A few month ago at MMS in Las Vegas, Veeam announced their management pack for VMware for free for up to 10 sockets! I was very surprised to read that because I had seen it before and it is amazing how much information you get out of this management pack. In my opinion the best management pack for VMware ESX monitoring. Because I am so excited about it I would like to share my experience.
First of all you need to create an account at the Veeam homepage to download the sources and to apply for a license file. There is a good chance that a nice sales salesperson will call you and ask you some questions. But it is no big deal. After that you will receive your free license for 10 sockets!
I structure this post into 2 parts:
Before you install your management pack you need to understand how it works. This management pack requires you to install one or more dedicated so-called Collection servers. These servers build the “interface” between the SCOM servers and the ESX infrastructure. Basically it is a Windows 2008 R2 server with the Veeam software installed which collects all the countless data from VMWare. To get a rough idea Veeam provides a very nice overview.
As you see you are able to deploy multiple Collector servers depending on your infrastructure and needs. There is an online calculator to determine how many collection servers you need.
In my case I want to monitor 5 ESX hosts bundled into a cluster and each of these nodes has 2 sockets. As you can see it is just enough for the free license.
There are three components Enterprise Manager, Enterprise Manager Web UI and the Collector server. Each of these components can be installed on separate servers or all together on one box. Depending on your size of the ESX farm you might need to decide how to design your architecture. You could install Enterprise Manager and Web UI onto one server and add for redundancy and load balancing one or more Collector server. The Enterprise Manager components are basically to administer the Collector server, establish the connections to VMWare and mange the licenses.
In my situation I will setup all roles on one dedicated Windows 2008 R2 SP1 server for the Veeam MP.
- ESX 3.x, 3.5.x, 4.x
- ESXi 3.5, 4.x, 5.0
- Virtual Center 2.5 or later
- vCenter 4.x, 5.0
All Versions 2007 SP 1 an higher are supported.
Both architectures x86 and x64 are supported.
Each of these operating systems are supported:
- Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, with NET 3.5.1 feature (see
- Microsoft Windows Server 2008 SP2 with KB981574 hotfix.
- Microsoft Windows Server 2003 SP2 with Microsoft .NET
Framework 2.0 (with SP2 and KB981574) or later).
Enterprise Manager and Web UI:
Both architectures x86 and x64 are supported.
Operating system the same as Collector server in addition for the Web UI you need:
- Microsoft Internet Information Services 6.0 or later
Note: If using IIS 7.0, you will need features: IIS 6.0 Management
Compatibility, Windows Authentication support, ASP.NET.
- Internet Explorer 7 or later.
If you download the management pack you will find these files:
- nworks.VMware.VEM.mp – nworks OpsMgr Management Pack
- nworksEMS.exe – nworks Enterprise Manage
- nworksUI.exe – nworks Enterprise Manager Web UI
- nworksVIC.exe – nworks Virtual Infrastructure Collector service
- nworks.VMware.VEM.mp – nworks VMware Management Pack
If you login into the Veeam account you also find a Veeam MP Resource Kit. This kit contains documents and necessary overrides. I recommend to download this Resource Kit also.
- service account svc_vcol (needs local Administrator on Enterprise Manager server). I also use this account to connect to the vCenter server.
- SCOM agent monitored server (agent proxy enabled)
Veeam recommends for the Collector server:
- 2 x 2 GHz CPU
- 3-6GB RAM
- System drive + 300 MB for log files and binaries
nworks Enterprise Manager
Enterprise Manager allows centralized configuration management, high availability and load balancing control, and license distribution. To manage Enterprise Manger you need to install the Enterprise Manager Web UI.
First install the Enterprise Manager, start nworksEMS.exe…
…accept the license and click “Next”…
…choose the license file…
…select destination folder…
…choose a port, I leave the default…
…select the service account, it will be used to run the EM services…
…and hit “Install”…
After the setup a dialog appears which will add the provided service account into a local group called “nworks Enterprise Manager accounts” on the server. Therefore you need to log off and logon again…
Next we are going to install the Web UI on the same server…
nworks Web UI
Start the setup by clicking the nworksUI.exe…
Well, if you didn’t have IIS installed before the setup you will be prompted with a dialog…
I installed IIS on my Windows 2008 R2 SP1 server after the setup finished I had these features installed…
Common HTTP Features
Health and Diagnostics
Static Content Compression
IIS Management Console
IIS 6 Management Compatibility
IIS 6 Metabase Compatibility
IIS 6 WMI Compatibility
IIS 6 Scripting Tools
IIS 6 Management Console
We start the setup again…
…accept the license…
…choose the installation directory…
…set the Enterprise Manager server name FQDN and the port…
…next set the port for the Web UI…
…and click “Install”…
nworks Virtual Infrastructure Collector
The Collector server is the actual work horse which collects all the information from the ESX hosts / VSphere servers. It is possible to install this role on dedicated monitored Windows Servers or even on dedicated SCOM management servers. Even there is a recommendation from Veeam for best performance that the installation is being done on dedicated management servers.
To estimate how many Collector server you need you can go online or for an approximate count select the number from this table:
You also need to consider the additional data which is stored in the OperationsManager database. Veeam offers also a table for an approximate estimation of the the additional amount of data in MB:
To setup the Collector server start nworksVIC.exe…
…agree to the license…
…choose the installation directory…
…provide the FQDN of the Enterprise Manager server and its port…
…again provide the service account…
Next you need to import the management packs. First import the “works VMware VEM MP”…
…then import the override management pack which you find in the Resource Kit. For SCOM 2012 import the “nworks.VMware.2007R2RequiredOverrides.xml”…
Now the setup is finished, I have installed all necessary software. Next we need to make some configuration in for the Collection server to function properly.
Your Collection server needs to have the SCOM agent installed! After that enable the agent proxy setting for each Collector server…
In vCenter I created a new role “SCOM_Monitoring” and assigned the permissions below. Add the service account svc_vcol to this role…
Set the permission to the entire VI hierarchy, set it on top and inherit it down to the host level…
Next connect to the Enterprise Manager Web UI and go to connections..
…set the connection to the vCenter using the svc_vcol account and select the cluster/hosts to monitor.
As a final step you need to run a task. In the Operations Manager console go to the “_Collector State” view and run the “Configure OpsMgr agent” task this will configure some registry settings on the Collector server…
…your status should be “Success”…
Now you need to wait and see if everything gets discovered…
On the Collector server go to the Operations Manager event log and check for the event id 999. In this example you see that the discovery script didn’t find any components…
In this case make sure your service account has the appropriate permission on the vCenter server. As mentioned above the account needs permission on the entire VI hierarchy.
As you can see setting is a very easy and straight forward process. I didn’t encounter any further problems. I just showed you the basic steps to get it up and running. If you need more information or design guides, Veeam provides very good and detailed documentation on this subject. I highly recommend exploring their website!
In the next post I will show how it appears in the SCOM console.