VMware vRealize Operations 7.0 vCenter Connection and SMTP Configuration

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With the release of vRealize Suite 2018, VMware has certainly raised the bar of its vRealize platform, including vRealize Operations 7.0, vRealize Automation 7.5, vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager 2.0, vRealize Business for Cloud 7.5, and vRealize Log Insight 4.7. All of these new products represent a leap forward for vRealize. We have already introduced and started looking at VMware vRealize Operations 7.0 in the VMware vRealize Operations 7.0 New Features Installation and Configuration post, in this post, we will take that initial provisioning of vRealize Operations 7.0 a bit further and show the steps to get vRealize Operations 7.0 connected to vCenter Server and also configure an SMTP connection to send email alerts and other notifications. Let’s take a look at VMware vRealize Operations 7.0 vCenter Connection and SMTP Configuration to see how this is accomplished as we push further into vROPs 7.0.

VMware vRealize Operations 7.0 vCenter Connection and SMTP Configuration

There are two fundamental things that you most likely want to accomplish right off the start with vRealize Operations Manager 7.0.  These are getting connected to vCenter Server so you can start performing monitoring of the environment and then also configuring an SMTP outbound connection so you can start to receive alerts from the vRealize Operations Manager 7.0 alerting.  First things first, login to the VMware vRealize Operations Manager appliance web interface using your local credentials configured.

Login-to-the-vRealize-Operations-Manager-7.0-administrative-interface VMware vRealize Operations 7.0 vCenter Connection and SMTP Configuration

Login to the vRealize Operations Manager 7.0 administrative interface

Now, you want to navigate to Administration >> Solutions >> VMware vSphere to begin configuring.  Click on VMware vSphere and then click the settings “cog” under Solutions.

Configuring-the-vCenter-Connection-in-vRealize-Operations-7.0-under-administration-menu VMware vRealize Operations 7.0 vCenter Connection and SMTP Configuration

Configuring the vCenter Connection in vRealize Operations 7.0 under administration menu

This will launch the Manage Solution – VMware vSphere dialog box.  Here, you will want to configure a name for vCenter Server, either an FQDN or IP address.  Then, on the Credentials line, you will want to click the “+” button to add credentials for connectivity.

Adding-the-vCenter-Server-hostname-and-the-credentials-for-connecting VMware vRealize Operations 7.0 vCenter Connection and SMTP Configuration

Adding the vCenter Server hostname and the credentials for connecting

You will see the Manage Credential dialog box pop up.  Here, enter credentials for connecting to vCenter Server.  Here I am using the SSO administrator in the lab environment which is overkill and most likely not what you want to do in production.  According to the VMware KB article 53164 the below are the required permissions for the user used in vRealize Operations Manager:

  • vCenter 6.0 and Earlier
    • Global > Health
    • Profile-Driven Storage > View
    • Storage views > View
    • vCenter Inventory Service
  • vCenter 6.5 and Later
    • Global > Global Tag
    • Global > Health
    • Global > System Tag
    • Profile-Driven Storage > View
    • Storage Views > View
vRealize-Operations-Manager-7.0-Manage-Credential-allows-adding-credentials-for-vCenter-Server-connection VMware vRealize Operations 7.0 vCenter Connection and SMTP Configuration

vRealize Operations Manager 7.0 Manage Credential allows adding credentials for vCenter Server connection

After adding credentials, you will see these automatically populated in the Credential field.  You can then click the Test Connection button to ensure the credentials are correct and you can successfully connect to vCenter Server.  After verifying, click the Save Settings button.

Selecting-credentials-added-in-vRealze-Operations-Manager-7.0-and-testing-the-connection-to-the-vCenter-Server VMware vRealize Operations 7.0 vCenter Connection and SMTP Configuration

Selecting credentials added in vRealize Operations Manager 7.0 and testing the connection to the vCenter Server

You can also click the Define Monitoring Goals button to configure the goals of vRealize Operations Manager 7.0 monitoring.

Define-Monitoring-Goals-for-vRealize-Operations-Manager-7.0 VMware vRealize Operations 7.0 vCenter Connection and SMTP Configuration

Define Monitoring Goals for vRealize Operations Manager 7.0

As you can see, there are many options that can be chosen and configured.  These include:

  • Which objects do you want to be alerted on in your environment?
    • Infrastructure objects except for Virtual Machines
    • Virtual Machines Only
    • All vSphere Objects (Default)
  • Which type of alerts do you want to enable?
    • Health alerts that usually require immediate attention (Enabled by default)
    • Risk alerts indicating that you should look into any problems in the near future (Enabled by default)
    • Efficiency alerts indicating that you can reclaim resources (Enabled by default)
  • Enable vSphere Hardening Guide Alerts?
    • Yes
    • No (Default)
Selecting-options-for-the-Define-Monitoring-Goals-configuration-in-vRealize-Operations-Manager-7.0 VMware vRealize Operations 7.0 vCenter Connection and SMTP Configuration

Selecting options for the Define Monitoring Goals configuration in vRealize Operations Manager 7.0

After configuring the vCenter Server connection and defining monitoring goals and then saving your settings, you should see the Adapter Status display Data receiving, meaning it is connected and is polling and monitoring the environment to alert and make recommendations.

Data-receiving-from-vCenter-Server-in-vRealize-Operations-Manager-7.0 VMware vRealize Operations 7.0 vCenter Connection and SMTP Configuration

Data receiving from vCenter Server in vRealize Operations Manager 7.0

Now, to configure SMTP outbound email flow, we need to configure the Outbound Settings found in the Administration >> Management >> Outbound Settings section.  Click the “+” button to add a new plugin type configuration.

Configuring-Outbound-settings-under-Administration-in-vRealize-Operations-Manager-7.0 VMware vRealize Operations 7.0 vCenter Connection and SMTP Configuration

Configuring Outbound settings under Administration in vRealize Operations Manager 7.0

In the Add/Edit Outbound Instance, select the Standard Email Plugin in the drop down box for Plugin Type.

vRealize-Operations-Manager-7.0-Adding-Outbound-Instance-using-Standard-Email-Plugin VMware vRealize Operations 7.0 vCenter Connection and SMTP Configuration

vRealize Operations Manager 7.0 Adding Outbound Instance using Standard Email Plugin

Here is where we can configure the details of the SMTP connection.  This includes:

  • Instance Name
  • Use Secure Connection
  • Requires Authentication
  • SMTP Host
  • SMTP Port
  • Secure Connection Type
  • User Name
  • Password
  • Sender Email Address
  • Sender Name
  • Receiver Email Address

Once you have your connection configured, you can choose to Test the connection.  Below, I am relaying off of GMail’s SMTP server which is allowed.  In the case of GMail, you have to configure your connection to use your GMail email address as the user name and then your password.  Your sender and receiving email address will be the same in this case.

Using-Gmail-for-outbound-email-in-vRealize-Operations-Manager-7.0 VMware vRealize Operations 7.0 vCenter Connection and SMTP Configuration

Using Gmail for outbound email in vRealize Operations Manager 7.0

When you choose to utilize an SMTP connection that makes use of TLS/SSL, you will be presented with a certificate to accept.  Place a check in teh box Accept this Certificate and click OK.

Accept-the-certificate-presented-with-TLS-or-SSL-email-authentication VMware vRealize Operations 7.0 vCenter Connection and SMTP Configuration

Accept the certificate presented with TLS or SSL email authentication

Click OK on the Review and Accept Certificate dialog box.

Certificate-saved-in-vRealize-Operations-Manager-7.0-for-outbound-email VMware vRealize Operations 7.0 vCenter Connection and SMTP Configuration

Certificate saved in vRealize Operations Manager 7.0 for outbound email

You should now see the new SMTP outbound connection listed under the Outbound Settings Instance Name.

SMTP-outbound-connection-is-now-added-in-vRealize-Operations-Manager-7.0 VMware vRealize Operations 7.0 vCenter Connection and SMTP Configuration

SMTP outbound connection is now added in vRealize Operations Manager 7.0

Takeaways

The process for configuring VMware vRealize Operations 7.0 vCenter Connection and SMTP Configuration is very straightforward and easily accomplished if you know which menus to look under, which hopefully this post helps with.  VMware vRealize Operations Manager 7.0 is a great solution to monitor and manage VMware vSphere environments with a lot of new intent based monitoring and cloud awareness that helps to round out the solution for increasingly more common hybrid vSphere environments leveraging VMware Cloud on AWS and other solutions.  Look for more posts coming soon as we dig deeper into vRealize Operations Manager 7.0 and the new features and functionality therein.