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Monitoring ESXi Host Temperature with Aria Operations

In today’s world, data is everything, right? That’s why it’s important to keep your virtual environment healthy and running smoothly. One thing that people often forget to do is to keep an eye on the temperature of their ESXi hosts. Overheating can cause all kinds of problems like slower performance, broken hardware, and even data loss. But don’t worry! There are helpful tools like VMware Aria Operations that make it easy to keep track of this important stuff. With VMware Aria Operations, you can monitor and visualize your data like a pro!

Why Monitor ESXi Host Temperature?

Before diving into the how-to, it’s essential to understand the why. ESXi hosts, like any other computer hardware, generate heat. When these temperatures rise beyond safe thresholds, it can lead to:

  • Reduced hardware lifespan
  • Unexpected shutdowns or reboots
  • Slower performance due to thermal throttling
  • Potential data corruption or loss

1. Prerequisites

  • VMware Aria Operations installed and running.
  • vCenter Adapter Configuration:
    • Ensure that the vCenter Adapter is properly configured in Aria Operations. The ESXi hosts you want to monitor should be managed by the vCenter Server that’s integrated with Aria Operations
  • Access Privileges:
    • Policy Management: You need privileges to access and modify policies in Aria Operations, especially to activate pre-defined metrics and alerts.
    • Dashboard Management: Privileges to create, edit, and manage dashboards in Aria Operations.
    • Role-Based Access Control: If you’re looking to manage user roles and permissions, ensure you have the necessary privileges as discussed in the sections about managing users and access contro

2. Steps to Monitor ESXi Host Temperature

  1. Access the Policy Workspace:
    • From the left menu in Aria Operations, click Configure > Policies > Policy Definition.
    • Find and select the “Default Policy” (or the policy used by the environment you’re monitoring). Click on it and then click Edit Policy.
  2. Select the Object Type:
    • In the policy editing workspace, look for a drop-down menu labeled “Select Object Type”.
    • From the drop-down menu, select “Host System”.
  3. Search for Sensor Metrics:
    • Navigate to the “All Filters” search bar.
    • Type in “Sensor” to filter out the relevant metrics.
  4. Activate Fan Metrics:
    • Under the filtered results, locate the category labeled “Fan”.
    • Activate the following metrics:
      • “Speed”: This metric will provide the current speed of the fan in rotations per minute (RPM).
      • “Health State”: This metric will indicate the health status of the fan, whether it’s functioning properly or if there are any issues.
  5. Activate Temperature Metrics:
    • Still under the filtered results from “Sensor”, locate the category labeled “Temperature”.
    • Activate the following metrics:
      • “Temp C”: This metric will provide the current temperature in Celsius.
      • “Health State”: This metric will indicate the health status of the temperature sensor, whether it’s within the acceptable range or if there are any overheating issues.
  6. Save Changes:
    • After activating the desired metrics, ensure to save the changes to the policy.

Wait for a few minutes to allow Aria Operations to start the data collection process.

Above is an example of how it looks when the metrics are activated and data is being captured.

Note: Aria Operations sensor data is based on the information available in the vCenter Server. To validate the data:

  • Select a host in vCenter Server.
  • Navigate to Monitor and then select Hardware Health.
  • Ensure the data is up-to-date by checking the “Last Updated” column. The CIM service is essential for refreshing the Hardware Health information, so ensure it’s functioning correctly.

By following these steps, you’ll have activated the necessary metrics and will be able to monitor the fan speed, fan health, temperature, and temperature sensor health for the “Host System” object type in Aria Operations. Regularly review the collected data to ensure the health and optimal performance of your ESXi hosts.

3. Creating a Dashboard for Better Visibility

After activating the necessary metrics and observing that the data is being collected, having a dashboard can provide a clear view of the ESXi host temperatures. While I’ve used the Scoreboard widget for this article, Aria Operations offers a variety of widgets, and you can choose the one that best fits your visualization needs.

  1. Access the Dashboard Workspace:
    • From the left menu in Aria Operations, navigate to Dashboards.
    • Click on the + icon or Add Dashboard to create a new dashboard.
  2. Name and Describe Your Dashboard:
    • Give your dashboard a meaningful name, such as “Host Temperature Monitoring”.
    • Optionally, provide a description to give more context about what the dashboard monitors.
  3. Add a Widget:
    • Click Add Widget
    • From the list of available widgets, I selected Scoreboard. However, browse through the available widgets and select the one that aligns with your visualization preferences.
  4. Configure the Widget:
    • If using the Scoreboard widget:
      • Title: Give your widget a descriptive title, like “System Board 1 Exhaust Temp”.
      • Metric Selection:
        • Click on Metrics and Properties.
        • Navigate to the “Host System” object type and select the metrics you’ve activated.
      • Display Options: Customize how the data is presented.
    • If using another widget, follow its specific configuration steps to display the desired metrics.
  5. Position and Resize the Widget:
    • Drag and drop the widget to your desired position on the dashboard.
    • Adjust its size by dragging its corners to fit the data appropriately.
  6. Save the Dashboard:
    • Once you’ve added and configured all desired widgets, click the Save or Save Dashboard button.
  7. Review and Refine:
    • View your newly created dashboard to ensure all metrics are displayed correctly.
    • If necessary, go back and adjust widget settings or add more widgets to provide a comprehensive view of your ESXi host temperatures.

Remember, the key is to choose a widget that presents the data in a way that’s most intuitive and useful for you. Whether it’s a scoreboard, graph, or any other visualization, the goal is to have a clear understanding of your ESXi host temperatures for effective monitoring.

Note: For those interested in replicating the exact dashboard, we’ve included the code for it. You can import this code directly into your Aria Operations instance to have the same dashboard setup. This can save you time and ensure you’re viewing the metrics in the same manner we’ve found most effective.

Github RepoHost Temperature Dashboard

Dive Deeper with Alerts: While monitoring the temperature of your ESXi Host in Aria Operations provides valuable insights, taking it a step further with notifications can be a game-changer. By configuring alerts in Aria Operations, you can be proactively informed about any temperature anomalies or potential issues. If you’re keen on setting this up, we recommend exploring the Aria Operations documentation center for detailed steps and best practices. And here’s a thought – if there’s significant interest from you, our readers, we might just delve deeper into this topic with a part 2! Let us know your thoughts.

We hope you find this article useful in your journey with Aria Operations. Monitoring ESXi Host Temperatures is important for maintaining the health and performance of your infrastructure. If you encounter any challenges or have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help. Happy monitoring!

Monitoring ESXi Host Temperature with Aria Operations
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