SMTP and vCenter Ops Mgr

I have had a few people ask me how are SMTP alerts set in Ops Manager, so I figured I would do a little post on that in case there are more people confused on how to set this up.

First of all, this info is available in the install guide but I will try and clarify what I think may be confusing to some. If you click on “Notifications” from the Ops Manager portal you may be greeted by the message below if you have not set your SMTP settings yet.

Ok that is simple enough, go ahead and enter your settings. But soon you will realize that there is nohere to enter these settings. Right? Wrong!! You are looking in the wrong place. This is a excerpt from the install guide:

Prerequisites

  • Verify that the vCenter Operations Manager vApp is powered on.
  • Verify that you have administrator privileges to access the Administration portal and log in to the portal.

Notice it says “Administration Portal”. Your Ops Manager portal is usually https://UI VM IP however your “Administration Portal” is https://UI VM IP/admin. This is where you need to be. Once you log in there the instructions in the install guide listed below start making sense.

Again the following is an excerpt from the install guide, as you can also tell this is the place where you need to be in order to set up SNMP as well.

  1. On the SMTP tab, select the Enable report email service check box.
  2. Type the SMTP server address and port number.
  3. Type the name and email address to use when sending alerts or reports.
  4. If the SMTP server uses an encrypted connection, select the Server requires an encrypted connection check box and select the encryption protocol.
  5. If the email service needs to authenticate with the SMTP server when sending alerts, select the Outgoing SMTP server requires authentication check box and type the credentials.
  6. Select the Enable SNMP check box and type the destination host, port, and community information.
  7. Click Update to apply your settings.

vCenter Operations can send email notifications and scheduled reports.

Hope the above helps you in getting started with receiving those valuable notifications via email. One small suggestion, try not to go crazy with the email notifications because after sometime they may get treated like spam. You spent tons of money for Ops Mgr, make sure when it sends out a notification, its important.

Ops Manager does not show up under Assets in vSphere Client

Ok so I just went through some very painful hours and I hope nobody else has to ever go through this. Thats the reason fro this post. So I am sort of rearranging parts of my lab which really started the whole mess. I had to redeploy Operations Manager. Sounds pretty simple right? Read on..

Everything went great as far as registering Ops Mgr to my vCenter etc but then something odd really happened. I wasn’t able to apply the license for Ops Mgr. Keep in mind, you can only apply the license for Ops Mgr using the vSphere-Client under Home –>Administration –> Licensing, when there click on the “Asset” radio button and there you would see your unlicensed Ops Mgr waiting for your license key.

Only in my case, I saw both my hosts and the vCenter but no Ops Mgr. I tried everything under the sun from un-registering, re-registering but nothing really worked. I power cycled the vApp, restarted by vCenter service in hopes for it to start seeing things. Interestingly I could see “vCenter Operations Manager” in my home screen under “Solutions and Applications” but clicking it came back with a message saying you are not licensed you idiot. Well not quite but you know what I mean.

I was inches away from re-deploying the vApp when I figured well lets try one more thing. I looked around and noticed people had more luck with launching the vSphere client from the vCenter Server and that seem to have worked for a few folks. I figured well why not. So far I was accessing all this from the vSphere client installed on my laptop. So I logged into my vCenter (Mr. Hades) and launched the vSphere client there to see if that made a difference.


I was pleasantly surprised to see that this time around I did see Ops Mgr under Assets in licensing. Why did this work and the other didn’t? I have no clue but if I have to take a guess I would say it must have something to do with the vSphere client and not really Ops Mgr, but I am not sure. Now I did deploy Ops Mgr a few months ago and don’t recall having this issue before (I do have bad memory so its possible that I just forgot). But this is really for someone else out there who happens to see the same issue as I did, try accessing your vCenter from the vSphere client installed on the vCenter server itself and see if you have any luck.

From here onwards, you should be able to license your Ops Mgr and finally log in. For the record I am running vSphere 5 U1 and I am NOT running the vCSA. Getting the license applied in Ops Mgr is really important because basically you can’t really login to the Ops Mgr portal if its not licensed. If you are having the same issue as described above, hopefully you found this blog before you ruined your entire day like I did.

 

vCenter Ops Mgr license types and upgrade paths

In January vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.0 was announced which has promised tons of features that IMO are extremely useful and a must have in most environments. Having a virtual aware tool to manage the infrastructure is always great. I did an overview of it back in January.

I wanted to give some insight on the four types of licenses this product is packaged in and what level of functionality you can expect from each type of license you purchase. As I mentioned before, the product is licensed per VM and below is the license breakdown along with suggested environment size for each kind of license. Of course more functionality means more moolah!!

Now of course the next natural thing that comes to mind is, what about me, I purchased CapIQ bla bla bla. Well for all those who shot vRAM (yes I brought it up again :)), VMware has you covered. There are all kinds of upgrade paths and below are the details for that.

Whats next? Figure out what will work best for you and the best way to do that is to take this for a spin. This is by far one of the best all in one type of tool from VMware. If you can get past the CapIQ, I think this it is a pretty awesome tool to have. Yes, I am not  a big CapIQ fan, but everything else about ops manager makes it the Cadillac of  all virtual aware management tools.

 

vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.0 overview

VMware announced the release of vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.0 today. With the release of vCOM, Capacity IQ has been put to sleep as all of Capacity IQ functionality has been fully integrated into vCOM. So what does this tool offer?

Apart from the features that CapIQ offered, vCOM will provide you more insight on whats happening in your virtual environment performance wise, alert you for any risk or current issues and forecast any potential issues that could come up down the road. Not to mention it will also tell you how to more efficiently use your environment. Sounds insane doesn’t it?

Let’s look at the screenshot below. What we have here is a dashboard that gives you the view of your world. Now what is your world? A world comprises of one or more vCenter along with it’s population. In the example below, we are looking at whats happening across two vCenters. The holistic view below shows you the hotspots under the health category which may require your attention along with a Risk widget that predicts issues in the future. The efficiency widget scans your environment and proposes ways on how to right size your VM based on how it has performed overtime. As you can tell, vCOM is boldly telling us that we can reclaim 308 vCPU, over 9TB of disk and 1 TB of vMemory, nice aye!! Instead of wasting more money in buying more resources for your environment, lets make full use of what we have. I am sure your boss will appreciate that as well and when it comes time to hand out bonuses, saving 9TB of disk alone will be hard to ignore 😀

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