Lab 20: Using Alarms

In this lab, I am going to demonstrate the vCenter Server Alarm Feature

An Alarm is a notification that mainly occurs in response to selected events and conditions that happen with an object in the inventory.  The alarm is the important to monitor the vCenter inventory because it is very difficult to check each of inventory activities manually. It gives you acknowledge of the object’s activities in the vCenter Server inventory.

By default, VMware provides a set of predefined alarm for the objects in the vCenter Server inventory. But You can also define your own custom alarm for your resources in the vCenter Server inventory.

VMware predefined alarms are configurable. You can edit, modify it if it does not fulfil your requirement such as condition, state or event that you want to monitor.

The tasks for the lab 20:

  • Create a Virtual Machine Alarm that Monitor for a Condition
  • Create a Virtual Machine Alarm that Monitor for an Event
  • Trigger Virtual Machine Alarms and Acknowledge the Alarm
  • Disable the Virtual Machine Alarms


  • Log in the VMware vSphere web client portal: https://vCenter Server Appliance Name.domainname:9443/vshpere-client/# or VMware vSphere Client via root user and password.

Steps for the task: Create a Virtual Machine Alarm That Monitors for a Condition

In this task, I am going to create a VM alarm for monitoring VM activity with a condition.

Step1: Go to the Home -> vCenter -> Hosts and Clusters1.jpg

Step 2: Select the name of the VM in the inventory for setting alarm. In my case, I chose “momatajvmclient 1-2” for performing this task. Note: As I am creating this alarm for “momatajvmclient 1-2” specific Virtual machine, this alarm only monitors that   “momatajvmclient 1-2” VM. If you create the alarm on the vCenter Server object, the alarm will apply to all VMs in your system.

Select Manage -> Alarm Definitions Note: VM inherited alarms defined at the vCenter Server level

Click “Add” (+)2.jpg

Step 3: A new Alarm Definition wizard is displayed. Now you need to perform the following action that I showed on the Screenshot.

Option 1: General tab:

Alarm name: Give an appropriate name. I gave VM CPU Usage-Momataj

Description: Blank

Alarm type: Virtual Machine  from drop-down menu

Monitor for: Select Specific Conditions or State, for example, CPU Usage

Enable the alarm: Selected


Option 2: Trigger -> Click Add (+) 4.jpg

Perform the following action to set a trigger for the alarm.

Option: Trigger name: VM CPU Usage

Operator: Is above

Warning Condition: Double click the current value on the column and set it 25% for 30 Minutes. That means after 25% CPU usage in 30 minutes, the trigger condition must trigger a warning alarm.

Condition length: 30 seconds from the drop down menu. That means  Trigger will take 30 seconds to generate an alarm.

Critical Condition: 50% for 5 minutes. That means: Above 50% for 5 minutes will be considered as critical condition for CPU and trigger must generate an alarm


Option 3: Action.  Click add (+) icon. Note: An action specifies when the alarm is triggered. It is an operation that occurs in response to the trigger such as send an email notification to the administrator.6.jpg

Now you need to configure the following action settings for generating an alarm.

Action: Click ” Send a Notification email below the action header to activate the drop-down menu. Select Suspend VM from the list.

Configuration: leave it blank

Green to Yellow: Select “Once”

Leave rest of the setting by default.7.jpg

Step 4: Verify that newly created alarm from the list of the alarms8.jpg

Steps for the task: Create a Virtual Machine Alarm that Monitors for an Event

Event triggers use arguments, operators, and values to identify the triggering condition. It does not rely on the thresholds or durations.

Creating an alarm comprises setting up general alarm, triggers, triggers reporting and alarm actions.

Step 1: Select Home ->vCenter ->Hosts and Clusters -> datacenter in the inventory

Click Add (+)10.jpg

Step 2: You need to perform the following configuration to set alarm action as I showed the following on the screenshot11.jpg12.jpg13.jpg

Step 3: Verify your newly created alarm from the alarm definition list: VM Suspended-Momataj [in my case]14.jpg

Steps for the task: Trigger Virtual Machine Alarms and Acknowledge the Alarms

The acknowledge alarm feature is used to track when triggered alarm is addressed. When you acknowledge an alarm, its alarm actions are discontinued and the

alarm is neither cleared nor reset.

Step 1: Click on the VM for that you configure the alarm [ momatajvmclient1-2] I configured alarm so I am going to select it and triggering an alarm on this specific VM.

Monitor -> Issues-> Triggered Alarms


Step 2: Right click on your VM and select Open console. Log in your VM as I did.

Run the “Cpubusy.vbs” script with “Open with Command prompt17.jpg

Step 3: Monitor the performance of your VM CPU Usage. Monitor -> Performace -> Advanced18.jpg

Step 4: After waiting 30 seconds, the alarm is triggered. You can monitor it from “Recent Task” Activity name is: Suspended Virtual Machine19.jpg20.jpg

Step 5: You can monitor it also from Monitor -> Tasks21.jpg

Step 6: Monitor -> Issues: Now you can see an issue there: VM Suspended-momataj22.jpg

In the triggered alarm, you can see critical trigger alarm with red warning sign


Verify the suspended alarm from the summary. You can see VM is showing “Suspended”25.jpg26.jpg

Step 8: Now Power on the Suspended Virtual Machine 27.jpg

Stop the CPU busy script by pressing Ctrl+C28.jpg

Step 9: Go to the ” Monitor -> Issues -> Triggered Alarm  and Click on Critical Severity and Select “Reset to Green29.jpg30.jpg

Steps for the task: Disable Virtual Machine Alarms

In this task, I am going to show how to disable the alarm for the object on which alarm was defined. Note that, You can enable the alarm again after disabling it.

Step 1:  The first task is to disable the VM CPU Usage Alarm

Select you VM on which you applied the alarm in the inventory.

Click Manage -> Alarm Definitions Tab . Righ-Click on your VM CPU Usages alarm and Select Edit.


In the General tab: Deselect the “Enable this alarm”2.jpg3.jpg

Step 2: Disable VM suspended alarm

Home ->vCenter -> Hosts and Clusters -> DataCenters -> Manage -> Alarm Definitions -> Select “Edit”4.jpg

Deselect the “Enable this alarm5.jpg6.jpg

Thank you 🙂



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