This tweet from Jason Nash and @PunchingClouds says it all and here it is!

I did some research this afternoon and stumbled upon this article Nagios: Notifications via Growl and leveraging the Net::Growl Perl module, I was able to forward alarms generated from a vCenter server to a system that was running Growl.

Software Requirements:

Step 1 -  Install Grow and configure a password under the "Security" tab and ensure you "Allow network notification"

Step 2 - Install vSphere SDK for Perl on your vCenter server. You may also need to update the PATH variable with Perl bin directory (e.g. C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware vSphere CLI\Perl\bin)

Step 3 - Install Net::Growl Perl module using ppm (Perl Package Manager) which is part of ActiveState Perl with the installation of vSphere SDK for Perl. This will require your vCenter server have internet access to ActiveState Perl site, if you can not get this access, you can install this locally on your system and extract the Growl.pm and copy it to your vCenter server C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware vSphere CLI\Perl\site\lib\Net

Step 4 - Copy the Perl script from here and store it somewhere on your vCenter server, make sure it has the .pl extension. In this example, I named it growl.pl

Step 5 - To verify that Growl Perl script works and can communicate to the system with Growl install, you can manually test it by running the following command:

growl.pl -H william.primp-industries.com -p vmware -a custom -t Alert -m "hello william" -s 1

You will need to change -H to the hostname or IP Address of the system with Growl installed and of course the password you had setup. You should see a notification of the message you had just sent.

Step 6 - Create a batch script which will call the growl.pl script and store it somewhere on your vCenter server. Here is what the script (sendGrowl.bat) looks like, you can modify it to fit your requirements.

Note: If you would like to get a list of other default VMware alarm variables, run the "SET" command and output it to a file to get more details on various variables that can be accessed.

Step 7 - Create a new or update an existing vCenter alarm and under "Actions", specify "Run a command" option and provide the full path to the sendGrowl.bat

Step 8 - For testing purposes, I created a new alarm that would trigger upon an ESX(i) host going in/out of maintenance mode and you can see from the "Tasks and Events", our script is triggered on the vCenter server

and now for the finale, you should see a notification from Growl on your system and since we enable the "sticky" parameter, the notification will stay on your screen until you click on it. You can see that in the script example, I set the message to the event and application is registered as the name of the vCenter server, which allows you to have multiple vCenter forward you notifications.

So there you have it, forwarding vCenter alarms to Growl.

Note: Once a vCenter alarm has been triggered, the script will not fire off again until the original alarm has been reset to green. This behavior probably is okay for majority of the events one would want to monitor, but if you want it to continuously alert you, you will need to fiddle with a way to reset the alarm on the vCenter server.

UPDATE:  Thanks to Richard Cardona for reminding me, but this can also be implemented on the new VCVA (vCenter Server Virtual Appliance) in vSphere 5. Here are the instructions on setting it up

Step 1 - Install Grow and configure a password under the "Security" tab and ensure you "Allow network notification" on the system that is receiving the Growl notifications

Step 2 - To install Net::Growl, we'll be using cpan which requires 2 modules that are not installed by default on the SLES VCVA. Using the Tips and Tricks for vMA 5 (running SLES as well), we'll go ahead and setup zypper package manager for VCVA to install the two required packages: make and yaml

zypper --gpg-auto-import-keys ar http://download.opensuse.org/distribution/11.1/repo/oss/ 11.1
zypper --gpg-auto-import-keys ar http://download.opensuse.org/update/11.1/ Update-11.1
zypper refresh
zypper in make
zypper in perl-YAML

Step 3 - You will use cpan to install Net::Growl

perl -MCPAN -e shell

Step 4 - Once you are inside the cpan shell, type the following to install Net::Growl

install Net::Growl

Step 5 - Copy the Perl script from here and store it somewhere on your vCenter server (e.g. /root), make sure it has the .pl extension and has execute permission. In this example, I named it growl.pl

Step 6 - To verify that Growl Perl script works and can communicate to the system with Growl install, you can manually test it by running the following command:

vcenter50-2:~ # ./growl.pl -H william.primp-industries.com -p vmware -a custom -t Alert -m "hello william" -s 1

Step 7 - Create a shell script which will call the growl.pl script and store it somewhere on your vCenter server (e.g. /root). Here is what the script (sendGrowl.sh) looks like, you can modify it to fit your requirements.

Step 8 - Create a new or update an existing vCenter alarm and under "Actions", specify "Run a command" option and provide the full path to the sendGrowl.sh

2 thoughts on “How to Send vCenter Alarm Notification to Growl

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