As a VMware admin there are a plethora of tools to assist you in gaining visibility into your virtual environment. I’ve seen folks layer on three or four tools at a time in an attempt at getting the best insight into what is going on under the virtual covers. Some of these tools excel in different areas though I have rarely found one that fits all needs. Almost all will have some sort of alerting capability to let you know when something has gone south and many of these products cost in the tens of thousands of dollars.
If there was one tool that was an absolute must have for me – vCheck – hands down.
And the best part? It’s free!
Now, vCheck is not going to replace all those shiny, expensive tools but for a single report that gives you an overview of what you are walking into in the morning, it can not be beat.
If you have never heard of vCheck, it is a powerful PowerShell framework that runs many checks against your environment. The main vCheck components set the stage for a HTML reporting framework that is highly customizable allowing you to provide report plugins that will each do various checks against your systems. These various plugins can be used to examine vSphere, vCD, Exchange, SCVMM and others, virtually anything that has PowerShell support is possible.
It’s probably not a surprise that vCheck is the brainchild of Alan Renouf.
We all have many things we do first thing in the morning as we are getting our day started. For me, my vCheck-vSphere report is one of, if not the most important report I read. Most everything is going to be there including over 100 checks for things like datastore usage, snapshot info, disk latency, CPU Ready issues, over-provisioing…you name it. If there are ways to report on the VMware environment via PowerCli, vCheck has the plugins. The best part is that since vCheck is on GitHub, anyone in the community can add to and expand upon what Alan has provided. There has been a resurgence in the past couple of months with many smart folks contributing to the code. I have a feeling this framework is only going to get much better and expand over time.
vCheck was certainly one of the things that perked my interest in PowerCli. It allows someone to see how the code works and even snag pieces of it out for use in other scripts or projects. Using and working with vCheck has helped me learn PowerCli as well as PowerShell in general, to the point that I have been able to contribute to the project which has been a great experience. I highly recommend anyone with a vSphere environment, big or small, check it out and see what you have been missing!
Direct link to vCheck – vSphere on GitHub