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VMware vCenter Operations Manager

This article will show a complete overview of the installation and a not-complete overview of additional configuration of VMware vCenter Operations Manager, also known as vCOPs.

The goal is to install vCOPs 5.7.1 and to get to a level that it is fully functional. Note that this article is based on the Virtual Appliance of vCOPs. Also note that you need a license to have the standard version running. You can run vCOPs without a license, but then you'll run the Foundation level which is far less advanced and had a lot fewer options. This page is about the standard edition. See this page for more information regarding the different versions.

Design considerations: VMware Operations Manager will need licenses for all objects is has access to. If parts of the environment needs to be excluded due to design or license considerations this needs te be configured up front. The only way to do so is to NOT assign read permissions to the excluded resources. See here for more information.

This is the overall view, a lot of information but still very clear:


Used Media

To install vCOPs I used this virtual appliance build:

  • VMware-vcops-
    • MD5:d2704c443f7db12df2308a3387b65ea5

Network Information

Because vCenter Operations Manager consists of two VMs (User Interface (UI) and an Analytics VM) in a vApp you'll need to reserve two IP addresses.

Reserved IP addresses:

  • UI VM:
    • vcops001:
  • Analytics VM:
    • vcops002:

Of course, adding them to the following configuration databases should be common practice:

  • TCPIP reservation DB
  • CMDB
  • DNS (including reverse lookup)


Because I intentionally thought of adding Infrastructure Navigator to my test I created a 500 GB datastore. With hindsight, you only need 200:

  • Storage datastore /vol/SATA_DEV/226_SATA_DEV


You need a service account to access vCenter. Note the design considerations above, the account only needs read-only permissions, and if you need to exclude certain VMs you need to do this BEFORE you install vCOPs. Again, see here for more information.

Service account to access vCenter:

  • SRV-TST-OpMgr
  • password in KeePass)
Note that the article was done while the account had administrator permissions in both vCenters

See design considerations above if not the entire environment needs to be monitored.

Deploy Operations Manager

Define IP Pool

Note that this is not a required step. As stated in the “vApp Deployment and Configuration Guide”:

The IP pool facilitates the future use of a static IP address during the vApp deployment process. A DHCP deployment can work without an IP pool but generates warnings in the vSphere Client interface. You can ignore the warnings.

Because I want to use a static IP address I'll need the IP pool:

  • Select the datacenter for deployment
  • Select the IP pools tab and click 'Add'
  • Name the IP Pool, and set the subnet and gateway
  • Do NOT enable the IP pool:


  • Select the DHCP tab and select the 'IPv4 DHCP Present' checkbox
  • Select the DNS tab and enter the DNS information:


  • Select the Associations tab and select the network for the vApp
  • Click OK

Deploy vApp

In the vSphere Client, click File → Deploy OVF Template to start the respective wizard, and browse for the downloaded ova file:


Follow the prompts and Name the template 'Operations Manager'. This is the name of the vApp, not the VMs:


Select the small configuration for deployments less than 1500 VMs. This will require 4 vCPU and 16 GB RAM:


Select the required cluster, host, resource pool, datastore, disk format, and select the appropriate Destination network from the dropdown box after which you can select the Fixed IP allocation policy. Then set the appropriate timezone and IP addresses:


Now you can start the deployment which could take a while. After the deployment you can power on the vApp. Note that starting up the VMs for the first time can also take some time. The deploymennt only took 3 minutes, powering on the VMs through the vApp took 11 minutes (but this is including starting up the OS until the VMware Tools are loaded).

Define vCenter Systems

We have two vCenter servers, in linked mode in two different sites. These have to be added individually:

Go to the admin console for Operations Manager through this url: https://vcops001/admin/

The first time you login (using the default of admin/admin) the Initial Setup wizard starts:

  • Enter the information for the vCenter server that hosts the vApp (note that you could receive a security warning, click Yes to continue):


  • Change the admin and root password
    • Default admin/admin and root/vmware
    • New passwords in keepass
  • Specify a vCenter to monitor:


  • Select the second vCenter server from the drop down list and provide a display name, and click 'register':


When the message 'Registration is successful' is displayed you can click finish to start all other registration processes and to close the wizard.

When the registration is done you'll get an overview. Note that the license mode automatically says it's Foundation and it's licenses (see the resources below on more information regarding the different editions):


Because we also want to play around with the Infrastructure Navigator we need to add the evaluation license:

  • In the vSphere Client go to Home → Administration → Licensing
  • Click Asset
  • Right-Click the 'vCenter Operations Manager' asset and select 'Change License Key'
  • Provide the evaluation license key and click OK

Use vCenter Operations Manager

You can access the vCenter Operations Manager UI through this url: https://vcops001

You can access this portal with the same accounts as you access the vSphere Client.

Integrate with vSphere Client

  • In the vSphere Client go to Plug-Ins → Manage Plug-Ins
  • Right-Click the vCenter Operations Manager plugin en select 'Enable'

You can now access the vCenter Operations Manager in the vSphere Client.

Adjust Thresholds to Own Environment

In our environment we have designed some specific requirements that, although part of a best practice, are not always used and so need to be changed in Operations Manager to prevent different kind of messages. In Operations Manager, these things are managed through policies, of which it is possible to have multiple ones, and in which an order can be set.

Create Groups

To be able to actually set a new policy on objects we first need to create groups for these object. Here is the official VMware explanation on how to do that, in short I found these steps an easy and simple way to create groups:

  • Select “World” on the left
  • Click on Actions and select to “Create new group”:


Here you can provide a descriptive name. Also, make sure the group members are updated automatically if possible:


Now you can set all the criteria which the groupmembers should match to become a member of a group. This is our criteria for all datastores:


Ans this is the criteria for all datastores that match a specific name:


After setting the matching criteria you can review your settings and save the group.

Create Policies

I want my datastore policy only to report a full message when it's 99% full. Our design is based on a maximum of 4 VMs in a datastore, so it doesn't matter when it's almost full, it's probably designed that way. However, to keep space for VM logs we need a little bit of free space on a datastore, and 1% is quite enough.

So, to create a new policy for the datastores and then adjust this for the stated requirements follow these steps:

  • Go to Configuration and click in the green plus symbol to add a policy. Then in the new window select the default policy to clone the new policy from:


Then set the following thresholds for the required result:


Keep all other settings default.

Note that within the configuration screen you can set the order for policies to be applied.


The nice part of vCenter Operations Manager is the ability to run reports. I was specifically looking for a report on which I could get an overview of our top I/O users.

There are two ways to look at this, the “right now” report and the “over a period of time” report.

Right Now

Go to the required level of overview (World, vCenter, datacenter, cluster, host) and go to the Analysis tab. Click here on the “Which VMs currently have the highest storage I/O usage and latency.” and sort on the “Disk | Usage Rate (KBps) column:



Then you have reports, select the “Virtual Machine List” report and run it. Afterwards, download it as a csv file in which you have the option to sort, although you need to remove the kbps from the specific column to let Excel recognize it as a number.

If you're more interested in latency check the “VM average and peak storage access latency report.”

Note that the reports are run over a set period of time, for example 29 September to 2 November. To get the most out of these reports you should set scheduled reports.


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vcops.txt · Last modified: 2014/04/14 12:42 by sjoerd