An interesting question that came in last week from one of our TAMs was how to identify and audit Virtual Machine Remote Console (VMRC) logins from vSphere? The TAM was specifically interested in being able to correlate that a particular user had logged into the VMRC of a VM during a specific period of time. Luckily, this is easily retrievable through vCenter Servers's Event sub-system that stores information about everything that happens in your vSphere environment. The Events can be accessed using either the vSphere Web Client shown below or programmatically using the vSphere API which the UI is built on top of.

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You can obviously filter your search in the UI and focus on a particular VM, but often times there can be dozens if not hundreds of "Events" generated for a given VM. I personally prefer to leverage Automation when needing to look for a specific type of Event and more importantly, you can further process the results to either send out reports or hook into other third party systems. Now that we know, "where" to find our data, the next thing is identifying the type of Event that is generated for a VMRC connection.

As of vSphere 5.5 Update 2b, the VMRC in the vSphere Web Client can be accessed in one of two ways: The new HTML5 VMRC by clicking onto the VM screenshot thumbnail or the Standalone VMRC by clicking on the link directly beneath the VM screenshot.

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Each VMRC connection method will generate a unique vCenter Server Event. For HTML5 VMRC connections, the Event is called VmAcquiredMksTicketEvent and for Standalone VMRC connections, the Event is called VmAcquiredTicketEvent. As I mentioned earlier, the vCenter Server Event sub-system can be accessed using the vSphere API and you can find the complete list of Events documented here. To demonstrate the use of this particular vSphere API, below is a PowerCLI example using the Get-VIEvent cmdlet. My fellow colleague Alan Renouf has actually blogged about working with Events using PowerCLI which I will be adapting one of his examples for our use case.

We first retrieve the VM that we are interested in by running the following command (specify the name of your VM):

$vm = Get-VM -Name "VCSA-60u2"

To retrieve HTML5 VMRC connections, run the following PowerCLI command:

Get-VIEvent -Entity $vm | Where { $_.Gettype().Name -eq "VmAcquiredMksTicketEvent"} | Select CreatedTime, UserName, FullFormattedMessage | ft -wrap -AutoSize

Here is an example of what the output would look like

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To retrieve Standalone VMRC connections, run the following PowerCLI command:

Get-VIEvent -Entity $vm | Where { $_.Gettype().Name -eq "VmAcquiredTicketEvent"} | Select CreatedTime, UserName, UserAgent, FullFormattedMessage | ft -wrap -AutoSize

Here is an example of what the output would look like:

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Thanks for the comment!