Saturday, 18 February 2017

Managing Guest OS, software or database inventory with VMware vSphere

Or, Way out to manage software inventory of Virtual Machine in VMware vSphere without any additional or third-party inventory tools
Or, Managing software inventory list of the Virtual machine without inventory tools

Description:  We understand that it is not possible or the priority for every small or mid-level company to have inventory tools to manage software inventory list of VMware infra Guest machines. Although, there are some free tools available in the market, but some companies may not be interested to have any kind of free tools even, due to security and compliance risks.

So what next? It's tough or easy, you have to manage the software inventory list of Virtual Machines.

The way out is to define Note and Folders for each virtual machines in your VMware Infrastructure, for their easy management for inventory or navigation purpose and then exporting the detailed report of all the VMs using PowerCLI.

This is a one-time job to write the Notes for each Virtual Machines and creating departmental or any relevant category based folders.

Once you have everything defined well as recommended, you would be able to see the VMs inventory report like below,

Based on my convenience, I have modified the yellowed columns manually after exporting it so that the report looks good and enough informative.

Here is the step-by-step instruction to achieve this requirement.

Let’s Prepare the VMware vSphere management console.

Step-1: Creating VMware Folders

Please create Department based or any relevant category based VM folders under your VMware Datacenter.

It may look like the below reference screenshot.

Step-2: Identifying and writing the notes for each Virtual Machines

Please Select the VMs one-by-one > go to Summary tab > Click on Edit under Annotations option > write your Software name/list in Notes section > Click OK to save the changes.

Step-3: Exporting the Virtual Machines report with VM Name, Guest OS, VM Folder, and Software Inventory Notes

Connect to your vCenter server using vSphere Power CLI > Type the command given below > Hit Enter to execute it

Get-VM | select Name, Guest, Folder, Notes | Export-CSV D:\test.csv

Updated: 24/02/2017

To add Info in the report like Datacenter etc.. you can use below command format:
Get-VM | select Name, Guest, Folder, Notes, @{N="Datacenter";E={Get-Datacenter -VM $_}} | Export-CSV D:\test.csv

Updated: 21/06/2018

To add info in the report like Guest IP address... you can use below command format
PowerCLI C:\> Get-VM | select VMHost, Name, Guest, Folder, Notes, @{N="Datacenter";E={Get-Datacenter -VM $_}}, @{N="IP Address";E={@($_.guest.IPAddress[0])}} | Export-CSV D:\test.csv

Note:  You should change the output file path from D:\test.csv to any other folder path suitable as per your scenario.

Once the command is completed, you will be able to see the report you have been looking for so far.

Cheers, please write me back if you have any query or feedback on this.


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