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How To Monitor VMware environment with Grafana

grafana monitor

This step-by-step guide uses the Official telegraph vSphere plugin to pull metrics from vCenter. We will pull metrics such as compute, network and storage resources. Before starting with this guide, I assume you have a freshly installed operating system, ubuntu 20. so let’s begin our work.

Install Grafana on Ubuntu

This tutorial tested on freshly installed OS Ubuntu 20.04. Start your Grafana installation.

wget https://dl.grafana.com/oss/release/grafana_7.1.3_amd64.deb

sudo dpkg -i grafana_7.1.3_amd64.deb

Now start and enable your Grafana service.

sudo systemctl start grafana-server.service

sudo systemctl enable grafana-server.service

Check Grafana service status.

sudo systemctl status grafana-server.service

At this point, Grafana is installed, and you can log in to your Grafana by following

url: http://[your Grafana server ip]:3000

The default username/password is admin/admin

Upon the first login, Grafana will ask you to change the password.
Be careful HTTP is not a secure protocol. You can further secure it by putting SSL certificates.

Install Influx DB

Inquire about the available InfluxDB version in your apt-cache by the following command.

sudo apt-cache policy influxdb

It will be the last stable version of InfluxDB. We will use a later version 1.8 of InfluxDB, so we will update the apt cache first and add the required information to the repository.

wget -qO- https://repos.influxdata.com/influxdb.key | sudo apt-key add –

source /etc/lsb-release

echo “deb https://repos.influxdata.com/${DISTRIB_ID,,} ${DISTRIB_CODENAME} stable” | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/influxdb.list

sudo apt update

sudo apt-cache policy influxdb

sudo apt update

sudo apt-cache policy influxdb

sudo apt install influxdb -y

Now time to check the status and ensure that it sustains over the reboot.

sudo systemctl start influxdb

sudo systemctl status influxdb

sudo systemctl enable influxdb

The InfluxDB will listen on port 8086, and if your server is on the internet, then depending on any existing firewall rules, anybody may be able to query the server using the URL

http://[your domain name or ip]:8086/metrics

on my local machine where I am doing this test, is not having any firewall enabled, but if you have allowed or using public IPs, you can prevent direct access by doing these commands

iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -s localhost –dport 8086 -j ACCEPT

iptables -A INPUT -p tcp –dport 8086 -j DROP

Install Telegraf

Now we are going to install a telegraf.

sudo apt install telegraf -y

Start Telegraf and ensure it starts in case of reboot.

sudo systemctl start telegraf

sudo systemctl status telegraf

sudo systemctl enable telegraf

Configure Telegraf to pull Monitoring metrics from vCenter, so here we will configure Telegraf main configuration file:

In this /etc/telegraf/telegraf first, you need to add information for influxdb.

change your influxdb credentials.

[[outputs.influxdb]]urls = [“http://<Address_of_influxdb_server>:8086”]database = “vmware”
timeout = “0s”

#only with if you are using authentication for DB

#username = “USERNAME_OF_DB”

#password = “PASSWD_OF_DB”

# Read metrics from VMware vCenter
[[inputs.vsphere]]## List of vCenter URLs to be monitored. These three lines must be uncommented
## and edited for the plugin to work.
vcenters = [ “https://<vCenter_IP>/sdk” ]username = “administrator@vsphere.local”
password = “PASSWD”
## VMs
## Typical VM metrics (if omitted or empty, all metrics are collected)
vm_metric_include = [
]# vm_metric_exclude = [] ## Nothing is excluded by default
# vm_instances = true ## true by default
## Hosts
## Typical host metrics (if omitted or empty, all metrics are collected)
host_metric_include = [
]# host_metric_exclude = [] ## Nothing excluded by default
# host_instances = true ## true by default
## Clusters
cluster_metric_include = [] ## if omitted or empty, all metrics are collected
# cluster_metric_exclude = [] ## Nothing excluded by default
# cluster_instances = false ## false by default
## Datastores
datastore_metric_include = [] ## if omitted or empty, all metrics are collected
# datastore_metric_exclude = [] ## Nothing excluded by default
# datastore_instances = false ## false by default for Datastores only
## Datacenters
datacenter_metric_include = [] ## if omitted or empty, all metrics are collected
# datacenter_metric_exclude = [ “*” ] ## Datacenters are not collected by default.
# datacenter_instances = false ## false by default for Datastores only
## Plugin Settings
## separator character to use for measurement and field names (default: “_”)
# separator = “_”
## number of objects to retreive per query for realtime resources (vms and hosts)
## set to 64 for vCenter 5.5 and 6.0 (default: 256)
# max_query_objects = 256
## number of metrics to retreive per query for non-realtime resources (clusters and datastores)
## set to 64 for vCenter 5.5 and 6.0 (default: 256)
# max_query_metrics = 256
## number of go routines to use for collection and discovery of objects and metrics
# collect_concurrency = 1
# discover_concurrency = 1
## whether or not to force discovery of new objects on initial gather call before collecting metrics
## when true for large environments, this may cause errors for time elapsed while collecting metrics
## when false (default), the first collection cycle may result in no or limited metrics while objects are discovered
# force_discover_on_init = false
## the interval before (re)discovering objects subject to metrics collection (default: 300s)
# object_discovery_interval = “300s”
## timeout applies to any of the api request made to vcenter
# timeout = “60s”
## Optional SSL Config
# ssl_ca = “/path/to/cafile”
# ssl_cert = “/path/to/certfile”
# ssl_key = “/path/to/keyfile”
## Use SSL but skip chain & host verification
insecure_skip_verify = true

You only need to change the credential of vcenter and influxdb

Start and enable telegraf service after making the changes.

sudo systemctl restart telegraf

sudo systemctl enable telegraf

Check InfluxDB Metrics

We need to confirm that our metrics are being pushed to InfluxDB and that we can see them.

If you are using authentication then open  InfluxDB shell like this

$ influx -username ‘username’ -password ‘PASSWD’

We need to confirm that our metrics pushed to InfluxDB and that we can see them.
If you are using authentication, then open the InfluxDB shell by this:

$ influx


> USE vmware

Using database vmware

Check if there is an inflow of time series metrics.


name: measurements






























Add InfluxDB Data Source to Grafana

Login to Grafana and add InfluxDB data source

Click on the configuration icon and then click datasource.

Click Add influxDB data source.

Insert all the relevant information under HTTP and influxDB details shown into the red boxes below:

If you used a password in your influxDB you might put it here.

Import Grafana Dashboards

The last action is to create or import Grafana dashboards:

Building a Grafana dashboard is a lengthy process, so we are using a community dashboard built by Jorge de la Cruz.

We will import this pre-build Grafana dashboard #8159. The moment you did import, you will see your Grafana dashboard.

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