VMware vCenter how to work with Alarms

vCenter alarms are very useful to get the notification when we having a problem in our VMware environments. There are some predefined alarms also available in the vCenter.

Alarms will be trigged on depend on the condition or event.

First of all we will have a look on predefined alarms in our vcenter environment.

How to:

Login to the vcenter > Click on the Vcenter > Go to the Monitor tab> Select Alarm Definitions


We can use “Filter” option to get some specific alarms.Ex- We need to get all the alarms which are related to ESX hosts.

How to: Just type “Host” in the Filter box and press “Enter”


We can take one alarm & get the idea of how it works. I will take first alarm(Host Connection..)

Once you click on edit button of the alarm you will get following window.


We will have a look on all the options.

General Page

Alarm name:

This is the name of the alarm.


we can add description of the alarm here.

Monitor: There is a drop down list, where we can select hosts, clusters, datacenters, etc..

Monitor for:

There are two options:

“Specific Conditions or state”:If we select this option, this will check for specific condition. Ex- host availability

“Specific event occurring on this object”: This will check for specific event.Ex -Account create in vCenter

Enable Alarm: We can use this check box to enable or disable alarm


Triggers page: This page have all the option where we can set the conditions

Trigger if:

There are two options:

All: if we select this option, to trigger this alarm all the condition should be satisfied. If we take the same alarm as an example, The host connection should be non-responding & Host powers state should not be standby to trigger this alarm. If we don’t have this option, there will be some unnecessary alarms will be occurred. Reason is we can put server to standby , by the way server is unresponsive.

Any: If we select this option, alarm will be trigger for any single condition which we have defined in the conditions.


Actions page: In here we can set the actions for alarms. Most of the time it would be Email alert.

How to create our own alarm:

We can create our own alarm in vcenters.My requirement is to get the notification, when any of my ESX hosts processor is utilize more than 60% for 20 minutes.

How to do this.

Login to the vcneter > Go to the Monitor page > Click “Alarm Definitions” > Click on “+” sign


We can give a name for this alarm( I gave Host-Utilization”)

We are going to monitor hosts, then we have to select “Hosts” from Monitor drop down list.

Click on “Next”


In the “Triggers” page we can select “Host CPU Usage” from Trigger section.

Operator will be “is above”

Warning condition will be 50% usage for 5 Minutes & Critical condition will be 60% usage for 20 Minutes.


On Actions page select “Send a notification email” and we can assign email address


We will have an another example:

Now my requirement is to get an email notification & alarm in vCenter when the users create the vm.

For full fill my requirement we have to create an alarm which is based on Specific event occurrence.

Therefore select “Specific event occurring on this object for example vm power on ”

Click on Next


On the “Triggers” page

Click on + sign > Select “Creating VM” from drop down list


Next steps are almost same as our previous exercise.


Maintenance Window

When we are doing some maintenance in nay objects in vCenter such as Host hardware maintenance, we have to disable alarms. Otherwise we will get unnecessary alerts.

How to

Right click on the object , which you want to disable alarm > Select “Alarms”> Select “Disable Alarm Actions”



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