VMware vCenter is capable of sending alarns/notification using a few key methods that are great to gain better operational awareness of your environment if you are not utilising a toolset like vRealize Operations Manager to gain these insights into your environment today. Whilst these methods are useful they do not compare to the value of having a tool like vRealize Operations Manager.
VMware vCenter alarms are one of those very useful but under utilised tools in VMware environments. For historical information, David Davis wrote an article (5 things you need to know about VMware vSphere Alarms) that covers vCenter alarms back in 2010, this is still very relevant today almost 5 years on. In a recent presentation I did to service provider customers at Rhipe’s Cloud Channel Summit (ANZ), I was astounded how many technical staff were unaware of this capability within vCenter. Out of the box, vCenter comes with a whole raft of template alarms, that need configuration to be utilised. The configuration required is based on the customers method to be alerted/notified (Email, SNMP, Executable).
Configure vCenter Alarms
VMware have provided the following Knowledge Base article and YouTube video that walks through configuring alarms and email notifications.
Consider potential time and money saved if you are able to reduce the time spent by operational staff re-mediating repeatable issues within your environment. The concepts that were being discussed during my presentation is to utilise vCenter alarms to trigger workflows in vRealize Orchestrator. Depending on the type of event, and workflow process, operational teams can start to build automated remediation (self healing) into their environments.
As VMware based clouds evolve to deliver self service, and on demand resources to consumers. Having a responsive platform that can self-remediate can be a great market differentiator. If you are considering enabling vCenter alarms i encourage you to do so carefully. Whilst this is a great resource within your environment, it can be responsible for providing a lot of white noise information. In an operational environment, white noise may be considered too much information and will be ignored by staff if it cannot be remediated.