Before I go into any details I need to explain a few things first.
vCenter Custom Attributes:
These needs to be defined in vCenter Client: Administration - Custom Attributes.
Once you have defined them you need to manually populate all the fields. This is a very time consuming process if you do it in vCenter Client as you need to manually enter the information on each VM individually.
Wouldn´t it be nice if you could do this in one step for multiple VMs?
Check out this video by Aarron Newsome who explains how to do this using Quest PowerGUI (free tool).
Double-click on video to open in YouTube
Create vFoglight services based on vCenter custom attributes:
Next thing we need to do is configure vFoglight VMware Agent to pickup custom attributes which is not collected default (Important! This only applies to vFoglight 6.5.1 and earlier. Skip this step if you are using vFoglight 6.6 as it collects custom attributes default)
Edit following file: FoglightAgent.WinService.exe.Config (default location C:\Program Files\Quest Software\vFoglight\VMware Agent)
Change IncludeCustomAttributes from False to True, see below:
<setting name="IncludeCustomAttributes" serializeAs="String">
Restart vFoglight VMware Agent (vFoglight Collector and vFoglight Connector services).
Then take a look at this video where Aaron Newsome explain step by step what you need to do in vFoglight to create services automatically based on your vCenter custom attributes.
Velocity cartridge mentioned in the video can be found here.
I have created a sample dashboard showing overall health, individual VM health, current alarms and top consumers for a specific service.
The population of each VM into this service was automated based on setting a custom attribute in vCenter.
To learn more how to create dashboards and reports based on services, take a look at this video:
Big thanks to my colleagues Aaron Newsome who created the videos and Thomas Bryant who wrote Velocity cartridge.