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What are you all doing to monitor ESXi servers that run the free edition? With the lack of SNMP support, it seems fairly limited to me. What'd I'd like to be able to do is get some type of alert when a drive or other hardware fails. I've seen a few articles on getting OpenManage installed on an ESXi box (to rebuild an array), but it seems to be quite a pain as well. Even if I get OpenManage working, I won't have alerts without SNMP.

Any comments, input, or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

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Installing OpenManage on an ESXi server isn't too bad as long as you can reboot the ESXi server 2 times in succession. You'll need to install the vSphere CLI but you need that anyway to update your ESXi hosts after 4.0. If you want step by step directions I can send them over or update this question. –  zippy Apr 12 '12 at 19:23
    
Zippy if you can provide the instructions it would be helpful. The instructions I've found were a bit confusing. –  Untalented Apr 12 '12 at 21:31

4 Answers 4

If you're running HP servers, use either the HP-specific build of ESXi or install the HP Management Agents Offline Bundle and offline tools bundle for ESXi after the fact. The bundles are also available here. This at least gives you some visibility into the system from the vSphere client perspective. It will detect drive and storage system health for locally-attached disks.

Couple this with an NMS solution (which would be helpful for the environment anyway), and that would be the solution.

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You can access the CIM providers using something like Nagios/Opsview. There are modules in the Nagios Community Exchange to access these depending on what hardware you have.

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We monitor our Dell ESXi servers using OpenManage Server Administrator. This will give you hardware info inside ESXi and setup an OpenManage node you can connect to for more hardware and array info.

Instructions are here: http://deinfotech.blogspot.com/2011/08/installing-dell-openmanage-server.html. They work for ESXi 4.1. ESXi 5.0 requires a newer version of the OpenManage VIB and Managed Node.

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I know linking to an external site is lazy, but this guy has done an excellent writeup and I would be duplicating his work completely if I did it. –  zippy Apr 12 '12 at 23:02
    
FYI... OMSA has been replaced with Open Manager Essentials... same product, different name. –  SpacemanSpiff Apr 13 '12 at 1:25

Nagios Opsview plugin didn't really give me good details. I write my own monitors using the vijava Java API

You should be able to look up values for monitoring with the free edition. You will not be able use to any of the control mechanisms in vijava using ESXi free.

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