vCenter alarms and sending emails

Hi everyone
I’m writing this note just for whom need to get familiar and need help on configuring vCenter alarm to use email.
It would be useful for admins and support team to get the latest news on their email, so let start.

First of all, you need an email server with the rule on your firewall (if you have any firewall between your vCenter and your email server) to let these two communicate properly as it most of the time making a problem which will cause a lots of time to be wasted.

  1. I’m checking my mail box to be sure I’m not getting any mail before new configuration.

  2. Open your vCenter, go to vCenter Server Settings and then “Mail server settings”.

  3. Insert you mail server address and sender address in proper text boxes, click ok and go back to your vCenter.

  4. Now select the level of alarm you want to implement and go to the “Alarms” tab. you will see two button, “Triggered Alarms” and “Definitions”, for creating new alarm or configuring pre-built alarm in that level, click on “Definitions”.
    Note: Don’t forget the alarms would affect the bellower level as a hierarchy but won’t affect on higher level of themselves.

  5. For creating new alarm just right click on any space area under or near the current definitions and select “New” or for editing the already exist alarm right-click on it and select “Edit Settings …”.

  6. In “General” tab, insert a proper name for alarm which would be better to be related to it’s function and if you can just write a “Description” for it for further reference.
    In “Alarm Type” select the area which you want your alarm to checking, here as an example, I’m select the Virtual Machine and specific condition as I’m going to check for VM power state.

  7. In “Triggers” tab, select the trigger type you want your alarm to make reaction to, here I’m select “VM State”.
    There is 3 general condition as Green, Yellow and Red which goes to “Normal/Good”, “Warning” and “Alert”, also there is middle condition between each of these general condition.
    Note: According to trigger type you select, the trigger in “Warning” and “Alert” would be different.

  8. In “Reporting” tab, you will configured the range and frequency for the triggers, for example, if the VM is in power state of “Powered off” for 10 minutes or if the specified trigger happens 3 times, then do the reaction.

  9. In “Actions” tab, select the proper action your alarm should do, for example (as title of post may say) I’m selected the “Send a notification email” and set my email address under “Configuration”.
    Now you need to set in wich condition you want to be notify by email (or any other action).
    When the state changing from “Good/Normal” to “Warning”, or when it changes from “Warning” to “Alert” or may be in all of these condition. 😉
    Note: But remember, set the only state you really need not all as it may sounds better, it may cause a little extra traffic on your network and a little over head on your space usage in your mail server if you are in lab or testing environment.

  10. By clicking ok, you will go back to your “Definition” tab, go to “Triggered Alarms” and check if your alarm applied to any area of your vCenter.

  11. In previous step, if you see any “Waring” or “Alert” then you can go to your email address and checking for any new mail from your vCenter.

  12. You can open email from your vCenter, all of these email would have a similar structure.

I hope this post can help and I’d be happy to get feedback about it.


Add a Comment
  1. it was very interesting to read.
    I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
    And you et an account on Twitter?

  2. I would like to exchange links with your site
    Is this possible?

  3. I have been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this blog. Thank you, I’ll try and check back more often.

  4. Thanks a lot…. that was really helpful 😉

  5. I was wondering iff anyone has come across a scenario where you are receiving emails for Alarms (path redundnacy) yet when you check your vcenter, no alarms are present, AND teh conditions for alrming are not met?

    Being on call, I get awoken several times a night for ‘phantom’ alarm emails. Being that the environment is under scrutiny, I must be dutiful and log in and check. Any info on where the alarms are stored would be useful. Perhaps these are stale alarms from an old outage that occurred?

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