Alarm actions – enable – disable – report

Another post triggered by a question in the VMTN PowerCLI community. The user wanted to know how he could create a report that showed for which vSphere entities the alarm actions were disabled.

To set the stage, a short overview of what this is all about. In vSphere you can, since vSphere 4, disable and enable alarm actions for all the managed entities. This option is available from the vSphere client


and from the vSphere Web client.


But how to automate these actions, and more importantly in this case, how to report on the active settings ? Like always PowerCLI to the rescue.

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Who acknowledged that alarm ?

Sometimes a solution to a problem is just staring you in the face.
While writing the PowerCLI book, I spent quite a bit of time on how to find which user acknowledged an alarm.
Today Eric “Scoop” Sloof launched the same question on Twitter. While I thought it was not possible, based on my past investigations, I decided to have a second look.

And of course now I found in a matter of minutes what had cost me fruitless hours before.

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Alarms – Moving them around

You should know by now that alarms are a powerful tool to help you manage and monitor your vSphere environment.  But in my opinion there is a basic operation missing.

There is no easy way to move an alarms from one entity to another entity. No drag-and-drop in the vSphere Client, no Move-Alarm cmdlet in PowerCLI.

A practical example, you have developed this fantastic new alarm and for testing purposes you had defined it on a single virtual machine. Now the tests are done and your alarm is ready for production. But there is apparently no easy way to move your new alarm to the root of your vSphere environment.

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Alarms – Cody’s Abandon Ship

Yesterday, Cody published on his Professional VMware blog an excellent article, called vSphere Host Died Abandon Ship! – vSphere vCenter Alarms & Actions.

The article shows a very elegant solution how to move your guests to “safer havens”, the moment one of the hosts in the cluster starts experiencing hardware problems.
The elegance of Cody’s solution is that he uses maintenance mode to force vMotion on all the powered-on guests on the host that experiences HW problems.

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Alarms – Adding an action

An interesting question on Alarms arrived in my mailbox recently. Charlie wanted to know if it was possible to add an action to a selected set of the alarms he has defined in his vCenter.

The current PowerCLI build (version 4 update 1 – build 208462) unfortunately has no cmdlets to work with alarms. There are some alarm-related cmdlets available in the VI Toolkit for Windows Community Extensions. But none of these provides the functionality Charlie wanted to have.

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Alarm expressions – Part 2 : Event alarms

In the previous part of this series (Alarm expressions – Part 1 : Metric alarms) I showed how you could create alarms that are triggered when a metric crosses a watermark.

zenIn this part I will show you how to create alarms when one or more specific events occur in your vSphere environment. More specifically I will show you how to create an alarm that will fire when someone adds or removes a license from your vCenter.

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Alarm expressions – Part 1 : Metric alarms

In a previous entry (Scripts for Yellow Bricks’ advise: Thin Provisioning alarm & eagerZeroedThick) I showed how you could use performance metrics to fire an alarm. The MetricAlarmExpression in that script requires a PerfMetricId to specify which performance metric the alarm should monitor. The counterId in that object is an integer and it is perhaps not too obvious which value corresponds with which metric.


This blog entry shows how you can quickly get a list of permitted counterIds (and instances) for a specific entity. And it will show how to create some “impossible” alarms !

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