Monitoring Your Infrastructure with Tasks, Alerts, and Events

Use Commander tasks, events, and alerts for troubleshooting purposes and to easily identify what's happening to a VM or other object. For example, if an Expiry Policy is triggered, you can click the historical Alerts tab and from there move directly to the VM that's affected by the policy.

  • A task displays results from an action taken by a user.
  • An alert is generated when a policy is triggered by a task or an event.
  • An event displays a task, an alert, or other system information such as cloud account information or a notification that a user signed in to Commander.

Viewing tasks

Access through:

Current Tasks: Views > Inventory > Infrastructure, Applications, or Storage > Tasks tab at bottom of console

Historical Tasks: Views > Inventory > Infrastructure, Applications, or Storage > Tasks tab at top of console

Available to:

All Access Rights Levels

Note: Your view of tasks is based on your access rights. If you don't have access rights to some infrastructure elements or VMs, you are not allowed to see the tasks that are displayed for those infrastructure elements or VMs.

Current tasks appear in the Tasks tab at the bottom of the console for five minutes. The pane is minimized by default, but your setting is preserved between sessions. Click a current task for more details.

Current Tasks tab

Historical tasks appear in the Tasks tab in the upper section of the console. Task information is available for every task:

  • that occurred in your virtual infrastructure if you select the root element on the tree
  • that affected the selected level of your virtual infrastructure

A description of the fields displayed for tasks is shown in the following table; you can filter your search based on any combination of these fields.

Information Provided for Tasks

Field in Current Tasks Tab

Description

Name

The name of the task. Typically this name tells you at-a-glance what the task is, for example, a deployment.

Source

The name of the entity on which the action is taken.

Destination

The destination of the action taken on the VM such as a folder, host, etc.

Status

The status of the task. It can be queued, running, or completed.

Initiated By

The name of the user who started the task.

Submitted Time

The time when the task is placed in the queue for processing.

Start Time

The time when the task starts.

Completed Time

The time when the task finishes.

Canceling tasks

You can cancel the following tasks only while they are queued and before they start to run:

  • guest operating system scans
  • datastore scans
  • historical event retrieval
  • Run Program in Guest workflow steps
  • Upload Media File
  • Refresh Details for a media folder

You can only cancel your own tasks, with the exception of those with the Superuser role and Administrator access rights, who can cancel all tasks.

Access through:

Views > Inventory > Infrastructure, Applications, or Storage > Tasks tab at bottom of console

Available to:

All Access Rights Levels (own tasks)

Superuser role and Administrator access rights (all tasks)

To cancel a task:

  1. In the current Tasks tab, select the queued task you want to cancel.
  2. Right-click the queued task, and from the list that appears, click Cancel.
  3. Click Yes to confirm the cancellation.

In the current Tasks tab pane, the task is canceled.

Viewing alerts

You can view current alerts and historical alerts.

  • Current alerts appear in the Tasks tab at the bottom of the console for five minutes. The pane is minimized by default, but your setting is preserved between sessions.
  • Historical alerts include:
    • every alert that occurred in your virtual infrastructure if you select the root element on the tree
    • every alert that affected the selected level of your virtual infrastructure
  • Historical tasks appear in the Tasks tab in the upper section of the console.

Notes:  

  • For information on how to set up SNMP so that Commander alerts are fed into a notification system, such as an enterprise management console or an SNMP trap listener, see Integrating SNMP Servers with Commander
  • Your view of alerts is based on your access rights. Alerts may occur in Commander that you don't have permission to view.

Access through:

Views > Inventory > Infrastructure, Applications, or Storage

Available to:

All Access Rights Levels

To view current or historical alerts, do the following:

  • Current tasks: Click the Alerts tab at bottom of console tab at bottom of console. Click a current alert for more details.
  • Historical tasks: Alerts tab at top of console

Information Provided for Alerts

Field in Current Alerts Tab

Description

Type

The type of alert, for example, a policy is triggered when a user attempts to deploy a suspect service.

Username

The username of the account.

Time

The time the alert was triggered.

Description

Details about the alert.

Viewing historical events

Event information is available for:

  • every event that occurred in your virtual infrastructure within the last 30 days, if you select the root element on the tree
  • every event that affected the selected level of your virtual infrastructure within the last 30 days

Your view of historical events is based on your access rights. If you don't have access rights on some infrastructure elements or VMs, you can't see the events that are displayed for those infrastructure elements or VMs.

Notes:  

  • The length of time for which events are displayed in the Events tab is controlled by a system property. Contact Support for more information.
  • To retrieve information about events that occurred on a vCenter cloud account before the cloud account was added to Commander, see Retrieving historical events for vCenter.
  • To view events that occurred more than 30 days ago, perform an event search. For more information see Performing Advanced Searches.

Access through:

Views > Inventory > Infrastructure, Applications, or Storage > Events tab

Available to:

All Access Rights Levels

To view historical events, click the Events tab.

Tip: For an event that occurred for a VM, you can select that event at the root level of the tree, double-click it and drill down to display the details of that VM.

Fields Displayed for Events

Field

Explanation

Type

The name or the type of event. It's a two- to three-word title that tells you what kind of event it's, for example, Policy Config for a change in policy configuration, and Task Started and Task Completed to indicate when a deployment has started and completed.

Severity

The severity of the log is either info, warning, or failed.

Info means that the log is for information purposes such as advising when someone has logged onto Commander, or to indicate when a task has started and successfully completed.

Warning means that a policy action has taken place or an error has occurred on your cloud account that deserves attention.

Failed means that a task failed or some other event occurred that requires attention such as a failure to connect to the host.

Time

The date and time when the event occurred.

Note: If the clocks for the servers that host your hypervisor and Commander are not synchronized, the time of the event in Commander is stamped with the time when the event occurred in your hypervisor.

Username

The name of the role or system event that activated the log. For example, if a policy is triggered, the username is Policy. If a new user account is created, the username of the role that created it's displayed.

Description

Details about the event.

Viewing events related to a task

Access through:

Views > Inventory > Infrastructure, Applications, or Storage

Available to:

All Access Rights Levels

To view the events related to a current or historical task:

  1. Choose one of the following:
    • For the Infrastructure view, select the root node.
    • For the Applications view, select the root node.
    • For the Storage view, select a VM.
  2. Select the Tasks tab at the top of the console.
  3. From the list of displayed tasks, right-click a task, and choose View Events.

    A separate dialog appears and displays all events for the selected task.

    Tip: For some events listed, you can double-click to go to the relevant element (the task dialog stays open). For example, when you click Retrieve Historical Events, Commander displays details of the relevant cloud account on the Summary tab.

  4. Click OK.

Viewing current workflows

Current workflows appear in the Tasks tab at the bottom of the console for five minutes. The pane is minimized by default, but your setting is preserved between sessions. Click a current workflow for more details.

Access through:

Views > Inventory > Infrastructure, Applications, or Storage > Workflows tab at bottom of console

Available to:

All Access Rights Levels

To view the current workflows click the Workflows tab at bottom of console.

A description of the fields under the current Workflows tab is shown in the following table.

Tip: To change what columns are displayed, right-click the list and choose Pick Columns.

Information in Workflows Tab

Field

Description

ID

The sequential number of the workflow, regardless of workflow type.

Name

The name of the workflow.

Type

The type of workflow, for example, command workflow or approval workflow.

Target

The target of the workflow action.

Initiated By

The name of the user account or task that requested/started the task.

Date Submitted

The date and time when the task was placed in the queue for processing.

Status

The status of the workflow: running or completed.

Step Number

The number of the step per number of steps within the workflow. If only one step exists, the comment is "1 of 1".

Current Step

The name of the current step.

Step Duration

The elapsed time for the step (before moving onto the next step or before completion of the workflow).

Error

Indicates whether an error occurred.

Activity

Displays the details of the step.

Date Completed

The date and time when the workflow completed.

Duration

The elapsed time for the entire workflow to complete.

Step Start

The date and time when the step started.