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Vsphere Data Collector

vSphere Data Collector
PHP application to collect inventory information from vSphere
inventory, data synchronization, vmware, vsphere

This stand-alone application collects information about a whole data center from a vSphere server (using the vSphere Web Services) and synchronizes this information with iTop using several Synchronization Data Sources.

vSphere Data Collector connections


  • Automated inventory of Servers (with their Brand, Model), Hypervisors (with their OS Family and OS Version), Farms, Virtual Machines (with their OS Family and OS Version).
  • The collector can reside on any system with web access to both vSphere Web Services and iTop.
  • Automatic creation and update of the Synchronization Data Sources in iTop.

Revision History

Version Release Date Comments
1.0.7 2017-04-24 Fixed the value for the status of VMs: 'production' instead of 'active'.
1.0.6 2017-03-08 - Code cleanup.
- Data Synchro status and full_load_interval are now homogeneous and configurable parameters for all data sources.
- OS Version and OS Family have their own mapping table.
- Fix for the Hypervisor status value (now defaults to “production”).
- Addition of the check_soap.php script for troubleshooting.
- Protect against a PHP crash in case of a disconnected ESX.
- Do not collect an IPV6 as the management IP address of a virtual machine (since the field can only contain an IPV4). Many thanks to Andrew Armstrong for proposing this fix.
1.0.5 2016-12-08 New options to bypass SSL certificate validation and automatic detection of invalid certificates.
1.0.4 2015-11-16 Replace line-breaks by spaces inside the description of a VM. Fix the +1 on the number of vCPUs
1.0.3 2015-04-17 Added the collection of the “description” field for a VM
1.0.2 2015-02-23 Servers must be loaded before hypervisors
1.0.1 2015-01-07 Beta version
1.0.0 2014-05-13 First alpha version


This version of the collector does not collect the Data Stores (they do not exist in the iTop standard data model) and the Interfaces.

The current version of the collector is designed to collect information from a single vSphere server. To collect and reconcile information form several vSphere servers into one iTop, check the section Collecting from several vSphere servers below.


  • PHP Version 5.3.0 (support of namespaces is required for the vSphere API library)
  • An access to the vSphere web services API
  • An access to the iTop web services (REST + synchro_import.php and synchro_exec.php)


  • Expand the content of the zip archive on a folder on the machine that will run the collector application. This machine must have a web access to both the vSphere server and the iTop server.
  • Edit the content of the file conf/params.local.xml to suit your installation, supplying the appropriate credentials to connect to vSphere and iTop.


Create the file params.local.xml in the conf directory with the following XML content:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
Parameter Meaning Sample value
itop_url URL to the iTop Application https://localhost/itop
itop_login Login (user account) for connecting to iTop. Must have admin rights for executing the data synchro. admin
itop_password Password for the iTop account.
vsphere_uri The address/port to connect to vSphere. Format: <name>:<port> or <ip_address>:<port>
vsphere_login Login for connecting to vSphere administrateur
vsphere_password Password corresponding to the vSphere login
vsphere_connection_options List of PHP Stream context options to pass to the VMWarephp library in order to tune the https connection.
contact_to_notify The email address of an existing contact in iTop, to be notified of the results of the synchronization
default_org_id The name of the default Organization in which the CIs (Servers, Hypervisors, Farms…) will be created Demo

Other optional parameters

Parameter Meaning Sample value
synchro_user If the user account used for running this synchronization is not an Administrator, then its login must be specified here, since iTop allows only the administrators and the specified user to run the synchronization.

Placeholders in the configuration of the data sources

The JSON files used to configure the data sources contain several placeholders initialized from the configuration above ($contact_to_notify$), but also additional placeholders specific to the data sources. These placeholders can be configured inside the <json_placeholders> tag in the parameters file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <json_placeholders type="hash">
full_load_interval The delay (expressed in seconds) between two complete imports of the data. The objects which have not been detected by the collector during a timespan longer than this interval will be considered as obsolete and marked as such in iTop. Adjust this value depending on the scheduling recurrence. 604800
prefix The prefix for the name of all Synchronization Data Sources in iTop. If you run several instances of the collector (to collect information from several vSphere servers), change this value so that each data source has a unique name vSphere

The file params.distrib.xml contains the default values for the parameters. Both files (params.distrib.xml and params.local.xml) use exactly the same format. But params.distrib.xml is considered as the reference and should remain unmodified. Should you need to change the value of a parameter, copy and modify its definition in params.local.xml. The values in params.local.xml have precedence over the ones in params.distrib.xml

To bypass SSL certificate validation (which is needed if your vSphere server runs with the default certificates installed by vSphere) add the folling lines in the params.local.xml file:


Brands, Models, OS Family and OS Version normalization

The values collected for Brands, Models and OS Family may be very variable because they came from non homogeneous sources (BIOS, operating system…). The data collector contains a simple mechanism to filter / normalize the values via a manual tuning, before importing them into iTop: a simple mapping table.

Creating the Mapping Table is an iterative process, since the table must be adapted when the collector encounters new values (new machine with a different BIOS, new operating system…)

Mapping tables are defined and maintained in the configuration file params.local.xml (you can copy an example definition from params.distrib.xml and ajust it at your will). brand_mapping is used for filtering the Brand values, model_mapping is used for Models, os_family_mapping is used for OS Families and os_version_mapping is used for OS Versions.

A mapping table is simply an ordered list of patterns and replacement strings. For each entry in the list, if the supplied value matches the pattern, it is replaced by the replacement string. The patterns are processed from the first one (top of the list) to the last one (bottom of the list). The processing stops after the first successful match.

The format of each entry in the mapping table is:



  • regular_expression is a PCRE regular expression to be matched against the input value,
  • replacement_string is the resulting value if the input value matches the regular expression.
  • Note: any character can be use as a delimiter around the regular expression, not only /. But the delimiter character can be present neither in the expression itself nor in the replacement string or the result will be undetermined.

The replacement string is the literal value to use, with the exception of placeholders in the form %1$s, %2$s… The placeholder %1$s corresponds to the part of the input string that matches the whole regular expression. Placeholders %2$s, %3$s corresponds to matching groups (i.e. parentheses) in the regular expression.

Example of a mapping table for the brands:

  <brand_mapping type="array">
    <!-- Syntax /pattern/replacement where:
      any delimiter can be used (not only /) but the delimiter cannot be present in the "replacement" string
      pattern is a RegExpr pattern
      replacement is a sprintf string in which:
          %1$s will be replaced by the whole matched text,
          %2$s will be replaced by the first matched group, if any group is defined in the RegExpr
          %3$s will be replaced by the second matched group, etc...
    <pattern>/Hewlett Packard/Hewlett-Packard</pattern>

The result of such a mapping table will be:

  • Any brand containing the letters IBM (case sensitive) will become exactly IBM
  • Any brand containing Hewlett Packard (case sensitive) will become exactly Hewlett-Packard (notice the added dash between Hewlett and Packard)
  • Any brand containing Hewlett-Packard (case sensitive) will become exactly Hewlett-Packard
  • Any brand containing the letters Dell (case sensitive) will become exactly Dell

Make sure that you keep the last (match all) item in the list to avoid loosing some values.


To launch the data collection and synchronization with iTop, run the following command (from the root directory where the data collector application is installed):

php exec.php

The following (optional) command line options are available:

Option Meaning default value
--console_log_level=<level> Level of output to the console. From -1 (none) to 9 (debug). 6 (info)
--collect_only Run only the data collection, but do not synchronize the data with iTop false
--synchro_only Synchronizes the data previously collected (stored in the data directory) with iTop. Do not run the collection. false
--configure-only Check (and update if necessary) the synchronization data sources in iTop and exit. Do NOT run the collection or the synchronization
--max_chunk_size=<size> Maximum number of items to process in one pass, for preserving the memory of the system. If there are more items to process, the application will iterate. 1000

The execution of the command line will:

  1. Connect to iTop to create the Synchronization Data Sources (or check their definition if they already exist, updating them if needed)
  2. Connect to vSphere to collect the information about the Hypervisors, Farms, Virtual Machines
  3. Upload the collected data into iTop
  4. Synchronize the collected data with the existing iTop CIs.


If you have troubles connecting to the vSphere server, try the following troubleshooting steps:

  1. Check that the connection from the system running PHP to the vSphere server is actually possible. Use a command line tool like wget to connect to the vSphere server. For example if your vsphere_uri is, try:
    wget --no-check-certificate -O -

    If the connection does not succeed, there may be a firewall blocking your requests, or that vSphere is condifured to operate on a different port (for example 9443)… ask your IT department about it.

  2. Once the connection seem to go fine, configure the proper vsphere_uri value in conf/params.local.xml and, from the command line (in the collectors subdirectory) launch:
    php check_soap.php

    The expected output (with vsphere_uri = is:

    Connecting to
    Ok, the response looks like a valid SOAP response.
    --------------------- DEBUG ----------------
    The request returned:
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <soapenv:Envelope xmlns:soapenc=""
    <RetrieveServiceContentResponse xmlns="urn:vim25"><returnval><rootFolder type="Folder">group-d1</rootFolder><propertyCollector type="PropertyCollector">propertyCollector</propertyCollector><viewManager type="ViewManager">ViewManager</viewManager><about><name>VMware vCenter Server</name><fullName>VMware vCenter Server 4.1.0 build-345043</fullName><vendor>VMware, Inc.</vendor><version>4.1.0</version><build>345043</build><localeVersion>INTL</localeVersion><localeBuild>0</localeBuild><osType>win32-x86</osType><productLineId>vpx</productLineId><apiType>VirtualCenter</apiType><apiVersion>4.1</apiVersion></about><setting type="OptionManager">VpxSettings</setting><userDirectory type="UserDirectory">UserDirectory</userDirectory><sessionManager type="SessionManager">SessionManager</sessionManager><authorizationManager type="AuthorizationManager">AuthorizationManager</authorizationManager><perfManager type="PerformanceManager">PerfMgr</perfManager><scheduledTaskManager type="ScheduledTaskManager">ScheduledTaskManager</scheduledTaskManager><alarmManager type="AlarmManager">AlarmManager</alarmManager><eventManager type="EventManager">EventManager</eventManager><taskManager type="TaskManager">TaskManager</taskManager><extensionManager type="ExtensionManager">ExtensionManager</extensionManager><customizationSpecManager type="CustomizationSpecManager">CustomizationSpecManager</customizationSpecManager><customFieldsManager type="CustomFieldsManager">CustomFieldsManager</customFieldsManager><diagnosticManager type="DiagnosticManager">DiagMgr</diagnosticManager><licenseManager type="LicenseManager">LicenseManager</licenseManager><searchIndex type="SearchIndex">SearchIndex</searchIndex><fileManager type="FileManager">FileManager</fileManager><virtualDiskManager type="VirtualDiskManager">VirtualDiskManager</virtualDiskManager></returnval></RetrieveServiceContentResponse>

    If the result is not the expected one, check that your vSphere server is properly configured to run as HTTPS (which should be the default).


Once you've run the data collector interactively, the next step is to schedule its execution so that the collection and import occurs automatically at regular intervals.

The data collector does not provide any specific scheduling mechanism, but the simple command line php exec.php can be scheduled with either cron (on Linux systems) or using the Task Scheduler on Windows.

For optimal results, don't forget to adjust the configuration parameter full_load_interval in the (json_placeholders section) to make it consistent with the frequency of the scheduling.

Data Collection Reference

Servers and Hypervisors

In the vSphere web services SDK, Hypervisors and physical Servers are represented by the same object HostSystem.

The information from the vSphere HostSystem object is imported in iTop into the Server object using the following mapping:

Field in iTop Source in vSphere
name HostSystem → name
org_id Constant value, supplied by the configuration file
brand_id The information from HostSystem → hardware → systemInfo → vendor is processed through the mapping table named brand_mapping
model_id The information from HostSystem → hardware → systemInfo → model is processed through the mapping table named model_mapping
cpu HostSystem → hardware → cpuInfo → numCpuPackages
ram HostSystem → hardware → memorySize divided by (1024*1024)
osfamily_id The information from HostSystem → config → product → name is processed through the mapping table named os_family_mapping
osversion_id The information from HostSystem → config → product → fullName is processed through the mapping table named os_version_mapping
status Constant value: active

The information from the vSphere HostSystem object is imported in iTop into the Hypervisor object using the following mapping:

Field in iTop Source in vSphere
name HostSystem → name
org_id Constant value, supplied by the configuration file
server_id HostSystem → name


In the vSphere web services SDK, a Farm is represented by the object ClusterComputeResource.

The information from the vSphere ClusterComputeResource object is imported in iTop into the Farm object using the following mapping:

Field in iTop Source in vSphere
name ClusterComputeResource → name
org_id Constant value, supplied by the configuration file

The list of hypervisors belonging to a farm is collected via the property: ClusterComputeResource → host → name.

Virtual Machines

In the vSphere web services SDK, a Virtual Machine is represented by the object VirtualMachine. The information from the vSphere VirtualMachine object is imported in iTop into the VirtualMachine object using the following mapping:

Field in iTop Source in vSphere
name VirtualMachine → name
org_id Constant value, supplied by the configuration file
description VirtualMachine → config → annotation
managementip VirtualMachine → guest → ipAddress
cpu VirtualMachine → config → hardware → numCPU
ram VirtualMachine → config → hardware → memoryMB
virtualhost_id either the Farm (if not empty) or VirtualMachine → runtime → host → name

Collecting information from several vSphere servers

Although the current version of the collector supports only the connection to one single vSphere server, it is possible to collect data from several vSphere instances and feed the result into one iTop instance. Here is how to proceed:

  • Copy the whole directory containing the collector application, one copy per vSphere server
  • Change the configuration file conf/local.params.xml in each copy of the collector application to:
    1. provide the proper connection information and credentials to the vSphere server
    2. important: set a unique prefix (in the configuration file, see Placeholders above in the configuration file) for each vSphere server
  • When the collector is run, this will create (update & execute) a complete set of Data Synchronization sources for each specific vSphere server.
  • Schedule the execution of the different collectors at different times to avoid overloading your iTop server by concurrent data synchronizations.

For advanced users: actually there is no need to completely clone the whole collector application for each vSphere server. What really need to be unique for each server is: the configuration file (conf/params.local.xml) and the data directory. All the other files can be symbolic links to their original version.

You may also be interested by the extension Synchro Dashboard which provides a consolidated dashboard about the status of all the data synchronisation sources on a given iTop instance

extensions/vsphere-data-collector.txt · Last modified: 2018/01/04 15:20 by vdumas