Adding Virtual Machines Hosted by a Server

Many organizations will host their virtual machines on one or more VMware servers. Doing so provides the means to manage the virtual machines in an organized fashion. There are two main types of VMware servers:

  • VMware ESX/ESXi Server: A server dedicated to hosting and managing multiple virtual machines. VMware ESX/ESXi servers (also referred to as ESXi hosts or ESXi Hypervisors) are typically used in small- and medium-sized organizations that want to control multiple virtual machines from one location. The server often runs on a dedicated blade computer that is using a VMware operating system.
  • VMware vCenter Server: This type of server is typically used by large organizations that need to manage multiple VMware ESX/ESXi servers, each of which may be running multiple VMware images. For example, you can quickly move a highly-utilized virtual machine from a busy ESXi server to another less busy ESXi server.

TIP: For information on managing your vCenter Servers and ESXi Hypervisors, see Using the Virtual Inventory Feature.

You can use the Hosted Virtual Machines tab to log on to these servers and select the virtual machines you want to include in your machine group. The virtual machines can be in either offline or online mode. You can also use this tab to add virtual machine templates that may be hosted on a server. Finally, you can also add the servers themselves to the group.

  1. Log on to the desired server by clicking Add.
  2. See Logging on to a Server for information on logging on to a server. The credentials you use to log on to the server are called browse credentials. They will be used to connect to the server and to enumerate the machines hosted by the server.

    After a connection is made the server is displayed in the left-hand pane. The virtual machines hosted by the server are displayed in the right-hand pane. At this point you can either add the server itself to the group or you can add individual virtual machines.

    You must have server permission set on the datacenter, the folder, or the individual virtual machines in order for the machine to be displayed. If you don't have permission for a specific virtual machine it will not be displayed in the right-hand pane.

    TIP: The server will also be displayed in the Virtual Inventory list.

  3. Add the server and/or individual hosted machines to the group.
  • To add one or more servers to the group, select the server(s) in the left-hand pane and click Add Server(s) to Group.
  • How a server in a machine group is treated depends on how the group is used. If you perform a patch scan on the group, all of the virtual machines hosted by the server will be scanned. If you perform a bulletin scan or run a script against the group, only the server is affected.

  • To add individual hosted machines to the group, in the right-hand pane select the virtual machines you want to add and then click Add Machine(s) to Group.
  • The server and/or the virtual machines are added to the bottom pane of the machine group. Be sure to supply any credentials that may be needed for the individual machines.

    You can also add virtual machine templates to the machine group. Templates are identified by a unique icon (). For complete details see Notes About Virtual Machine Templates.

You can log on to multiple servers at the same time. All virtual machines found on the servers are displayed in the right-hand table. The server table identifies the server type (VI = Virtual Infrastructure server, ESX = ESX server) and the server name. The virtual machine table contains a large amount of information about each virtual machine, including:

  • Parent ESX Server: The name of an ESX server being used to host virtual machines.
  • VM Name: The name of a virtual machine being managed by a server.
  • CPUs: The number of Central Processing Units (CPUs) available to the virtual machine.
  • Memory: The amount of memory (MB) allocated to the virtual machine.
  • Disk Space: The amount of disk space (GB) allocated to the virtual machine.
  • Operating System: The operating system being used on the virtual machine.
  • Last Known Power State: The last known state of the virtual machine (Powered On, Powered Off, or Suspended)
  • IP Address: The IP address of the virtual machine.
  • Host Name: The name of the machine on the network that is hosting the virtual machine.

You can reorder the columns in both tables by clicking and dragging the column headers to new locations. You can also click within a column header and sort the column in ascending or descending order.

The Hosted Virtual Machines tab contains the following buttons:



Add Server

Enables you to log on to a VMware ESX server or virtual infrastructure server. After a successful logon the server and its hosted virtual machines are displayed and available for selection.

Refresh Server

Reconnects to the selected server and updates the list of virtual machines hosted by the server.

Edit Server

Allows you to edit the information used to connect to the selected server.

Remove Server

Removes the selected server from the table. All virtual machines hosted by the server will be removed from the right-hand table.

Add Server(s) To Group

In the left-hand pane, select the desired server(s) and then click Add Server(s) To Group. The server is added to the bottom pane. When you add a server, it effectively adds all virtual machines hosted by that server to the machine group.

Add Machine(s) To Group

To add individual virtual machines to the machine group, select the desired virtual machines in the right-hand table and then click Add Machine(s) To Group. You can add an individual virtual machine even if the server being used to host the virtual machine is already contained in the machine group. Although the virtual machine in this case would technically be listed twice, it will only be scanned once. This applies for all duplicate entries.