Deploy vCenter Log Insight Windows Agent using GPO

The VMware documentation covers this, but I thought I’d add my “insight” (get it? har har)


  1. Get Microsoft Orca.  It’s part of the SDK found here.
  2. Get the vCenter Log Insight Windows Agent from if you haven’t already
  3. An appropriate network location for GPO-delivered installers containing the vCLI Agent MSI

Orca Steps

  1. Launch Orca, choose file|open and select thevCLI Agent MSI (VMware-vCenter-Log-Insight-Agent-2.0.3-1879692_1.msi in this case)

    vCLI MSI open in Orca
    vCLI MSI open in Orca
  2. Within Orca, click Transform|New Transform

    Create new transform
    Create new transform
  3. Click the “Property” table to load its rows

    Property Table
    Property Table
  4. Right-click under the populated rows and choose “Add Row”
  5. In the “Add Row” dialog, enter the property as “SERVERHOST” and the value as theFQDN of yourvCenter Log Insight server, click OK.  Notice thenew record has a green box around it?  That means it’ll be included in the transform file.

    Add SERVERHOST Property
    Add SERVERHOST Property
  6. On the menu, choose Transform|Generate Transform.  Put it in the same folder as the vCLI Agent MSI, give it a descriptive name.
  7. Once the mst is saved, you can close Orca.

GPO Steps

  1. Create a new or open an existing GPO in Group Policy Management Editor
  2. Expand Computer Configuration|Policies|Software Settings, right-click Software installation and choose New|Package

    Add software installation package to GPO
    Add software installation package to GPO
  3. Select thevCLI MSI on the network share, select the “Advanced” option on the Deploy Software dialog, click OK.

    Choose the Advanced Option
    Choose the Advanced Option
  4. On the VMware vCenter Log Insight Agent Properties dialog, navigate to the Modifications tab.
  5. Click the “Add” button and select themst you created earlier. Click OK.  Make other changes to the package as appropriate for your environment and click OK to save.

    Modifications Tab
    Modifications Tab
  6. Like all other GPOs, link it to the appropriate OU(s) containing the computers you want the agent deployed on.

Variables passed from vCAC to vCO

This may be documented elsewhere, but I had to find it the hard way.

When you’ve created a service under Advanced Services in vCAC that calls a vCenter Orchestrator workflow, a handful of additional variables are passed along with the input parameters you linked in the blueprint form.

In my case, I want to create a new SQL database, so the blueprint form only asks for the name for the new database. On the back-end though, I’d like to record WHO made the request for the new database.

Variable name Value (I think)
__asd_requestedBy upn of requesting user
__asd_requestedFor upn of designated owner
__asd_tenantRef name of tenant (vsphere.local)
__asd_subtenantRef GUID of tenant
__asd_catalogRequestId GUID for request record in database

Please note that each of these begins with two underscores, “asd” and another underscore.
So, with this information, if you set an input parameter to one of the names above, it will be populated when vCAC calls the vCO workflow. In this way, you can record the Requestor name (__asd_requestedBy) to a change record, or make them dbo of the SQL database they requested.

Good luck!

WTF is wrong with vCenter Chargeback?!

Every time I try to install vCenter ChargeBack, it fails. Every. %^#$#*. Time.

The installation log – which isn’t visible until the installation ends – indicates that a batchfile is created and then cannot be run because it is in use by something else. As a result, the services don’t get created and because the installer cleans up after itself, I cannot go back to run the batchfiles.

Preinstallation Tasks

  • Create a vCenter Chargeback Manager database and database user.
    Done, created SQL database and user. Ran script to add the CB_ADMIN_ROLE, added user to dbo_admins for database. Database uses SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS, so its not case-sensitive.
  • Set a static IP address on the machine
  • Ensure that MSI installation is enabled
    Installed the Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable Package (x86) anyway.
  • Check whether the required ports are free
  • Ensure that port exceptions are configured on Windows FirewallWindows Firewall turned off.
  • Ensure that system time of all the servers and databases are in sync Done. All members of same AD domain.
  • Ensure that the Windows user has the Log on as a service permission Done. Added admins, domain admins, administrator.
  • Ensure that the SQL Server Browser service is running It is.
  • Ensure that the vCenter Chargeback Manager database is case-insensitive.See first bullet.

I’m attempting the installation under the domain administrator account. Windows 2008 R2, SQL 2008 R2. I’ve exhausted everything I know to try and am open to suggestions…

Ok, I started from scratch with a new Windows VM, built from scratch. Not yet joined to the domain. So far, so good. Switching to Decaf….