VMware - vCenter and ESX Server History Extractor

Use the VMware - vCenter and ESX Server History Extractor to collect historical data from your VMware environment. You can use this ETL in the following possible scenarios:

  • You have added new VMware vCenter and ESX servers to your network and want to collect their data.
  • The VMware Extractor ETL fails, and you want to collect data of the VMware resources.

Collecting data by using the VMware vCenter and ESX Server History Extractor

To collect data by using the VMware vCenter History ETL, do the following tasks:

I. Complete the preconfiguration tasks.

II. Configure the ETL.

Step I. Complete the preconfiguration tasks

Before you configure and run the ETL, ensure that the following preconfiguration tasks are completed:

  • The ETL Engine server has access to the URLs of the web services exposed by the vCenter Servers and ESX Server hosts.
  • The ETL Engine uses JRE and requires special security considerations for old SSL keys that might have been created with a  key < 1024 bits. For more information, see

    User credentials for ETL modules.

Step II. Configure the ETL

You must configure the ETL to connect to VMware for data collection. ETL configuration includes specifying the basic and optional advanced properties. While configuring the basic properties is sufficient, you can optionally configure the advanced properties for additional customization.

A. Configuring the basic properties

Some of the basic properties display default values. You can modify these values if required.

To configure the basic properties:

  1. In the TrueSight Capacity Optimization console, navigate to Administration ETL & System Tasks, and select ETL tasks.
  2. On the ETL tasks page, click Add > Add ETL. The Add ETL page displays the configuration properties. You must configure properties in the following tabs: Run configuration, Entity catalog, and VMware ETL configuration



  3. On the Run configuration tab, configure the following properties:

    1. From the ETL module list, select VMware - vCenter and ESX Server History Extractor. The name of the ETL is displayed in the ETL Task name field. You can edit this field to customize the name.

    2. From the Data type list, select one of the following metric levels that you want to collect:
      • Metrics at Cluster, Resource Pool, Host, Datastore and Virtual Machine level: This is the default selection. Use this metric level to collect data of your entire VMware infrastructure.
      • Metrics at Cluster, Resource Pool, Host, Datastore level: Select this metric level when you do not want to collect data of virtual machines. For example, you want to support only the Capacity-Aware Placement Advice service. This metric level saves the disk space and I/O load and lets you manage large VMware environments with modestly-sized TrueSight Capacity Optimization implementation.
  4. Click the Entity catalog tab, and select one of the following options:
    • Shared Entity Catalog

      Select if other ETLs access the same entities that are used by this ETL.
      • From the Sharing with Entity Catalog list, select an entity catalog name that is shared between ETLs.
    • Private Entity Catalog: Select if you want to use this ETL independently.

  5. Click the VMware ETL configuration tab, and configure the following properties:

    • The web service URL of the vCenter Server in the following format:
      https://<host_address>/sdk
      Where <host_address> is the IP address of the server that hosts the vCenter Server.
    • The name of the user and password (if required) to connect to the vCenter Server.
    • Specify whether you want to use the AS time zone
    • Specify whether you want to import the cluster failover threshold metrics
  6. (Optional) Override the default values of properties in the following tabs:

     Run configuration
    PropertyDescription
    Module selection

    Select one of the following options:

    • Based on datasource: This is the default selection.
    • Based on Open ETL template: Select only if you want to collect data that is not supported by TrueSight Capacity Optimization.
    Module descriptionA short description of the ETL module.
    Execute in simulation modeBy default, the ETL execution in simulation mode is selected to validate connectivity with the data source, and to ensure that the ETL does not have any configuration issues. In the simulation mode, the ETL does not load data into the database. This option is useful when you want to test a new ETL task. To run the ETL in the production mode, select No.
    BMC recommends that you run the ETL in the simulation mode after ETL configuration and then run it in the production mode.


     Object relationships
    PropertyDescription
    Associate new entities to

    Specify the domain to which you want to add the entities created by the ETL.

    Select one of the following options:

    • Existing domain: This option is selected by default. Select an existing domain from the Domain list. If the selected domain is already used by other hierarchy rules, select one of the following Domain conflict options:
      • Enrich domain tree: Select to create a new independent hierarchy rule for adding a new set of entities, relations, or both that are not defined by other ETLs.
      • ETL Migration: Select if the new ETL uses the same set of entities, relations, or both that are already defined by other ETLs.
    • New domain: Select a parent domain, and specify a name for your new domain.

    By default, a new domain with the same ETL name is created for each ETL. When the ETL is created, a new hierarchy rule with the same name of the ETL task is automatically created in the active state. If you specify a different domain for the ETL, the hierarchy rule is updated automatically.


     ETL task properties
    PropertyDescription
    Task groupSelect a task group to classify the ETL.
    Running on schedulerSelect one of the following schedulers for running the ETL:
    • Primary Scheduler: Runs on the Application Server.
    • Generic Scheduler: Runs on a separate computer.
    • Remote: Runs on remote computers.
    Maximum execution time before warningIndicates the number of hours, minutes, or days for which the ETL must run before generating warnings or alerts, if any.
    Frequency

    Select one of the following frequencies to run the ETL:

    • Predefined: This is the default selection. Select a daily, weekly, or monthly frequency, and then select a time to start the ETL run accordingly.
      • Start timestamp: hour\minute: Select the HH:MM start timestamp to add to the ETL execution running on a Predefined frequency.
    • Custom: Specify a custom frequency, select an appropriate unit of time, and then specify a day and a time to start the ETL run.
      • Custom start timestamp: Select a YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM timestamp to add to the ETL execution running on a Custom frequency.

  7. Click Save.
    The ETL tasks page shows the details of the newly configured VMware history ETL.

(Optional) B. Configuring the advanced properties

You can configure the advanced properties to change the way the ETL works or to collect additional metrics.

To configure the advanced properties:

  1. On the Add ETL page, click Advanced.

  2. Configure the following properties:

     Run configuration
    PropertyDescription
    Run configuration nameSpecify the name that you want to assign to this ETL task configuration. The default configuration name is displayed. You can use this name to differentiate between the run configuration settings of ETL tasks.
    Deploy statusSelect the deploy status for the ETL task. For example, you can initially select Test and change it to Production after verifying that the ETL run results are as expected.
    Log levelSpecify the level of details that you want to include in the ETL log file. Select one of the following options:
    • 1 - Light: Select to add the bare minimum activity logs to the log file.
    • 5 - Medium: Select to add the medium-detailed activity logs to the log file.
    • 10 - Verbose: Select to add detailed activity logs to the log file.

    Use log level 5 as a general practice. You can select log level 10 for debugging and troubleshooting purposes.

    Datasets

    Specify the datasets that you want to add to the ETL run configuration. The ETL collects data of metrics that are associated with these datasets.

    1. Click Edit.
    2. Select one (click) or more (shift+click) datasets from the Available datasets list and click >> to move them to the Selected datasets list.
    3. Click Apply.

    The ETL collects data of metrics associated with the datasets that are available in the Selected datasets list.

     VMware ETL configuration
    PropertyDescription
    Sampling interval (should be defined in Virtual Center)Specify a sampling period for aggregating data. BMC recommends an aggregation period of 30 minutes and longer. You can specify a custom period.
    Pre-aggregated statistics importSpecify whether you want to import preaggregated metrics data such as min, max, and count. The preaggregated data enables you to import data at hourly granularity. The default selection is No.
    Extraction period

    Specify a period during which the ETL must extract data. Select one of the following options:

    • Use last counter: Select to specify the number of days in the Max extraction period box. By default, five days are specified.
    • From-to data extraction: Select to use the date picker and specify a specific period for the extraction.

    For the fist ETL run, always select Use last counter because during the From-to data extraction mode, the ETL does not set the last counter value and extract the resource hierarchy. You can use the From-to data extraction mode for the subsequent ETL runs.

    Compatibility lookup names customizationSelect one of the following options for sharing the lookup between ETLs:
    • Default/Recommended: UUID for hosts and virtual machines
    • System name for hosts and UUID for virtual machines
    • UUID for hosts and system name for virtual machines
    • System names for hosts and virtual machines
    • Host name for hosts and virtual machines
    Extraction parallelismSelect the number of threads that you want to keep open simultaneously for importing data.
    Use AS time zoneSpecify the time zone to record the time of data extraction. Select one of the following options:
    • To record data according to the Application Server time zone, select Yes.
    • To record data according to the ESX Server time zone, select No.
    Use Virtual Machine network name as system nameSpecify whether you want to use the virtual machine network name as a system name.
    Import cluster failover threshold metricSpecify whether you want to import the failover threshold metrics.
    Import advanced VM events
    Specify whether you want to import the advanced VM events.
    If you select Yes, the following advanced events are imported, which require additional storage space:
    • VM Power ON
    • VM Power OFF
    • VM Migration
    • VM Reconfiguration
    • DRS VM Migration
    • VM has been renamed

    The default selection is No, which imports only the following basic VM events. This selection improves the ETL performance because these events require relatively less storage space.

    • Host entering maintenance mode
    • Host exiting maintenance mode
    • Host shutdown
    • Host removed from cluster
    • Host added from cluster
    • Host disconnected from cluster
    • Cluster reconfiguration
    • VM unregistered from vCenter
    • VM registered to vCenter
    • VM relocated to vCenter
     Import filter

    Configure one or both the filtering properties in this section to include or exclude entities while importing.

    PropertyDescription
    Filtering for clusters and top-level hosts

    Specify whether you want to import all or specific clusters and standalone hosts.

    • The default selection is None, which indicates that all clusters and standalone hosts are imported.
    • To import only the specific clusters and standalone hosts, select Whitelist, and specify the names of clusters and standalone hosts to be imported (separated by a semicolon). For example, cl1;cluster24; host1;esx_host
      You can specify these names in any case.
    Blacklist file path

    Use this property to exclude (blacklist) specific entities while importing, such as hosts and virtual machines.

     To exclude specific hosts and virtual machines (blacklist)
    1. In a text file, add the names of virtual machines and hosts that you want to exclude from importing in the following format, and save the file on the ETL Engine Server where the ETL runs:
      SYSTEM_TYPE;ENTITY UUID

      Tip

      To find UUIDs, select the required virtual machine or host in the Workspace, and click View lookup. The Lookup value column in the Lookup Details table shows the UUID values.

      The use of regular expressions is not supported.

    2. In the Use file at path box, specify the path to this text file.
    3. After you run the ETL, verify that the specified virtual machines and hosts are not displayed in the hierarchy.

    Example:

    To exclude specific hosts and virtual machines from importing, obtain their UUIDs and add them to a text file as follows:

    vh:vmw;44454c4c-4600-1054-8052-cac04f525231
    vh:vmw;44454c4c-4600-1054-8052-cac04f525232
    gm:vmw;4208badb-6a91-23d1-c6b5-061745b2c8d9
    gm:vmw;4208badb-6a91-23d1-c6b5-061745b2c8d7

    Where, vh:vmw is the system type and 44454c4c-4600-1054-8052-cac04f525231 is the UUID of host_1. Similarly, gm:vmw is the system type and 4208badb-6a91-23d1-c6b5-061745b2c8d9 is the UUID of vm_1, and so on.
    You can specify these names in any case.

    After the ETL runs, these specified virtual machines and hosts are not imported.

     Additional properties
    PropertyDescription
    List of properties

    Specify additional properties for the ETL that act as user inputs during run. You can specify these values now or you can do so later by accessing the "You can manually edit ETL properties from this page" link that is displayed for the ETL in the view mode.

    1. Click Add.
    2. In the etl.additional.prop.n field, specify an additional property.
    3. Click Apply.
      Repeat this task to add more properties.

     Loader configuration
    PropertyDescription
    Empty dataset behaviorSpecify the action for the loader if it encounters an empty dataset:
    • Warn: Generate a warning about loading an empty dataset.
    • Ignore: Ignore the empty dataset and continue parsing.
    ETL log file nameThe name of the file that contains the ETL run log. The default value is: %BASE/log/%AYEAR%AMONTH%ADAY%AHOUR%MINUTE%TASKID
    Maximum number of rows for CSV outputA numeric value to limit the size of the output files.
    CSV loader output file nameThe name of the file that is generated by the CSV loader. The default value is: %BASE/output/%DSNAME%AYEAR%AMONTH%ADAY%AHOUR%ZPROG%DSID%TASKID
    Capacity Optimization loader output file nameThe name of the file that is generated by the TrueSight Capacity Optimization loader. The default value is: %BASE/output/%DSNAME%AYEAR%AMONTH%ADAY%AHOUR%ZPROG%DSID%TASKID
    Detail mode
    Specify whether you want to collect raw data in addition to the standard data. Select one of the following options:
    • Standard: Data will be stored in the database in different tables at the following time granularities: Detail (configurable, by default: 5 minutes), Hourly, Daily, and Monthly.
    • Raw also: Data will be stored in the database in different tables at the following time granularities: Raw (as available from the original data source), Detail (configurable, by default: 5 minutes), Hourly, Daily, and Monthly.
    • Raw only: Data will be stored in the database in a table only at Raw granularity (as available from the original data source).
    For more information, see Accessing data using public views and Sizing and scalability considerations.
    Remove domain suffix from datasource name (Only for systems) Select True to remove the domain from the data source name. For example, server.domain.com will be saved as server. The default selection is False.
    Leave domain suffix to system name (Only for systems)Select True to keep the domain in the system name. For example: server.domain.com will be saved as is. The default selection is False.
    Update grouping object definition (Only for systems)Select True if you want the ETL to update the grouping object definition for a metric that is loaded by the ETL. The default selection is False.
    Skip entity creation (Only for ETL tasks sharing lookup with other tasks)Select True if you do not want this ETL to create an entity and discard data from its data source for entities not found in Capacity Optimization. It uses one of the other ETLs that share a lookup to create a new entity. The default selection is False.

     Scheduling options
    PropertyDescription
    Hour maskSpecify a value to run the task only during particular hours within a day. For example, 0 – 23 or 1, 3, 5 – 12.
    Day of week maskSelect the days so that the task can be run only on the selected days of the week. To avoid setting this filter, do not select any option for this field.
    Day of month maskSpecify a value to run the task only on the selected days of a month. For example, 5, 9, 18, 27 – 31.
    Apply mask validationSelect False to temporarily turn off the mask validation without removing any values. The default selection is True.
    Execute after timeSpecify a value in the hours:minutes format (for example, 05:00 or 16:00) to wait before the task is run. The task run begins only after the specified time is elapsed.
    EnqueueableSpecify whether you want to ignore the next run command or run it after the current task. Select one of the following options:
    • False: Ignores the next run command when a particular task is already running. This is the default selection.
    • True: Starts the next run command immediately after the current running task is completed.

  3. Click Save.
    The ETL tasks page shows the details of the newly configured VMware history ETL.

Step III. Run the ETL

After you configure the ETL, you can run it to collect data. You can run the ETL in the following modes:

A. Simulation mode: Only validates connection to the data source, does not collect data. Use this mode when you want to run the ETL for the first time or after you make any changes to the ETL configuration.

B. Production mode: Collects data from the data source.

A. Running the ETL in the simulation mode

To run the ETL in the simulation mode:

  1. In the TrueSight Capacity Optimization console, navigate to Administration ETL & System Tasks, and select ETL tasks.
  2. On the ETL tasks page, click the ETL. The ETL details are displayed.



  3. In the Run configurations table, click Edit  to modify the ETL configuration settings.
  4. On the Run configuration tab, ensure that the Execute in simulation mode option is set to Yes, and click Save.
  5. Click Run active configuration. A confirmation message about the ETL run job submission is displayed.
  6. On the ETL tasks page, check the ETL run status in the Last exit column.
    OK Indicates that the ETL ran without any error. You are ready to run the ETL in the production mode.
  7.  If the ETL run status is Warning, Error, or Failed:
    1. On the ETL tasks page, click  in the last column of the ETL name row.
    2. Check the log and reconfigure the ETL if required.
    3. Run the ETL again.
    4. Repeat these steps until the ETL run status changes to OK.

B. Running the ETL in the production mode

You can run the ETL manually when required or schedule it to run at a specified time.

Running the ETL manually

  1. On the ETL tasks page, click the ETL. The ETL details are displayed.
  2. In the Run configurations table, click Edit  to modify the ETL configuration settings. The Edit run configuration page is displayed.
  3. On the Run configuration tab, select No for the Execute in simulation mode option, and click Save.
  4. To run the ETL immediately, click Run active configuration. A confirmation message about the ETL run job submission is displayed.
    When the ETL is run, it collects data from the source and transfers it to the TrueSight Capacity Optimization database.

Scheduling the ETL run

By default, the ETL is scheduled to run daily. You can customize this schedule by changing the frequency and period of running the ETL.

To configure the ETL run schedule:

  1. On the ETL tasks page, click the ETL, and click Edit. The ETL details are displayed.

  2. On the Edit task page, do the following, and click Save:

    • Specify a unique name and description for the ETL task.
    • In the Maximum execution time before warning field, specify the duration for which the ETL must run before generating warnings or alerts, if any.
    • Select a predefined or custom frequency for starting the ETL run. The default selection is Predefined.
    • Select the task group and the scheduler to which you want to assign the ETL task.
  3. Click Schedule. A message confirming the scheduling job submission is displayed.
    When the ETL runs as scheduled, it collects data from the source and transfers it to the TrueSight Capacity Optimization database.

Step IV. Verify data collection

Verify that the ETL ran successfully and the VMware historical data is refreshed in the Workspace.

To verify whether the ETL ran successfully:

  1. In the TrueSight Capacity Optimization console, click Administration > ETL and System Tasks > ETL tasks.
  2. In the Last exec time column corresponding to the ETL name, verify that the current date and time are displayed.

To verify that the VMware data is refreshed:

  1. In the TrueSight Capacity Optimization console, click Workspace.
  2. Expand (Domain_name_for VMware) > Systems.
  3. In the left pane, verify that the hierarchy displays the new and updated VMware instances in your VMware environment.

  4. Click an Azure virtual machine instance, and click the Metrics tab in the right pane.
  5. Check if the Last Activity column in the Configuration data and Performance metrics tables displays the current date.

For information about the metrics collected by this ETL, see Metrics collected by VMware ETLs.

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