Data Collection for VMware Using the Connector

Data Collection for VMware Using the Connector



The Densify Connector is a self-contained, Windows-based application. It allows you to perform automated, scheduled data collection from your vCenter Servers and transfer that data via HTTPS to Densify where data analysis is performed. Optionally, you can connect to vRealize Operations (vROps) to obtain historical workload data.

Note: You cannot perform a vROps-only audit.

Though, vROps is very useful for collecting historical workload data, Densify also requires access to your vCenter in order to collect configuration data and hierarchy information, including information on datastores, storage, etc. Additionally, if you plan to use action automation, access to the vCenter is required.

If you are only using a vCenter connection, then workload and configuration and hierarchy information are collected from each vCenter Server. Only the current day's data (yesterday) is collected and depending on your policy setting you may need to collect a few days of data before reliable analysis results are generated.

For added security, the Densify Connector polls and pushes data to the remote Densify server, no data is ever pushed from the Densify server. The connector allows you to collect vCenter data within your firewall without Densify connecting to your internal network.

Review the prerequisites before starting, to ensure your system meets the minimum requirements.

To learn more watch the video:

You can also use the Data Collection for VMware training module that provides details of configuring and using the Densify Connector. This module is the first part of the course, called Optimizing Your VMware Environments. See Densify Training for this modules and to access all of the Densify training modules.

Download the Connector

Download a current version of the Densify Connector from:

  • Densify Console via the Private Cloud menu > Download Connector
  • Hybrid edition landing page.

Contact your Cloud Advisor or for assistance if these options are not available to you.

Installing the Densify Connector

The user account that you use to install the connector requires permission to install and start services on the machine or VM, where the Densify Connector is installed.

If you encounter issues installing the Densify Connector, it is likely that you do not have the correct privileges. Right-clicking the Densify Connector executable and selecting "Run as administrator" to install with elevated privileges.

  1. Double click the file to run the Densify Connector executable.
  2. The welcome page is displayed with details of the data collection process.
  3. Click Next to continue and follow the on-screen instructions.
  4. The Installation Directory screen is displayed for you to select the installation location (by default C:\Program Files\Densify Connector\). Click Next to confirm and start the installation.
  5. Click Finish to complete the install, start the Densify Connector service and to open the configuration screen.

Note: The scheduling component of the Densify Connector runs as a service.

Upgrading the Densify Connector

When you are upgrading, the process is the same as the installation with one exception. During an upgrade, the installer automatically uninstalls the previous version of the Densify Connector before installing the new version.

The upgrade process retains your connection settings and all audit files.

  • When upgrading, the installer will use the same directory as the current Connector installation.
  • Configuring the Densify Connector

    Before you can run the Densify data collection, you need to complete the following steps:

    • Create a connection for each vCenter—define the connection information along with, optionally its vROps manager connection information
    • Enable data transfer—define your settings and enable data transfer of the collected data to your Densify instance.

    Once the collected data is transferred, Densify analytics are run and you can review the Densify reports.

    Changing the vCenter Collection Configuration

    If you make changes in your vCenter Server, such as changing the sampling interval or statistics level, then you should verify these settings through the Densify Connector:

    1. Select your vCenter Connection from the list of Saved Connections and click Verify vCenter Connection.
    2. Verify that the Status is still OK for all vCenter settings.
    3. Click Save to save the changes.

    Configuring Action Automation

    When you are using action automation there are additional utilities that must be installed and configured on the same machine as the connector. In addition to Microsoft® PowerShell and .NET Framework, you need to install and configure the VMware vSphere PowerCLI.

    Reviewing Data Collection Files

    If you need to review your data collection files, they are located in the repository subfolder of your Densify Connector installation.

    During data collection (either scheduled or through the Collect Data Now button), the collected data is written to the repository folder. One file is created per vCenter Server, whether or not vROps is used.

    With Data Transfer Settings defined and enabled, these files are transferred immediately to your Densify platform and moved to the repository\sent folder.

    With Data Transfer Settings disabled, these files are moved to the repository\pending subfolder, pending to be transferred to your Densify platform. These files are transferred after you define and enable the Data Transfer Settings, on the next scheduled data collection. Once transferred, the files are moved to the repository\sent folder.

    Removing the Densify Connector

    If necessary, you can remove the Densify Connector from your local system. The uninstall utility will remove all files but not the collected data nor the configuration.

    1. From Windows Explorer, navigate to your install directory. For example, by default:
    2. C:\Program Files\Densify Connector\

    3. Double-click the uninstaller.
    4. C:\Program Files\Densify Connector\Uninstall Densify Connector

    5. The uninstall utility will indicate when it is complete.
    6. To remove the collected data and configuration, delete the entire install directory. For example, by default, remove the following directory:
    7. C:\Program Files\Densify Connector\

    SSL Certificate Management

    When using SSL-enabled connections for data transfer, the Densify Connector validates the certificate each time a connection is initiated to your Densify instance. The Connector loads the required certificate from your Densify instance.

    If the Densify Connector's certificate expires, it will re-load the certificate from Densify.

    This certificate validation only applies to your Densify instance, and not to vCenter data collection. Currently, the Connector automatically accepts certificates from the vCenter Servers that it is auditing.