This page covers how to add and configure a VMware connector using GroundWork Cloud Hub. The connection requires a unique set of parameters (e.g., URI, credentials). You will need your GroundWork server and virtual environment connector parameters handy.




1.0 Adding a New Connection

To access Cloud Hub, log in to GroundWork Monitor as an Administrator and select (1) GroundWork Administration > GroundWork Cloud Hub.

The initial Cloud Hub screen is used to (2) Add new, or Start, Stop, Modify, obtain Status for, or Delete configured connectors.

The Start option enables a configured connector to begin the discovery and data collection process. If you decide you do not want to monitor a particular region, simply select Stop for the corresponding connector, the connectors configuration will be maintained for a subsequent start. Modify opens the Configuration page with a link to the Metrics screen. Status provides connection status information including error details. If a configured connector fails to connect, a connector-specific service will be updated to a Warning state, or Critical if you run out of retries (hosts will still become Unreachable and services Unknown if retries are exhausted). To stop and completely Delete a connection, see How to delete hosts. To keep a Cloud Hub connector configuration and temporarily suspend its monitoring, see Black List.

To (3) add a new connection click +Add corresponding to the VMware connector icon. You will need to create a new connection in this way for each region to be monitored.

Figure: Adding a connection
Adding a connection

Next, in the configuration page (shown below) you will need to enter both the GroundWork server and remote server parameters. The data the GroundWork server receives comes from the remote virtualization server. The information is pulled from the API on a periodic basis based on the check interval that is set.

The (1) Groundwork Server is where CloudHub will store VMware metrics. Often, this is the same server as where CloudHub is running. However, CloudHub can also be run in a distributed environment, on its own node in a GroundWork cluster. Here we enter the GroundWork server parameters, each described in the first table below.

Next enter values for the remote (2) VMware Connector shown below and described in the second table.

Validate both server configurations by selecting the (3) Test buttons which will check if the connections are accessible with the given credentials. A dialog will be displayed with either a success message or, if the server cannot be contacted, an error message will be displayed with information describing why the connection failed. When a successful connection is made, the Connection Status buttons will change to green.

(4) Views include Storage View, Network View, and Resource View.

And after the remote server parameters have been entered and verified, click (5) Save in the upper right corner to save and write the entries to an XML file in the GroundWork server /usr/local/groundwork/config/cloudhub directory. The Cloud Hub connector is assigned an agent ID and that in turn becomes a record locator in Foundation when you begin monitoring. After the credentials have been validated select the Metrics link (top navigation) to start customizing metrics for the connection.

Figure: VMware connector
VMware connector

Table: GroundWork server values

Version Indicates the minimum GroundWork Monitor version needed. In other words, a version below the indicated value is incompatible.
Hostname The host name or IP address where a Groundwork server is running. A port number should not be entered here. If Groundwork is running on the same server, you can enter localhost.
Username The provisioned Username granted API access on the GroundWork server.
Token The corresponding API Token (password) for the given Username on the GroundWork server, see GroundWork Administration > GroundWork License > Webservices API Account Info Token (encrypted).
SSL Check the SSL checkbox if your GroundWork server is provisioned with a secure HTTPS transport.
Merge Hosts If checked, this option combines all metrics of same named hosts under one host. For example, if there is a Nagios configured host named demo1and a Cloud Hub discovered host named demo1, the services for both configured and discovered hosts will be combined under the hostname demo1 (case-sensitive).
Monitor Enables connection to be monitored.
Regarding an ESX direct connection
It is possible to connect to a vSphere server or an ESX server with Cloud Hub. GroundWork recommends connecting to vSphere if possible, as the API is more advanced and has a greater range of metrics. If you do need to connect to an ESX server, be advised that some services you may want to select will show as Unknown, as the metrics you want are not in the API. You can review the /usr/local/groundwork/jboss/framework.log file to see the details of which metric are not available.

Table: VMware server values

Display Name This is the configuration’s name displayed in the list of Cloud Hub connectors on the Cloud Hub home page.
VMware Server Name This is the name of the VMware server and the domain name, e.g., vmware-server.yourdomaincom.
VMware Server URI A Universal Resource Identifier (URI)is a locator, a name, or both. This is the server URI, e.g., sdk.
Username The provisioned Username granted API access on the VMware server.
Password The corresponding Password for the given Username on the VMware server.
Interval (min) This is the metric gathering interval for collecting monitoring data from VMware and sending it to the GroundWork server. The value is in minutes.
Infinite Retries Check this box if you want CloudHub to infinitely retry connection to VMware when the connection fails. When this box is checked, the Retry Limit field is disabled. When this box is unchecked, the Retry Limit field is enabled.
Retry Limit This entry is the number of retries for the connection and sets a limit on how many attempts are made after a failure. The number set indicates how many connections are attempted before the connection is left in an inactive state. At this point, the connection is suspended and you will need to manually restart it. When a retry limit is exhausted, all hosts managed by this connection are set to the monitor status Unreachable and all services for the matched hosts are set to the status of Unknown.

2.0 Navigating

From the Configuration page, navigations are on displayed in the top navigation bar:

Navigating to save option

Navigating to save and next options

Navigating to check for updates save and next options

From here, you can navigate to:

  • Home - Cloud Hub home page
  • Metrics - Metrics configuration page associated with this Cloud Hub connection
  • Configuration - Cloud Hub configuration page

When creating a new VMware configuration, the Metrics link is not visible until you successfully save the configuration parameters. Once you are satisfied with your configuration settings, click Save, then click the Metrics link in the navigation bar to start customizing your metrics for this connection. Also, the Save button is not enabled until all required fields are validated. If you make changes on the configuration page, and forget to save, you will be prompted.

Are you sure prompt

3.0 Determining Metrics To Be Monitored

The VMware API defines a set of metrics that apply to hypervisors, hosts, networks and datastores. The metrics gathered by Cloud Hub are of two kinds: native and synthetic. The strings that define the native metrics are exactly those supported by the VMware API, with certain restrictions, namely that the list must be from those metrics that result in values, and not lists of objects. The majority of the metrics are numeric in nature - amounts of "MHz" (megahertz, in VMware parlance), amounts of memory, amounts of disk space. Again, they are taken in their native form, neither normalized nor adjusted.

The native metrics lack a sense of normalization, as an example a host (VM/virtual machine) may have a metric for CPU utilization of 273. The VMware documentation indicates that this value is in MHz. However, in ferreting out system issues, it is often more useful to know what proportion of the total resource in question is in use. In other words, 273 of what?

The synthetic metrics are pairs of native metrics, cast into percentage-of-total form. The numerator (number on top) is a performance metric, and the denominator (divisor on the bottom) is the sum of, or size of a resource. Synthetic metrics can be extremely helpful in deciphering performance and accessibility issues in real-time. The percentages are bounded in the [0..100] range, and they include the "%" character at the end.

The metrics screen allows you to define if a metric should be monitored and graphed, and lets you set the values for Warning and Critical thresholds at which to trigger alerts. It is recommended to use the synthetic metrics (computed percentages) since it helps to define the threshold values in a 0-100% range.

The Metrics page is displayed in groups of metrics. The counts of metrics are displayed in the Group bar, and summarized by:

  • # metrics per group
  • # active metrics per group
  • # synthetic metrics per group

A metric is considered inactive if it is not monitored.

Figure: VMware metrics
VMware metrics

You can configure the metrics for any group by clicking on the (1) group bar. Each row in the grid represents a metric. Metrics can be added, edited or deleted. You can directly edit metrics in the grid or use the advanced metric dialog by clicking the (2) Edit button and then configuring all properties of a metric in the dialog. When editing metrics in the grid directly, you will need to click the (3) Save button in the top navigation to commit your changes to Cloud Hub. To add new metrics use (4) Add Normal Metric or Add Synthetic Metric.

For example, if we click on the bottom Vm group bar, the display automatically expands to show all metrics for the VMs:

Figure: VMware metrics pages expanded
VMware metrics pages expanded

The grid displays the following fields:

Monitor? Check this if you want to enable monitoring of this metric.
Graph? Check this if you want to graph the values of this metric in time series
Metric Name The exact VMware metric name or a VMware metric expression. This field is read-only. Click the Edit button to modify it.
Display Name Overrides the metric name and stores the metric in GroundWork as a service with this name.
Warning Threshold Metric value that will trigger a GroundWork Warning alert.
Critical Threshold Metric value that will trigger a GroundWork Critical alert.

Leaving the threshold fields blank will disable threshold triggers.

Metrics come in two flavors: they can either be Normal or Synthetic metrics.


cloud cloud Delete
virtualization virtualization Delete
hub hub Delete
metrics metrics Delete
connectors connectors Delete
vmware vmware Delete
native native Delete
synthetic synthetic Delete
esx esx Delete
vsphere vsphere Delete
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