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vCenter Topology by VIM obtain VM serial number during discovery

vCenter Topology by VIM obtain VM serial number during discovery

Please add the ability for vCenter Topology by VIM to retrieve the VM’s serial number.
vCenter Topology by VIM connects to the vCenter and builds the VMWare model. Looking at specifically ESXi and related VMs running on the host, the ESXi host’s serial number is populated, however the VM’s serial number is null. The VM’s serial number is retrieved through other jobs/modules, specifically HCbS, however there are many cases where we are unable to connect to the VM through SNMP, SSH, NTCMD, UDA, etc. A specific case is when an OEM creates an OS VM template for VM Appliance. the vCenter TbVIM cannot connect to the OS of the appliance VM as all protocols are securely closed. The OS is managed and updated through OEM and not by our infrastructure team. Please add the ability for vCenter Topology by VIM to retrieve the VM’s serial number.

4 Comments
John Goldstein Outstanding Contributor.
Outstanding Contributor.

What do you consider to be the VMs serial number?

In the current Vmware vCenter Topology by VIM discovery job I'm able to collect the BIOS UUID value and some times the serial number. The issues collecting the VMware serial number is a problem with the vCenter API that the discovery job uses and you can search the Internet for the information. BIOS UUID and serial number for VMs is an unreliable identifier since the values are unique only within the same vCenter. If you have multiple vCenter management servers with many VMs your chances are good that you will get duplicate values.

One work around for a unique identifier that we have implemented is to collect the Vmware Managed Object reference (VM MoRef) and vCenter host name and combine those values to make a unique ID for each discovered VM and ESX Host.

John

Micro Focus Expert
Micro Focus Expert
Status changed to: Waiting for Votes

The idea has received an initial review to ensure adherence to our idea submission and community guidelines. More information may be needed at this stage and we expect the community to help prioritize the idea with comments and voting

Micro Focus Expert
Micro Focus Expert

On the VM serial numbers - there was another idea that was rejected that complained about non-unique UUIDs of VMs.  And the article included does point out to the UUID handling of VMware. Indeed, it could be a problem - if one takes a VM, moves the files to another host manually, then VMware discovers that the VM is running on a host that did not run it before, but on its own it does not know whether the VM was moved or copied. So it would ask the user. And if the user answers, the VM was moved, it preserves its UUID. But if that answer was done in error and the VM was really copied, then you'll end up with two similar VMs with the same UUID. But we would have the same problem (of incorrect merges) if we run deep discovery on the instances anyway because then host connection or scanner-based inventory will report a node with duplicate serial number and these nodes would probably incorrectly get merged.

Additionally, in our brief analysis of what is possible here, there is a possibility that the use of UEFI firmware could cause the serial number to no longer be derived from the UUID.  Then for newer hardware and macOS we wouldn't be able to get the serial number accurately via the API.  If this idea reaches the point of acceptance, we would need to consider this problem in the delivery of this idea. 

Micro Focus Expert
Micro Focus Expert
Status changed to: Delivered

This idea has been implemented in CP 2019.05. Check out the release notes for details. Thanks to all of our contributors for helping us continue to improve our products!

https://docs.microfocus.com/itom/Universal_Discovery_Content_Pack:2019.05/CPEnhancements

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