE:11:82:37:25:83:DA:D7:5B:D0:50:4C \
-url <https://VCENTER_IP_OR_FQDN/sdk> \
-u <USER> \
-p <PASSWORD>
  1. Log out and back into the vCenter Server. A new user session triggers the download of any newly registered plugin.
  2. The BigPanda Plugin should now be present in the shortcut menu. If it does not appear, don't worry, just wait another few seconds and refresh your browser.

Configure the Integration

The integration configuration page needs just a few inputs for it to start exporting the vCenter Inventories to BigPanda.

Input

Description

Bearer Token

Required. Access token from the BigPanda Console

Endpoint

Optional. Endpoint for the export of data

Default: BigPanda integration endpoint

Username

Required. vCenter username with read-only access

This user should be a local user to vCenter often denoted with the @vsphere.local suffix

Password

Required. Password for the user

Export Period

Required. Represents the interval at which the export should be done

Values: Hourly, Daily, Weekly

Export Frequency

Required. Represents how often within the interval should the export occur

Value: number
Example:
export period: Daily
export frequency: 5
This will perform an export of the data every 5 days

Field Renaming

Optional. If you would like to rename the default field names, you can provide a list here

Example:
host: server
vcenter_server: vcenter

Blacklist

Optional. A comma-delimited list of properties to remove from the inventory export.

Example:
vcenter_server, storage_size, storage_free_space

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Username and Password

The username and password fields are required for the plug-in to be able to perform inventory retrieval when a user is not logged in.

When assigning the Read-Only Role to the user, ensure the Propagate to children is checked. If it is not, the user will fail to authenticate.

The password is encrypted on a local configuration file within the vCenter server and is never shared outside to BigPanda.

Enrichment Data

Once the export is successful, BigPanda will process and create two BigPanda enrichment schemas. One for all Hosts and the other for all Virtual Machines.

Host Enrichment Map

Below are all the tags that will be added to each BigPanda Alert where the host tags match

Enrichment Tag

Description

host

The name of the vSphere host

physical_host

Duplicate of host value

vcenter_server

The name of the vCenter Server

cluster

The name of the cluster this host is in

vm_list

A list of all the Virtual Machines in this host

datastores

A list of all datastores this host has access to

cpu_cores

Number of CPU cores

cpu_usage

Percentage of CPU utilization

memory_size

Size of memory in GB's

memory_usage

Percentage of memory utilization

storage_size

Total storage capacity for this host

Note: This is an aggregate of all storage capacity for the datastores this host has access to

storage_free_space

Total free storage for this host

Note: This is an aggregate of all free storage available across all the datastores this host has access to

Virtual Machine Enrichment Map

Below are all the tags that will be added to each BigPanda Alert where the host tags match

Enrichment TagDescription
hostThe name of the virtual machine
physical_hostThe name of the vSphere host where this virtual machine lives
vcenter_serverThe name of the vCenter Server
clusterThe name of the cluster where the physical_host resides
cpusThe number of CPU cores available to this virtual machine
memoryThe amount of memory available for this virtual machine ( in GB's)
storageThe total amount of storage committed to this virtual machine across all datastores
guestosThe operating system installed on this virtual machine
ip_adressThe IP Address associated with this virtual machine
> export VMAFD_CLI="/usr/lib/vmware-vmafd/bin/vmafd-cli"
# This command will restart the UI within the vCenter Server
> vmon-cli -r vsphere-ui

Additional Troubleshooting

Plug-in Installation Logs

It’s possible the plugin registered successfully but is still not showing in the UI. Have the user check vCenter for any errors.

  • Within the vCenter shell, navigate to /var/log/vmware/vsphere-ui/logs/ for a Linux installation or C:\ProgramData\VMware\vCenterServer\Logs\ for a Windows Installation
  • Search the vsphere_client_virgo.log for "io.bigpanda.vcenter". An example using grep is below
grep "io.bigpanda.vcenter" ./vsphere_client_virgo.log

Uninstall the Integration

Deleting an integration requires changes to both the integrated system and BigPanda. You must uninstall the integration on the integrated system and then delete the integration from BigPanda.

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When replacing an existing integration with a new tool or system, we recommend configuring the new integration first to ensure no data is lost.

Stop Sending Data to BigPanda

On the integrated system, disable any settings that send data to BigPanda.

Unregister the Plugin

  • Using the same SDK that was used to register the plugin, run the following command to unregister it.
    • Make sure to use the correct script (shell / bash) based on the OS you are running on.
./extension-registration.sh -action unregisterPlugin \
-k io.bigpanda.vcenter \
-url <https://VCENTER_IP_OR_FQDN/sdk> \
-u <USER> \
-p <PASSWORD>

Remove Plugin Files

The unregister process does not remove the plugin files from vCenter. This process would need to be done manually.

  • Log into the shell window of the vCenter Server and navigate to one of the following directories based on your vCenter install:
    vCenter Server Appliance /etc/vmware/vsphere-ui/vc-packages/vsphere-client-serenity/
    vCenter for Windows C:\ProgramData\VMware\vCenterServer\cfg\vsphere-client\vc-packages\vsphere-client-serenity\
    Windows OS %PROGRAMFILES%/VMware/vSphere Web Client/vc-packages/vsphere-client-serenity/
    Mac OS /var/lib/vmware/vsphere-client/vsphere-client/vc-packages/vsphere-client-serenity/
  • Remove the directory io.bigpanda.vcenter-<VERSION>
  • To flush the vCenter Server from any caches files it's recommended to restart the vSphere UI.
> export VMAFD_CLI="/usr/lib/vmware-vmafd/bin/vmafd-cli"
# This command will restart the UI within the vCenter Server
> vmon-cli -r vsphere-ui

Manually resolve any open alerts sent from the integration to remove the associated incidents from your incident feed. These incidents will not automatically resolve without an ok status from the original sending integration.

Delete the Integration from BigPanda

  1. In BigPanda, navigate to the Integrations tab and select the desired integration from the list.
  2. In the integration details on the right, click Delete Integration. A support message opens, pre-populated with a request to delete the selected integration.
  3. Press Enter to send the request.
  4. The BigPanda support team will remove the integration from the UI.

This procedure does not remove any data from BigPanda or the integrated system. As needed, remove data from each system before deleting the integration.

Release Notes

v1.0.4 (7/8/22)

  • Fixed incomplete data being returned for customers with a large inventory in their environment
  • Fixed physical host for a VM being incorrect
  • Fixed the datastore field to be only the datastore of the VM and not all datastores in an environment

v1.0.3 (6/13/22)

  • Fixed package issue found during install

v1.0.2 (11/20/20)

  • Fixed validation of property when attempting to cast to Object Types

v1.0.1 (9/13/20)

  • Added datastores field to Host mapping enrichment
  • Added datastores and ip_address fields to Virtual Machines mapping enrichment
  • Fixed a bug causing the configuration UI to potentially hang
  • Fixed a bug causing authentication to sometimes fail

v1.0.0

  • Initial release 🎉