Enabling SNMP in ESXi 4.1 using the Remote CLI

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Based on the fact that ESX 4.1 is the last major release of ESX, I decided that I would make myself familiar with managing ESXi hosts.  Since I monitor all my hosts via Zenoss, I figured that I needed to get snmp up and running first.

So I first when out and installed the remote cli for ESX on my ubuntu desktop.  The rcli can be downloaded here. The remote cli allows you to run command administrative commands against ESX/ESXi systems. Its availbile for Windows or Linux.

Configuring on ESXi 4.1, Licensed

First configure your community string, target, and port:

vicfg-snmp –server <ESXi_ip> -c <communityname> -p 161 -t <destination_host>@161/<community name>

Then enable it using the command below:

vicfg-snmp –server <ESXi_ip> -E

Next verify your settings:

vicfg-snmp –server <ESXi_ip> -s

Now test your settings:

vicfg-snmp –server <ESXi_ip> -T

These settings are written out to /etc/vmware/snmp.xml. Sample file below.

/etc/vmware # cat snmp.xml
<config>
<snmpSettings>
<communities>pubic</communities>
<enable>true</enable>
<port>161</port>
<targets>10.1.xx.xx@161 public</targets>
</snmpSettings>

Configuring on ESXi 4.0, Free/Foundation

I had a couple of ESXi 4.0 free hosts to configure, but my attempts to configure them using the cli failed as the snmp settings via cli were read only. So the first thing that you need to do is enable the unsupported console. Instructions can be found here.

Once you are able to ssh to the ESXi box, you need to edit the following file by hand, /etc/vmware/snmp.xml. Use the sample file above as a template and modify your ip, port, and string as needed. I use vi to edit mine.

Then run the command below

services.sh restart

You can then verify your settings using the remote cli by running the command below against your esxi box.

vicfg-snmp –server <ESXi_ip> -T

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