Comparing VMs

You can select and compare two VMs (including templates) to determine the differences between them. This allows you to see, for example, if each VM has the same version of software on a specific date or if one VM has been patched and the other hasn't.

You can also compare the changes that have occurred on a single VM between two different dates (the "drift").

Commander tracks the parent-child relationships of inventoried VMs and templates for AWS, Azure, SCVMM, and vCenter. This allows you to view the lineage of a selected resource. A selected resource could be a "parent" for other child resources. If the resource has been created from another resource, you can see its parent and sibling resources. You can also compare a parent VM to its child VM or two sibling VMs to each other.

If you retrieve historical events for a cloud account that's added to Commander, the lineage of a VM can also include information that was created before the cloud account was brought under Commander management. See Retrieving Historical Data for vCenter Cloud Accounts.

Note: After historical events have been retrieved, the parent or "creator" of the VM may appear as a cloud account. This situation occurs when vCenter or vSphere doesn't contain information about the creation of the VM.

In this topic:

Selecting VMs for comparison

When you select a VM, you can either view the changes that have occurred for that VM between two different dates or subsequently select another VM to view the differences between the two VMs.

Tip: You can also select Tools > Compare, and select two VM that you want to compare. This provides a Compare - Each Other option.

Access through:

Views > Inventory > Infrastructure or Applications

Available to:

Administrator and All Operator Levels of Access Rights

To compare a VM:

  1. Select a VM in the tree, then right-click and select Change Management > Compare.

    Tip: If you have scanned your datastores, you can also select VMs to compare from Datastore tab. This option allows you to compare out-of-inventory VMs.

  2. Select one of the following options that may be available:
    • Compare — Drift — Compare the VM to itself based on a difference of date.
    • Compare — Select as Left — Display the VM in the left-hand comparison panel (use this command and go to the Compare window, or select another VM and use Select as Right).
    • Compare — Select as Right — Display the VM in the right-hand comparison panel (use this command and go to the Compare window, or select another VM and use Select as Left).
    • Compare — To Parent — Compare the VM to its parent. This option is only available when a child VM is selected from the Lineage page.
  3. On the Compare Results tab, expand any of the options titles to see further details for the displayed results.


    • If you're comparing the same VM with a different date, by default only differences are displayed. To display more than just the differences, clear the Only show differences option.
    • If differences exist between the two VMs, the option title is highlighted and a number in brackets beside it indicates the number of differences discovered.
  4. To change the comparison parameters, click Edit Query.

Viewing VM lineage

Access through:

Views > Inventory

Available to:

Administrator and All Operator Levels of Access Rights

To track the lineage of a VM:

  1. Click the Infrastructure or Applications tab.
  2. Select a template or a VM either through the tree or the Virtual Machines tab.
  3. Click the Lineage tab.

    The template or VM you selected and any of its related templates and VMs appear in the list.

    Tip: You can double-click any template or VM currently in inventory to view more details for it.

  4. Optional: To compare a listed VM, select it, then select Actions > Change Management > Compare.

    For information on the comparison options, see Selecting VMs for comparison above.