re-import values from vCenter?

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re-import values from vCenter?

Veeam Logoby Henk » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:00 pm

Is it possible to "re-import" custom attribute values from vCenter database into business view?

In our environment master data for the custom attributes is maintained within the vCenter database.
On first execution of Business view it is able to import all this data into the business view database. But subsequently it seems to be impossible to get Business View to acknowledge any data that has been changed in the vCenter custom attributes making the views it produces "worthless".

Any tip would suffice. Such as a SQL query that would drop/expire all values in the business view database to allow them to be re-imported.
Henk
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Re: re-import values from vCenter?

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:40 pm

Hello Henrik,

Yes, you can "re-import" vCenter Server custom attributes by re-launching the Group Import wizard, see our User Guide (page 153) for further details.

P.S. keep in mind that Business View was designed as the master data for vCenter Server custom attributes. If you want to change some of your attributes it's better to change them in BV first and then synchronize/write new attributes to vCenter Server database. By default we are working in "read-only" mode with vCenter Server, if you want to change that, then please refer to our User Guide (page 157) for the detailed instructions.

Hope this helps!
Vitaliy S.
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Re: re-import values from vCenter?

Veeam Logoby Henk » Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:55 am

Hi Vitaliy

No, I cannot :)

When launching that wizard it allows me to import the custom attributes (Categories) indeed. But any new values (Groups) created in vCenter are not detected and any VMs for which values (Groups) have changed in vCenter are not updated in Business View.
Scheduler is currently set to run daily and have also been run manually several times with success outcome.

When looking at the session history log there are rows listing "Writing changed objects" so I assume that there is some logic here to identify which values have changed. It's this logic I would like to override and always force a full update from vCenter database dropping any data already in BV (since that data is outdated).

I'm aware that Business View was designed as the master data for vCenter custom attributes which I think is strange considering that the master data for the objects those attributes refer to is in the vCenter database. This by definition makes them constantly out of sync. Also the interface for editing Custom attributes in Business View doesn't scale and becomes impossible to use as the number of objects in the infrastructure increases. (I have 18 pages of VMs in my workspace tab)

ps. I love the way I can use business View together with Monitor to group VMs together based on service (application), application owner or cost center. And also Business view charts that allow to view high level summary about those groups. But I just want to be able to use Business View to "View" and report on my data, not to manage it.
Henk
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Re: re-import values from vCenter?

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:29 am

Henk wrote:When launching that wizard it allows me to import the custom attributes (Categories) indeed. But any new values (Groups) created in vCenter are not detected and any VMs for which values (Groups) have changed in vCenter are not updated in Business View.

Yes, Business View does not re-sync custom attributes that were changed in vCenter Server.
Henk wrote:I'm aware that Business View was designed as the master data for vCenter custom attributes which I think is strange considering that the master data for the objects those attributes refer to is in the vCenter database.

Keeping vCenter Server as a canonical source will make a custom attributes management really complicated, there is always a great chance of human error/typo while setting custom attributes manually through vCenter Server. That is why we have developed Business View which allows creating auto categorization rules and dynamic groups for all VMs in the vCenter Server.
Vitaliy S.
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Re: re-import values from vCenter?

Veeam Logoby Henk » Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:00 pm

Vitaliy S. wrote:Yes, Business View does not re-sync custom attributes that were changed in vCenter Server.

And there is no way to force that behavior? None at all? Because that is a deal breaker for me...


Vitaliy S. wrote:Keeping vCenter Server as a canonical source will make a custom attributes management really complicated, there is always a great chance of human error/typo while setting custom attributes manually through vCenter Server. That is why we have developed Business View which allows creating auto categorization rules and dynamic groups for all VMs in the vCenter Server.


I assume that you are referring to vSphere client? I never said that I wanted to edit the values through vSphere Client. I only said that the master data should be in the vCenter database.
Wouldn't it be possible to read/write custom attributes directly to vCenter using API call instead of writing them to business view database and using a scheduled job? (Hyper-V of course is another issue). Regardless I understand how business view reduces the amount of human errors. I think it increases them as it adds much more work to maintain the data.

The problem with the auto categorization rules is that those rules can only be created from infrastructure properties which makes it an "aggregated infrastructure view" and not a business view.
Guest OS -> infrastructure property
RAM -> infrastructure property
(Machine-)Name -> infrastructure property
Power state -> infrastructure property
CPU count -> infrastructure property
Disc size -> infrastructure property

But these are all business properties and they need to be maintained "manually". I.E. they cannot be calculated based on RAM size or number of CPUs.
Owner -> this is a business property
Accounting information -> this is a business property
Application -> this is a business property
Henk
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