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vCenter Plugin for vRealize Network Insight

version 2.1.0 — May 18, 2022

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Summary

The vCenter Plugin for vRealize Network Insight brings relevant information from Network Insight, directly into vCenter. It allows the virtual infrastructure admins to view networking focused data and statistics in the same interface as where they manage their workloads, without having to have 2 interfaces open. Additionally, this plugin also helps add vCenter as a data source to Network Insight and set up incoming network flows.

Features

  • Summary view of vCenter activity: VMs, vMotions, and snapshots.
  • Bring in network information directly to vCenter, such as:
    • Summary view of how network traffic behaves; how much east-west and how much internet traffic there is.
    • Health check violation for the vCenter and attached NSX environments
    • Network top talkers, grouped by VMs, Cluster, L2 Network, Subnet, Security Group, Source-Destination Pair, Source & Destination Subnet, Source & Destination IPs.
    • Most used networks
    • New Virtual Machines that are accessing the internet
    • o Top 5 Hosts or Networks that are experiencing the most packet loss
  • Links to the vRealize Network Insight interface shows the source data and allows you to look closer, apply filters, export information, and more.
  • Configure vCenter as a data source and configure NetFlow on the available vSphere Distributed Switches.

Screenshot

Click to enlarge

Requirements

Prerequisites:

  • vCenter 6.5 or above with HTML5 UI
  • vRealize Network Insight 6.3 or above
  • For installation:
    • PowerShell with PowerCLI installed
    • Existing PowerCLI connection to the destination vCenter (Connect-VIServer)

For installation:

  • PowerShell with PowerCLI installed
  •  Existing PowerCLI connection to the destination vCenter (Connect-VIServer)

Instructions

Installation

To install this plugin, download the install-vrnivsphereplugin.ps1 script from this fling. Make sure you are connected to a vCenter, using Connect-VIServer and run the installation script.

 

It has 1 required parameter called Operation. It determines whether you are installing the plugin or uninstalling it.

 

To install the vRealize Network Insight vCenter Plugin, execute this command:

 

./install-vrnivsphereplugin.ps1 -Operation install

 

The output should be similar to this:

 

 

Phoning home is entirely optional, and, if granted, reports some information of the vCenter you’re connected to back to us. We’ll use this information to develop the plugin further.

 

To activate the plugin, please make sure you log out and back into vCenter.

 


 

Configuration

After the plugin has been installed and activated, it will appear in the vCenter Shortcuts page, and in the left navigation menu:

 

 

The first time you visit the plugin page, it will present you with an initial configuration screen. If you have not installed a vRealize Network Insight instance yet, please do so now. When you do have an instance available, click the CONFIGURE EXISTING INSTANCE button.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1) Enter details of vRealize Network Insight instance. Click the TEST CONNECTION button.

2) Verify SSL Thumbprint and proceed, if valid.

3) Wizard checks credentials. Click the NEXT button, if success.

4) Enter details of vCenter. Click the TEST CONNECTION button.

5) Verify SSL Thumbprint and proceed, if valid.

6) Wizard checks credentials. Click the NEXT button, if success.

7) Configure Netflow for the vSphere Distributed Switch(es).

8) Verify options and click the CONFIGURE button to finish.

9) Configuration will take a few seconds. Once completed, a “Refresh page” link will appear.

 

After configuration is complete, each time you visit the plugin page, it will load data directly from vRealize Network Insight.

 

 

Most items on this page are clickable, and will direct to the vRealize Network Insight instance, taking you to the relevant page. For example; if the vMotions number is clicked, a browser window is opened to vRealize Network Insight with the search query populated to show the vMotion events.

 

 

 

Uninstalling

Removing the plugin from your vCenter uses the same PowerShell script. Make sure you are connected to a vCenter, using Connect-VIServer and run the installation script.

 

To remove the vRealize Network Insight vCenter Plugin, execute this command:

 

./install-vrnivsphereplugin.ps1 -Operation uninstall

 

The output should be like this:

 

 

Changelog

Version 2.1.0

  • Support vRealize Network Insight 6.4 and above and not experience a "Connection failed!" with those versions.
  • Improve connection failure messages (credentials invalid, too many tries, unable to connect)

Version 2.0.0

  • Added Launch in Context actions to open the vRNI Dashboard and directly look for traffic details for objects: VM, Host, Cluster, and Datacenter (right-click in vCenter).
  • Added the ability to disconnect from vRNI and restart the setup wizard.
  • Added a time window selection for the last 1, 7, and 30 days (up from only 1 day).
  • Support for the vCenter dark theme.

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