Installing VMware vROps for the First Time

This is part of a series of posts sponsored by VMware. Check out part 2 and part 3. Read my disclosure statement here.

Screenshot from 2015-07-02 13:34:38

What is it like to install vROps from scratch for the first time? Until this post series, I’d never done it, and while you can have a go at using vROps as a Hands On Lab, that doesn’t give you the experience of setting it up from scratch.

As it turns out, you’re not really missing much, because getting vROps installed is incredibly easy.


Ah, yes, the installation is easy, but the sizing isn’t, so let’s have a quick look at that. I tested out vROps v6.0.2, and there don’t seem to be instructions for sizing of that version online, so I’ve linked to the v6.0.1 instructions.

vROps is a little RAM hungry, with the official requirements asking for a minimum of:

  • 2 vCPU
  • 8 GB RAM
  • About 1GB of disk (this varies a lot depending on how much data you’re collecting and how long you want to keep it).

Like all enterprise software, sizing gets complex, because it all depends on what you’re planning to do with it. Companies do this because they don’t want to get caught out recommending a particular configuration only to have it end up being too small for what you try to do with it, nor do they want to recommend something too large because that’s expensive. And competitors love to attack you for needing a lot of resources when everyone is obsessed with IT being a cost centre. I’ve ranted on that particular silliness a few times before.

The Extra Small configuration only supports up to 250 objects, and isn’t supported in HA mode, so for a production environment you’re looking at a minimum of a Small configuration, which asks for:

That seems a little heavy to me, and the commentary in the OVF file for the virtual appliance suggests that this configuration will support up to 2000 VMs, so if you’re running fewer than that, you can probably tune this down a bit. That’s one of the wonderful things about virtualisation; you can tune things on-the-fly as you need.

I was installing a lab (running on Ravello Systems, and also on a Scale Computing just for my own amusement, utterly unsupported, etc.) so I tuned the requirements down to a single vCPU and 2GB of RAM after the initial installation and didn’t have any issues. However, the number of objects under management is tiny in this lab compared to a production environment, so keep that in mind.

My take? Keep an eye on the resource consumption and add more if/when you need it after making a good guess for the first install. Instead of spending a few thousand in engineer’s time trying to create a detailed model of future resource consumption, make a decent first approximation in an hour and spend the money on another node in your cluster if you end up needing it.

Never mistake precision for accuracy.


I used the appliance option (which runs SLES 11 SP3), but you can also install the software on RHEL and Windows. For detailed information, there’s plenty of documentation here and the inimitable William Lam has some great tips on automating the installation here.

With your VMware login, you can obtain a trial version of vROps that lasts for 60 days to really give it a good try for yourself. I recommend doing this, because as we’ll discuss in later posts, this software can do a lot and getting your hands dirty (metaphorically speaking) will teach you a lot more about how to use it than simply reading the manuals. Kudos to VMware for providing this option, which is easy to sign up for.

Honestly, the hardest part was waiting for the ones-and-zeros to make their slow trek across the wet string we call broadband in Australia. Once I had the OVA file, it was a simple matter of just, well, running it. Just import it into your environment however you normally would. I even gave it a shot in VMware Workstation on Linux, and other than needing to relax the import criteria, it imports just fine. Again, I tuned the CPU and memory for my desktop so I didn’t give all of it to this one VM.

Screenshot from 2015-07-16 11:33:57

vRO OVA imported into VMware Workstation 11.1 on Linux

You boot the VM, get a screen like this:

Screenshot from 2015-07-16 11:37:17

and then like this:

Screenshot from 2015-07-16 11:37:47

and finally this:

Screenshot from 2015-07-16 11:40:28

This startup sequence assumes the VM can grab an IP address via DHCP, so if you have more complex configuration requirements (like needing to set a static IP, for example), you’ll need to spend time reading the documentation.

Initial Configuration

When you first browse to the URLs in the bootup screen, you’ll get a certificate error and will need to manually say it’s ok to go to the site if your browser is at all modern.

Screenshot from 2015-07-16 11:46:08

And then you’ll see the initial setup screen:

Screenshot from 2015-07-04 13:27:00

Express Installation gets you to set the admin password, and that’s basically it. New Installation gives you a few more options to configure, like which NTP server(s) you want to use, and a TLS/SSL certificate you’ve created specifically for this system (or just use the inbuilt one).

Express Install mode

Express Installation mode

New Installation mode

New Installation mode

The password part is actually pretty annoying, because it enforces specific password complexity requirements. A password manager is useful here, because who needs to remember yet another “must contain at least 3 vowels, a hieroglyph, and a picture of a disappointed horse” style password?

Once you’ve entered this barest of minimums data, you get to wait for a little bit while the system installs things.

Screenshot from 2015-07-16 12:26:55

And then you can point it at your vCenter installation so it can slurp up all the statistics on offer.

In my next post, I’ll walk you through a bit of this initial setup and getting an idea of what vROps actually does once you’ve got it running.

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