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How to create custom vCenter Alarms from Events

In my last article I've created a custom vCenter alert with a special event trigger. I've received a question about how to figure out the trigger event string to be used for creating alarms.

The vSphere Client shows the following error event:vcenter-event

To create an alarm based on this event, you have to create a new alarm and use the following event trigger:

To identify the string I've used the PowerCLI cmdlet Get-VIEvent, which discloses more information about the event. The following output shows the FullFormattedMessage we can see in the vSphere Client and the EventTypeID you need for the alarm trigger.


EventTypeId          :
Severity             : 
Message              : 
Arguments            : {host, hostString}
ObjectId             : host-150
ObjectType           : HostSystem
ObjectName           : vesx2.virten.lab
Fault                : 
Key                  : 31029
ChainId              : 31029
CreatedTime          : 23.11.2015 20:28:01
UserName             : 
Datacenter           : VMware.Vim.DatacenterEventArgument
ComputeResource      : VMware.Vim.ComputeResourceEventArgument
Host                 : VMware.Vim.HostEventArgument
Vm                   : 
Ds                   : 
Net                  : 
Dvs                  : 
FullFormattedMessage : Found host(s) malicious-esxi.local participating in the Virtual SAN service in cluster 
                       vCluster in datacenter DC is not a member of this host's vCenter cluster 
ChangeTag            :

If you can't find an actual event with Get-VIEvent you can also query the eventManager which has a full list of all events with their description. The following snippet gets a list of all events and filters the output based on a part of the error message we can see in the vSphere Client. Try to pick a part of the error message where no variables are used ("malicious-esxi.local" is a variable, so i am using the part "participating in the Virtual SAN")

$evt = get-view eventManager
$evt.get_Description() | select -expand Eventinfo |where Description -like "*participating in the Virtual SAN*"

In some cases, the Description differs from FullFormat. If you can't find the event, try to filter for the FullFormat message:

$evt = get-view eventManager
$evt.get_Description() | select -expand Eventinfo |where FullFormat -like "*participating in the Virtual SAN*"


I also maintain a list of all vCenter Events in my vCenter Event Database. You can use the search function to search for any part of the event description.

To create the custom alarm:

  1. Navigate to vCenter > Manage > Alarm Definitions and click Add (Green +)
  2. Configure general settings
    Alarm name: Rogue Host Found in Virtual SAN Cluster.
    Monitor: Hosts
    Monitor for: specific event occuring on this object.
  3. Add a trigger for the event
  4. Finish the wizard

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