Monitoring VMware vCenter

eG Enterprise prescribes a specialized VMware vCenter monitoring model (see Figure 1), which can be managed in an agent-based or an agentless manner, and can be configured to periodically check the health of the critical services offered by vCenter, so as to proactively alert administrators to real/potential anomalies.

Figure 1 : The layer model of vCenter

Every layer depicted by Figure 1 is mapped to a wide variety of tests that report the following:

Monitoring Category

What the eG vCenter Monitor Reveals?

Cluster Resource Pools

  • Is there a resource pool status error?

  • Does a pool have high CPU usage?

  • Does a pool have high memory usage?

Virtual Cluster

  • Are the VMs in cluster taking up CPU?

  • Does the cluster have high memory usage?


  • Is usage of any of the datastores very high?

  • Is any of the datastores not available?

Virtual Center

  • Is the vCenter service available?

  • Is any Windows service that is supposed to be running inside a vCenter not running?

  • Is a network problem impacting the performance seen by applications running inside the vCenter?

  • Is the usage of any disk high?

  • Which processes inside a vCenter are causing its CPU usage to be high? Is there a run-away process inside the vCenter that is causing its CPU usage to spike?

  • Is there contention for CPU accesses within a vCenter?

  • Which processes inside vCenter are causing its memory usage to be high? Is there a memory leak with one or more applications running in the vCenter?

  • Which applications running inside vCenter are causing disk accesses from the vCenter to be high?

Virtual Center Services

  • Is any ESX server not connected to vCenter or not responding to it? If so, which ESX server is it?

  • Is the vRAM license entitlement been exceeded or exhausted?

  • Is there sufficient vRAM to support all VMs when powered on?

  • Did any vMotion failures occur recently?

  • Did any vMotion attempts result in errors/warnings?

  • Did any vCenter task fail?

Virtual Center Sessions

  • Is vCenter overloaded with sessions currently?

  • Are too many sessions logging out suddenly?

Virtual Center Licenses

Is license usage optimal?

vSAN Health

  • Did any vSAN health check fail?

  • Is any physical disk in a vSAN cluster unhealthy? If so, which one is it?

The answers to the above questions can shed light on many key performance aspects of vCenter, and enable administrators to accurately pin-point the root-cause of problems with vCenter.

The bottom 7 layers of the monitoring model are similar to that of the Windows Generic Server model. You can refer to the Monitoring Unix and Windows Servers topic for the details on the tests mapped to these layers.