Creating reports is a common task that every vSphere administrator must deal with at least once if not many more times in their career. Whether you are tasked to provide an inventory report of all your virtual machines and their configurations to your manager or to provide a compliance report for your security team to ensure that all virtual machines are hardened according to the vSphere Security Hardening Guide, report creations can be a challenge.

The vSphere platform provides a very powerful and rich set of APIs (Application Programming Interface) that can be consumed by both vSphere administrators as well as developers. However, there is a high learning curve when using the API and it takes quite a bit of time to learn and of course your manager is expecting the report to be done in the next 5 minutes. Even with abstraction tools such as PowerCLI, quickly building a robust, scalable and performant script is not always a trivial task, not to mention the maintenance and updates to the script because your manager wants to continually add more things to the report.

So how can we make reporting so easy that vSphere administrators will no longer have to spend time digging through API documentation and instead they will be able to quickly put together reports within minutes? Well, this is something that the CloudPhysics team has been working on as part of their CloudPhysics card platform and they have built a very unique card solution to help solve this problem. I had the opportunity to get an early preview of this new card and I have to say that I am very impressed at how easy and intuitive the interface is to build simple to very complex reports using this new card solution. The coolest part of this solution is that no programming or scripting skills are required!

To give you an example on how easy it is to use the interface, I recently helped a customer with a script to identify all virtual machines that had a virtual disk using the 2gbsparse disk format. I would like to think I know the vSphere API pretty well, so putting the script together took just a few minutes because I knew exactly where to look for this information. That evening I decided to go through the same scenario, but using the new CloudPhysics card solution and I was literally able to create the report in seconds! It probably took me longer to name the report than to actually create it. As you can see, I am pretty excited about the new card solution and it will be interesting to see all the cool new reports customers can now create and share with each other.

Here is a sneak peak at what the interface looks like when creating your own custom reports:

Here is the final report that is produced:

As you can see, I have quickly narrowed down the specific virtual machine that contains a 2gbsparse VMDK and I am able to see exactly which virtual disk that is. 

If you would like to learn more about the new card solution, Irfan Ahmad, CTO of CloudPhysics will be hosting a live webinar to go over this new solution next Tuesday, June 25th at 9am PST and I would highly recommend you register for it to learn more.

Below is a bit more details on what you can expect from the webinar and you can register here.

vSphere Analytics Without Writing Code: The Quest for Missing Reports

While vSphere, the best-of-class virtualization platform, brings great efficiencies to the datacenter, reporting still presents challenges and pain to sys admins on a daily basis. CloudPhysics offers a radical new way to complete reporting for your virtual infrastructure. In addition to 20 high-impact reports, you can easily build your own and share the report template and output. When asked for asset reports, trending, activity, auditing and more, you’re never more than a few clicks away from delivery.
  
In addition to best practices and secrets to amazing mashups, you’ll learn to:
  • Create easy, visual reports for your vSphere environment
  • Add multiple vCenters in one view
  • Automate the report generation

2 thoughts on “Creating Custom vSphere Reports is a Breeze with CloudPhysics

  1. I like to use the free app from robware.com called rvtools to get a very nice spreadsheet of useful data from my vcenter server. I can then massage it anyway i need to. very useful

Thanks for the comment!