Monitoring VMWare ESX/ESXi with Hardware Sentry

How to monitor VMWare ESX/ESXi with Hardware Sentry: pre-requisites and procedure involved in monitoring a server installed with VMware ESX/ESXi.

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This article explains the pre-requisites and procedure involved in monitoring a server installed with VMware ESX/ESXi.

All versions of ESX/ESXi are monitored remotely, using WBEM Credentials to connect to the VMWare Host.


PATROL/TrueSight/Hardware Sentry

The PATROL Agent and Hardware Sentry needs to be installed on a remote machine. This machine can be another server or a virtual machine on the VMware ESX Server.

ESX WBEM Credentials

The WBEM Credentials specified should be server level vSphere / vCenter passwords. The minimum rights required for the user’s role are All Privileges / Host / CIM / CIM Interaction.

ESX4 CIM Privileges

The role privileges can be found:

  • in Menu > Administration > Access Control > Roles in vCenter:

vCenter CIM Privileges

  • in Host > Manage > Security & Users > Roles in the ESXi Web Client. In this case, System privileges should also be selected:

ESXi Roles


CIM Roles



To monitor VMware ESX/ESXi servers:

  1. In the PATROL Console, right-click on the main Hardware icon > KM Commands > Add a Remote System or External Device.
  2. Provide an Internal ID for the system, and enter the Hostname of the VMware ESX host (not one of the virtual machines).
  3. From the Device Type drop-down list, select Management Card/Chip, Blade Chassis, ESXi and click Next.
  4. Select the WBEM protocol and click Next.
  5. Select Manually choose which connectors to use and click Next.
  6. Select VMWare ESXi 4.x (ESX4/5/6) or VMWare ESXi 3.x (ESX3i), VMware ESXi - Disks connectors. If the server has an HBA, select SMI-S Compliant HBAs as well. Click Next.
  7. Configure the WBEM connection settings:
  • Set the Port to 5989 and check Encrypt Data.
  • Specify valid vSphere/vCenter credentials for the host.
  • Click Next.
  1. Click Next, then Finish.

For TrueSight

  1. Create a policy or edit an existing policy.
  2. In the Hardware Configuration section, locate List of Devices and click Add to add a new device to your monitoring environment.
  3. Specify an Internal ID and the Hostname or IP address of the ESXi host.
  4. From the Device Type drop-down list, select Management Card/Chip, Blade Chassis, ESXi.
  5. In the Protocol/Connection Information section:
  • Expand WBEM, and check the Enable WBEM box
  • Specify valid vSphere/vCenter credentials for the host
  • Ensure that Port is set to 5989, and Encryption is enabled.
  1. Click OK twice.
  2. Save the Monitoring Policy.

Known Issues

Non-Certified Components

Generally only VMWare certified (HCL) servers / components will work with the VMware ESXi/ESX4i connectors. Components / Sensors that are not listed in the VMWare management consoles (vSphere, etc..) will not be discovered / monitored.

The QLogic / Emulex SMI-S proxies included with VMware ESX4 often return a status of “Unknown” for HBAs / Logical Disks located on a SAN. It is thus not possible to collect a valid status for these HBAs / Logical Disks.

Root Permissions Required

ESXi versions 4.1 to 5.5 have a known issue that prevents any user not part of the “root” group from accessing the CIMserver. A workaround to this is to create a separate user that is part of the root group, but that has no access rights.

  1. Create a user, add it to the root group:
    Adding user to Root group

    Note: From ESXi v.5.1 and higher, groups are no longer available in the vSphere GUI. To work around this specific problem, please use telnet/ssh to connect to the ESX and manually edit the /etc/group file and add that user to the “root” group as follows:

    ~ # vi /etc/group  

You could also use vCenter central authentication, and this feature is available starting from version 1.8.01 of the Hardware Sentry KM.

  1. In Permissions for the esx host, set this user’s role to No Access:
    No Access
  2. The user will now be able to access the cimserver to collect component status, but not to anything else:
    Error Connecting

ESXi 7 Permissions

With ESXi v7.xx, if you update the /etc/group file, your changes will be lost after the ESXi server restarts. This is a known VMWare issue. As a result, you must use either a local account with Administrator role at the ESXi level, or use an account with the “CIM interaction” privilege, defined at the vCenter level.

 ESXi 7 CIM Interaction Role