Before I went on PTO I had a quick look at a very interesting appliance. It essentially indexes everything that transpires in vCenter (events and inventory), and lets me search for anything, and it surfaces interesting and useful tidbits for me. The name of the tool is vSearch, and it is from DoubleCloud. Now that I am back from PTO, I am looking at the next version – v2. This article is about v2 but it may not be the same v2 that you might buy or use as I think there is some things in this build that is not yet GA.
So today we are going to install and configure vSearch and I will show you some cool things.
Download the OVA / OVF and deploy it. It needs very small resources and once deployed let it start and you are almost done. Next you will need to connect to the web console – https://IP_address/console.html . You use root / doublecloud to authenticate.
Now just add your vCenter info. Make sure to use a domain user account with read only permission in vCenter. Also use the IP address of your vCenters as seen below.
If you see STARTING in the Status column you may have a DNS issue if you are using a FQDN, or a password problem.
But once you see RUNNING in Status, you are good to move on to the fun stuff.
The Fun Stuff – almost….
We log in now as admin / doublecloud at https://IP_address_or_FQDN .
First we need to take care of the license. When you first log in you see something like below.
So lets change to Settings – as seen above with the arrow.
Now we change to the License tab.
Once your license is pasted in you are good.
This is the area where you can configure your AD connection (AD / LDAP) as well as change your admin account password on the Users tab. For the purpose of this article I will not do anything additional for config – other then change password of the admin account.
Now the Actual Fun Stuff
Now that we are logged in, and no more license message bothering us, we can check things out. Below is what I saw first.
Look at all that you can see. This is a wildcard search that is default. You have an icon in the left column that helps you understand what you see. For VM’s you see the power state too. Look at AD or vSearch as examples.
Now, I select Events – where above is about Inventory. I see here things like user logout info, alarms, state changes and more.
Remember that the inventory, or events, are from ALL of the connected vCenters.
Lets change from Search to the Dashboard – second option on the right and looks like a speedometer. The Dashboard is where information is surfaced that we might find useful so we don’t have to search for it.
Notice that it highlights Alerts and Warnings? The Alerts trend at the bottom is interesting too.
Lets see what we see on Capacity.
On the Optimization tab there is lots of interesting stuff.
At the bottom of this screen is another interesting widget.
On the Stats screen you can see some great info – like physical server vendors and versions.
For something a little different, lets change to the Explore page – that is the one that looks like connect the dots. When I click and drag a bit, look what I see.
This is a nice overview of connections. You can select what is on the work-space in the top right and so in this image it is showing the VMs on each host. You can change that around a lot by click and drag.
We need to change to the Reports page now.
This search bar is for reports. It prompts you to type different things like hosts, VMs, or if you use * you will see all of the reports and then generate or edit as necessary. You see above where I typed in VMs with CD and below is what I got.
We have touched or looked at much of the UI now, so lets head back to Search to see what else we can find or learn.
For example lets search on error in Events.
You can use gray text to filter such as changing All Time to be Past Hour or select just a specific vCenter.
Lets look in Inventory for *.
If you look down the list, for the virtual machine named sa.thewhites.ca, and I click on it look what we see.
Some good info here – like accessing a console (currently does not work due to a VMware change in vSphere 6), power state changes, and much more. In the menu list next to the Actions menu you will find the last icon in the list is a three dots kind of thing and that is what connects you to the vSphere Web Client object for that VM. Handy!
We can also search for the VM.
We can also search for type. Like host for example.
And if you select one of the hosts look what you get!
Is this cool or what?
How do I see my vCenter by name and not by IP?
Log in on the console, and use nmtui to configure a static IP, host name, and DNS. Then configure the connection to vC by name and not IP.
Where are the log files?
When you log in on the web console you have an option to Download Logs. Once downloaded – as a file_archive_name.tgz you can expand the archive, and in the VAR folder you will find the log folder.
How do I make RDP connections work?
That is a good question. Not sure. Will need to investigate. Will update when I can figure it out.
So you have seen how to install vSearch, do some basic configuration, and searching. We have also looked at the dashboards. I like how some information is surfaced in the dashboards, and yet I can still search for anything. It is particularly valuable that some of the things found in search results, is still in usable format – meaning if a host or VM you can click on it and see appropriate for that object stuff.
I think that this product is useful for anyone, but particularly for people that have more then one vCenter. It is also very early in the life of the product and I look forward to seeing it grow!
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