Objective 5.3 – Manage vCenter inventory

Apply vSphere tags

Tagging is done in the vSphere web client and allows any object to become searchable based on the applied Tag.

A tag needs to be a member of a Tag “Category” The Category defines what the Tag can be associated with.

For example you could create a “Datastore” Category, you can then limit tag association to Datastores only. Within the Tag Catergory you would define Tags. You could define a iSCSI Tag, NFS Tag, Fibre Tag. If you then assigned the tags to datastores that have been provisioned using the specified method you could then either search for the “Datastore” category which would return all datastores with the following tags iSCSI Tag, NFS Tag, Fibre Tag, or you could search for just the iSCSI Tag which would return only datastores that have been tagged with the iSCSI tag.

First step is to create a New Category. In my example below I am creating a Category called “Virtual Lab”


As you can see by the screen shot, this is where you identify the associable objects. In my case as I want to identify all objects (Virtual Machines, Storage, Switches) that are provisioned in my nested ESXi Hosts.

I’m also only going to allow an object to have one tag associated with it. There maybe instances, defined by an end users search criteria, that an object will need two tags associated with it.

The next step is to create the tags. As my criteria is to be able to search for all nested ESXi hosts, to do this I will create 1 Tag similar to that below. Make sure you associate the Tag with the Category you’ve just created.



You will see all tags and categories from the items tab.



You will then need to associate the tag to an object. Find the object you wish to tag, right click and select “assign tag”



From the list of tags displayed, select the tag and select Assign.

Once we have assigned all the tags they’re now searchable from within the vSphere inventory

Search vSphere inventory

As per the objective above. Once you create tags you can now search them in the vSphere client.

If we search for the “Virtual Lab” Category we just created it will return all objects associated with that Category. So all tags we created and assigned to that category and all objects we have tagged with those tags


We can then search just for a Tag rather than a tag Category which will return all objects associated to that tag only


Troubleshoot the vSphere inventory infrastructure

The vCenter Inventory Service logs are placed in a different directory on disk depending on the vCenter Server version and the deployed platform:

  • vCenter Server 5.x and earlier versions on Windows XP, 2000, 2003: %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\VMware\Infrastructure\Inventory Service\Logs
  • vCenter Server 5.x and earlier versions on Windows Vista, 7, 2008: C:\ProgramData\VMware\Infrastructure\Inventory Service\Logs
  • vCenter Server 5.x Linux Virtual Appliance: /var/log/vmware/vpx/inventoryservice

Note: If the vCenter Inventory Service is running under a specific user, the logs may be located in the profile directory of that user instead of %ALLUSERSPROFILE%.

vCenter Inventory Service logs are grouped by component and purpose:

  • ds.log: The main vCenter Inventory Service logs, consisting of all vCenter Server and Single Sign-On connections, internal tasks and events, and information about the xDB
  • vim-is-install.log: This file contains information about the installation of Inventory Service including computer name, operating system revision, the date of installation and the number of revisions that have been installed or upgraded on the system.
  • wrapper.log: This file provides information about the status of the Java runtime environment.

Note: As each log grows, it is rotated over a series of numbered component-xxx.log files. On some platforms, the rotated logs are compressed.

Resetting the Inventory Database – VMware KB