vCenter Inventory Issues Analysis Report

IT Asset Management 2024 R1.1 (Cloud)

The vCenter Inventory Issues Analysis report addresses the challenges of troubleshooting the vCenter inventory. It does this by retrieving all discovered virtualization hosts and relevant analysis with regard to possible inventory issues and logs.

The vCenter inventory connector allows you to collect cluster and ESX server information for VMWare architectures, as well as the links between virtual machines (VMs), hosts and clusters. Given that server licensing rules take virtualization into account, understanding links between VMs, hosts and clusters is a key aspect of Software Asset Management. If the vCenter import is not performed correctly - cluster, host and VM links information will be inaccurate and lead to wrong license consumption calculations.

An incomplete vCenter inventory can lead to the following issues:
  • Out of date links and incorrect license calculations
  • VMs (particularly new VMs) displayed as orphaned (because the link was not created to their ESX servers)
  • Decommissioned VMs displaying the link to their last host
  • Movement of VMs not captured.
To troubleshoot the above vCenter inventory issues would be a big undertaking. An admin would need to seek data in many locations, such as:
  • Go through the logs presented by the beacon in the Task Execution Status screen
  • Navigate across the following records to understand issues:
    • Virtual devices and clusters to understand links and dates
    • Discovered devices to understand discovery, inventory dates and logs
  • Aggregate the information (in Excel pivot tables) to allow you to make informed decisions, such as checking firewalls, asking the operations team to activate an inventory user on vCenter and so on.
For analysis, the report collects data from discovered devices (VMWare inventory dates, discovery dates and logs), and aggregates data from various screens. The following data is collected:
  • vCenter Inventory dates.
  • Discrepancies between VMWare Discovery dates and Inventory dates.
  • Log errors.
  • Operator created rules and automated rules are analyzed separately for vCenter host per vCenter host. Reason being, automated rules (such as the "PVU frequent scan", which is performed every 30 minute on discovered devices once classified as a "Virtualization Host"), can create a lot of irrelevant logs that may obscure the data.
  • Discrepancies within vCenters or within clusters for ESX servers that host active VMs. For example, if an ITAM environment has an inventory date older than the other ESX servers in the same cluster, it shows it has been decommissioned (and is no longer reported by vCenter). As a consequence, the VMs in the decommissioned ESX will have obsolete information and need to be ignored.
In the report, retrieved data is filtered to avoid confusion. vCenter records that satisfy the below criteria will be removed from the report:
  • vCenters with no errors and no active VMs (decommissioned)
  • vCenter duplicates that are found in all discovered devices (same IP address and "Virtualizatoin Host" flag enabled)
  • vCenters that show or don't show an error in the last inventory, have no active VMs and have not been discovered for more than six months.

Generating the report

  1. Go to the vCenter Inventory Issues Analysis page (Reporting > Operations Reports > vCenter Inventory Issues Analysis). You can also access this report by going to the Saved Reports page (Reporting > Saved Reports & Views > Saved Reports), navigating to the "SAM Operations" folder, and clicking vCenter Inventory Issues Analysis.
  2. Click Run report.

Reading the report

The following table lists all the columns that are available in the report.

Column name Description
Clusters not reported with active VMs A list of clusters with an inventory date that precedes other clusters in the vCenter linked to active VMs. The VM, host and cluster links are not up to date.
Clusters with active VMs A list of clusters reported by the vCenter that have active VMs.
Comment on accessed vCenter inventory issues An explanation stating possible vCenter inventory issues. This column aggregates the analysis provided by the other columns for easier analysis.
Corporate unit The corporate unit of the vCenter server.
Cost center The cost center of the vCenter server.
Device name The name of the vCenter Server.
Discovered by The last beacon that successfully discovered the vCenter (for any type of discovery).
Error reported in last VMWare inventory If data is provided here, that means the last VMWare inventory operator created rule reported an error and details on the error log are provided. No data means that the last run log did not report an error.
ESX not reported with active VMs A list of ESX servers with an inventory date that precedes other ESX servers in a vCenter linked to active VMs. The VM, host and cluster links are not up to date.
IP address The IP address of the vCenter server.
Last start The start date and time of the operator created rule that reported for VMWare Inventory.
Last start (automated) The start date and time of the automated rule that reported for VMWare Inventory.
Location The location of the vCenter server.
Most recent inventory date for hosts The inventory date of the most recently reported ESX server linked to the vCenter that hosts active virtual machines.
Oldest inventory date for hosts The inventory date of the least recently reported ESX server linked to the vCenter that hosts active virtual machines. An aging inventory date is the sign that the host has been decommissioned and underlying active VMs have incorrect host information.
Rule name The rule (created by an operator and found in the Discovery and Inventory rules) that last reported a status for VMWare inventory. Please note that the “Skipped Device” status is ignored in the analysis to filter out irrelevant data.
Rule name (automated) The name of the automated rule that last inventoried the device. This will generally be the PVU frequent scan rule that tries to inventory all discovered devices reported one time as virtualization hosts. This rule is managed separately because it creates a lot of irrelevant data and false positives that may obscure the data.
Status The status of the last run for the operator created rule.
Status (automated) The status of the last run for the automated rule.
Success Was the last run successful for the operator created rule - Yes / No.
Success (automated) Was the last run successful for the automated rule - Yes / No.
Virtualization product The type of virtualization as returned by the API during inventory.
Virtualization version The version returned by the API during inventory.
VMWare Discovery Date Specifies the date and time when IT Asset Management discovered VMware on this device. The discovery and inventory process generates the value of this field.
VMWare Inventory Date Specifies the date and time when IT Asset Management collected VMware inventory for this device. The discovery and inventory process generates the value of this field.

IT Asset Management (Cloud)

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