Sizing for the VMware Management Pack

This knowledgebase article will discuss some of the most common questions for resources needed when running the VMware Management Pack in SCOM


Just like any other Management Pack that is imported into System Center Operations Manager (SCOM), the VMware Management Pack also demands resources to effectively execute its monitoring duties. The VMware Management Pack, specifically designed for monitoring VMware virtual environments, extends SCOM's capabilities, allowing it to oversee, manage, and ensure the optimal performance of VMware's virtual infrastructure. This includes monitoring the VMware vCenter Servers, ESX hosts, Virtual Machines, and datastores.

Rather than relying on an SCOM Agent installed on a vCenter server, the VMware Management Pack operates from a Management Server or Gateway Server. It performs its workload by interacting with the vCenter API through API calls, thereby providing a more efficient and streamlined approach to managing and monitoring virtual environments.


Assumptions about your SCOM environment

This article makes several assumptions about your SCOM environment and configuration:

1. You have correctly sized you SCOM environment according to Microsoft's best practice. (You can find the "System Center 2012 Operations Manager Sizing Helper Tool" here).

2. You will use a dedicated Management Server or Gateway server to run the VMware Management Pack workload without running any other additional workload.

3. You will run the VMware Management Pack in a default configuration without altering (overriding) any of the default values in the VMware Management Pack.


When deviating from the default Management Pack configuration the resource requirements can deviate dramatically depending on the settings used. Also, well intended settings, such as reducing the time interval of a monitor or rule can have adverse resource effects on SCOM because by changing settings (in whatever direction) can break the cookdown utilized by the Management Pack.


Resource Planning and Allocation

The VMware Management Pack covers two primary areas of monitoring in SCOM, each demanding its share of resources:

  1. ESXi Hosts: These form the backbone of the virtualized infrastructure and play a vital role in resource allocation to virtual machines.

  2. VMs (Virtual Machines): These are the virtualized workloads running on the ESXi hosts, and their monitoring is equally critical to ensure optimal performance.

While other components, such as Datacenters, Clusters, and Networks, are also monitored, they generally have a smaller resource footprint compared to ESXi hosts and VMs.

Pre-Import Resource Recommendations

Before importing the VMware Management Pack, it is advisable to ensure that your Management Server meets a minimum resource threshold. The following are the recommended specifications for the Management Server:

  • 8 GB RAM
  • 4 CPU Cores

Resource Recommendations Based on Environment Size

The resource requirements for a dedicated Management Server increase with the size of the environment being monitored. Below are the suggested resource configurations based on the number of ESXi hosts and VMs being managed:

1. Monitoring up to 50 ESXi Hosts and 1000 VMs:

  • A dedicated Management Server
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 4 CPU Cores

2. Monitoring up to 150 ESXi Hosts and 3000 VMs:

  • A dedicated Management Server
  • 32 GB RAM
  • 4 CPU Cores

3. Monitoring more than 150 ESXi Hosts:

  • Multiple dedicated Management Servers (1 per 150 ESXi hosts)
  • 32 GB RAM per management server
  • 4 CPU Cores per management server


Please bear in mind that the resource recommendations provided above are based on estimates for a standard SCOM environment and should serve as a useful starting point. It is also important to acknowledge that each environment is unique, and external constraints may necessitate adjustments to these guidelines. Some SCOM environments might find the recommended resources insufficient to meet their specific monitoring demands, while others might discover them to be more than adequate, allowing for the execution of additional workflows per server.

For environments with particularly complex or extensive virtualized infrastructures, additional resource allocation might be necessary to ensure seamless performance and accurate monitoring. Factors such as the number of monitored ESXi hosts, VMs, custom workflows, and the frequency of data collection can all influence the resource requirements of your SCOM setup.

As you deploy the VMware Management Pack and tailor it to your specific environment, we encourage you to closely monitor the performance of your SCOM infrastructure and make necessary adjustments accordingly. Regularly assessing the resource utilization and overall system health will allow you to fine-tune your resource allocation for optimal efficiency and scalability.