vSphere Health Check

At the Dutch VMUG event 2011 I gave a presentation on how to check your VMware environment to make sure it is healthy. When creating the presentation I had a lot of doubts because I was afraid everyone would think these points were very obvious. But on the other hand, when visiting customers and doing these health checks for them, I found a lot of those “obvious” issues in their environment. I decided to stick to my plan and test the audience and it turned out they were very happy with my presentation and I saw a lot of people in the audience taking notes. The replies afterwards also showed that for many people there were a lot of eye-openers in this presentation. I therefore decided to convert the power point presentation into this blogpost and hope my readers find it a valuable health check. Download here.

Credits for this VMware vSphere Health Check

This Health Check consists of a number of PowerShell checks that have been created by some of the well-known PowerShell guru’s from the VMware Community and I wrote some myself. The “VMware Community PowerShell pack” served as a basis of most checks but I have tried to edit them to not only show a table with values but also show you wether these results are good or bad for your environment.

To give proper credits I first have to thank Alan Renouf for creating and mainting The VMware Community PowerPack. Thank you Alan and also a lot of thanks for answering all my questions. Other contributors to the VMware Community PowerPack:

How to use the VMware vSphere Health Check

The VMware vSphere Health Check is available in two ways. I have created a PowerPack called “VMware vSphere Health Check” that you can import into PowerGUI. You will then have an isolated set of PowerShell scripts that will help you perform the Health Check.

Since these scripts are based on the VMware Community PowerPack, I have sent Alan Renouf a copy of my scripts and he has used my scripts to “optimize” the VMware Community PowerPack. When downloading the VMware Community PowerPack you will have a lot more scripts available, including the Health Check scripts.

When using the VMware vSphere Health Check, you should always document what you check and copy the results into your document. If you do this for example every month, you will have a good log of the performance of your environment and you can more easily spot potential problems.

Tip: Copy results from PowerGUI to Excel and then copy them into Word.

Do remember that these checks tell if you have followed best practises or not. When not following a best practise this doesn’t automatically mean that you are doing it wrong, just as long as you know WHY you are not following best practises. It is therefore very important that you document any changes you make that are against best practices and properly explain why you made the change. In this way you can review your design much easier when a new vSphere version is available and you have to reconsider the changes you made and if these are still aplicable.

Next to your document you’ll need PowerGUI to import the PowerPack. After importing the PowerPack you first need to connect to a vCenter Server that is installed in a dedicated server system. You could also connect to a host but not all checks will work. After the connection has been made, you can click on the checks and get your results. Keep in mind that some checks like snapshot overview and orphaned VMDKs can take a long time to complete.

Have fun with this VMware vSphere Health Check and let me know if you have additions or changes. I will be explaining most checks (why and how) in my special Health Check section on my blog. See the top menu bar.

Download here.