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Cloud Insights

Configuring the VMware VSphere data collector

Contributors netapp-alavoie dgracenetapp

The data collector for VMware vSphere collects ESX Host information and requires read-only privileges on all objects within the Virtual Center.


Cloud Insights acquires the following inventory information from the VMware vSphere data collector. For each asset type acquired, the most common terminology used for the asset is shown. When viewing or troubleshooting this data collector, keep the following terminology in mind:

Vendor/Model Term Cloud Insights Term

Virtual disk




Virtual machine

Virtual machine

Data store

Data store



Fibre channel port


These are common terminology mappings only and might not represent every case for this data collector.


The following information is required to configure this data collector:

  • IP address of the Virtual Center server

  • Read-only username and password in Virtual Center

  • We require read only privileges on all objects within Virtual Center.

  • SDK access on the Virtual Center server – normally already setup.

  • Port requirements: http-80 https-443

  • Validate access:

    • Log into Virtual Center Client using above username and password

    • Verify SDK enabled: telnet <vc_ip> 443

Setup and connection

Field Description


Unique name for the data collector

Acquisition unit

Name of acquisition unit


Field Description

Virtual center IP Address

IP address of the Virtual Center

User name

User name used to access the Virtual Center


Password used to access the Virtual Center

Advanced configuration

In the advanced configuration screen, check the VM Performance box to collect performance data. Inventory collection is enabled by default.
The following fields can be configured:



Inventory poll interval (min)

Default is 20

Filter VMs


Choose 'Exclude' or 'Include' to Specify a List

Create a filter list (CLUSTER, DATACENTER, and/or ESX_HOST)

Number of retries

Default is 3

Communication port

Default is 443

Filter Device List…​

This list must consist of exact string matches - if you intend to filter by ESX_HOST, you must build a comma delimited list of the exact "names" of your ESX hosts as reported in both Cloud Insights and vSphere. These "names" may be either IP addresses, simple hostnames, or fully qualified domain names (FQDNs) - this is determined by how these hosts were named when they were originally added to vSphere.

When filtering by CLUSTER, use the Cloud Insights-style cluster names as reported by CI on hypervisors - Cloud Insights prepends the vSphere cluster name with the vSphere datacenter name and a forward slash - "DC1/clusterA" is the cluster name Cloud Insights would report on a hypervisor in clusterA within data center DC1.

Performance poll interval (sec)

Default is 300

Mapping VMware tags to Cloud Insights annotations

The VMware data collector allows you to populate Cloud Insights annotations with tags configured on VMware. The annotations must be named exactly as the VMware tags. Cloud Insights will always populate same-named text-type annotations, and will make a "best attempt" to populate annotations of other types (number, boolean, etc). If your annotation is of a different type and the data collector fails to populate it, it may be necessary to remove the annotation and re-create it as a text type.

Note that VMware tags may be case-sensitive, while Cloud Insights tags are case-insensitive. So if you create an annotation named "OWNER" in Cloud Insights, and tags named "OWNER", "Owner", and "owner" in VMware, all of those variations of "owner" would map to Cloud Insight’s "OWNER" annotation.

Keep the following in mind:

  • Cloud Insights currently only auto-publishes support information for NetApp devices.

  • Since this support information is held in annotation form, you can query it or use it in dashboards.

  • If a user overwrites or empties the annotation value, the value is autofilled again when Cloud Insights updates annotations, which it does once a day.


Some things to try if you encounter problems with this data collector:


Problem: Try this:

Error: Include list to filter VMs cannot be empty

If Include List is selected, please list valid DataCenter, Cluster, or Host names to filter VMs

Error: Failed to instantiate a connection to VirtualCenter at IP

Possible solutions:

* Verify credentials and IP address entered.
* Try to communicate with Virtual Center using VMware Infrastructure Client.
* Try to communicate with Virtual Center using Managed Object Browser (e.g MOB).

Error: VirtualCenter at IP has non-conform certificate that JVM requires

Possible solutions:

* Recommended: Re-generate certificate for Virtual Center by using stronger (e.g. 1024-bit) RSA key.
* Not Recommended: Modify the JVM configuration to leverage the constraint jdk.certpath.disabledAlgorithms to allow 512-bit RSA key. See JDK 7 update 40 release notes at ""

Additional information may be found from the Support page or in the Data Collector Support Matrix.