vCenter Discovery and process flow

When Discovery runs, a classifier called vCenter classifies the process running on a Windows or Linux machine.

Discovering vCenter CIs

After classifying vCenter, Discovery launches the VMware - vCenter Datacenters probe, which in turn launches specific probes that return information about ESX machines, virtual machines, and other vCenter objects.
Note: The vmapp port probe is also configured to launch the VMware - vCenter Datacenters probe.

If you use a domain account to access vCenter, specify the domain with the user name in the credential record in one of the supported formats such as Domain\UserName.

Updating the CMDB with vCenter event collector

The vCenter event collector is a MID Server extension that listens for vCenter-related events.

The event collector allows changes to virtual machines to be updated in the CMDB in addition to the updates that are detected by Discovery. A change to a virtual machine is sent as an event from the vCenter server to the vCenter event collector. When an event is received, the CMDB is updated accordingly. Full vCenter Discovery does not need to re-run.

For a list of events handled by default in a ServiceNow® instance, see vCenter event collector. For instructions on configuring vCenter events, see Configure the vCenter event collector extension.

CIs removed from vCenter

When a vCenter CI, such as a virtual machine, is removed, the ServiceNow instance marks it as "stale" in the CMDB, using either of these procedures:
  • When Discovery runs, it creates an audit record in the CMDB Health Result [cmdb_health_result] table for the missing CI and marks the CI "stale".
  • If the ServiceNow instance is configured to collect vCenter events, the system can also create a "stale" audit record for the CI in the CMDB Health Result [cmdb_health_result] table from the VmRemovedEvent event, without having to run Discovery.
Note: When the Staleness setting is configured, the dependency view (BSM map) grays out stale CIs in its relationship diagram to indicate that they were removed from vCenter.
Figure 1. vCenter CI marked as "stale"
vCenter CI marked as "stale"