This documentation supports the 21.05 (12.2) version of BMC Discovery.

To view an earlier version of the product, select the version from the Product version menu.

Troubleshooting relationship issues between an ESX server and its hosted VMs

If you do not see a relationship created between an ESX or ESXi server and its hosted VMs, then use the following troubleshooting steps to either resolve the problem or create a BMC Support case. An ESX or ESXi server is also known as a Virtual Machine or VM.

Issue symptoms

When you scan an ESX or ESXi server, a VM node is created. Later, when you scan a virtual host, you observe that there is no relationship displayed between the VM node and the virtual host node. For information about scanning an ESX or ESXi server, see Discovering ESX and ESXi hosts.


This issue impacts all versions of BMC Discovery.


Perform the steps listed in the following stages to troubleshoot the relationship issues between an ESX or ESXi server and its hosted VMs.

Stage 1: Confirm that the prerequisites are fulfilled

Before you debug the absence of relationship between an ESX or ESXi server and its hosted VMs, confirm that the following prerequisites are fulfilled:

  • The VM is scanned and the VM node is created.
  • The virtual host is scanned successfully.
  • The virtual host (either UNIX or Windows), is scanned with a user credential that has sudo access on the Linux host or administrator rights on the Windows host.
  • The virtual host's serial number and UUID are discovered.

Stage 2: Test the serial number and search for a Software Instance

Perform the following steps to test the serial number and search for a Software Instance (SI):

  1. After a virtual host is scanned, confirm if the serial number on this host contains the string, VMware-. If the serial number contains the string, then you can be sure that it is a virtualized host that uses VMware technology. 

    Best practice

    We recommend that you set an attribute on the host called virtual, which can be used in the future to easily identify virtual hosts.

  2. Extract the value found after the VMware- string. This value corresponds to the UUID value found in the .vmx file or obtained from command execution (in the case of ESXi server VMs).
  3. Perform a search on the datastore to find an SI that has a vm_uuid equal to the extracted information from the serial on the host. 
    • If you find such an SI, then link the SI and the host by using a HostContainment relationship where the SI is a part of the HostContainer and the host is a part of the ContainedHost. This relationship has a specific type VMware assigned to it. This should resolve your problem.
    • If you do not find such an SI, proceed with stage 3.

Stage 3: Perform test scans to identify a permissions issue

When a relationship is not created between an ESX server and its hosted VMs, then it's likely that the virtual host's serial number and UUID are not discovered. This problem may be caused by a permissions issue with the user credential that is used to scan the virtual host. Perform one of the following steps to assess if it's a permissions issue:

  • As a test, scan a Linux host with a root account or scan a Windows host with an administrator account. If the serial number is discovered then it is confirmed to be a permissions issue.
  • Run the serial number command on the target Linux host with the BMC Discovery user account. For example:

    sudo  /usr/sbin/dmidecode

If the result of this command displays an error or if no serial number is found, then it is confirmed to be an issue with the permissions. The immediate solution is to make sure that the BMC Discovery user account and credentials have valid root or admin privileges. For more information about granting privileges, see Adding privileged execution to commands and Privileged commands

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