VMware Event Broker Appliance (VEBA) is an appliance that can easily be deployed via OVA file and that allows you to create event-driven automation. You can trigger custom or prebuilt actions depending on the event.

As vCenter Server generates events depending on actions taken on VMs, hosts, datastores, the VEBA can trigger actions. There is over 1650+ events available in vCenter by default.

The product is distributed for now as a Fling and available as a virtual appliance, after accepting the Technical preview license. You can deploy VEBA to vSphere infrastructure that can be on-premises or in some public cloud environment where you’re running VMware Cloud on AWS.

You can automate, integrate, remediate, audit or do some analytics.

Automate – You can for example apply configuration or customization changes that are based on host lifecycle changes, or scheduled jobs to validate health of an environment (a long-term forgotten snapshot?).

Integrate – You can configure third-party products that have remote API capability that can be associate with some infrastructure events. Or you can have automated ticket creation triggered on workload or hardware failures.

Remediate – automatically perform some specific tasks such as requesting more capacity, more CPU, memory etc.

Audit – you can track changes for VMs, and automatically send the events to your security team for compliance or intrusion detection acknowledgement.

The VMware vSphere system requirements:

  • 2 vCPU and 8GB of memory
  • VMware vSphere with vCenter Server 6.x or greater
  • vCenter Server Account (readOnly role or with higher privileges)

Deploy vCenter Event Broker Appliance

Deploy vCenter Event Broker Appliance

The Deployment

The deployment of the appliance is done via OVA file that you can download via VMware Fling site or via the VEBA official website – https://vmweventbroker.io/.

You will definitely want to hit the documentation page as the appliance can be deployed with 3 different sub-products and this blog post won’t have enough space to show them all. You can get started with community prebuilt functions, deploy and configure the appliance, in about 60 min.

The VMware Event Broker Appliance is modulable. You can “plug” (install) modules. You can deploy the VEBA appliance together with any of the bellow external products as an event processors:

  • Knative – Kubernetes-based platform.
  • OpenFaaS – free and simple to deploy functions and existing code.
  • AWS EventBridge – Amazon EventBridge is a serverless event bus that makes it easy to connect applications together using data from your own applications, integrated Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, and AWS services

The architecture of VEBA is here. More details here.

Screenshot from VMware.

VMware Event Broker Appliance Architecture

VMware Event Broker Appliance Architecture

Prebuilt functions

The VEBA appliance has a pre-build functions which can be used out of the box. Those functions allow you to start discover how the product behaves and what you can achieve. Many functions might possibly fit your needs so there is no reason to re-invent the wheel.

Some examples:

VM Reconfiguration via tags – when you need to change config on a VM, for example enabling memory/cpu hot add, changing the number of CPUs, or changing amount of memory. All those things can be set only when a VM is powered off. You can attach tags that have the desired config settings to a VM and the VM(s) will be automatically reconfigured on reboot.

Maximum Transmit Unit (MTU) fixer – There is a remediation function that is useful for situations where a for example a VM is powered on to ensure that the Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU) of the VM Kernel Adapter on all ESXi hosts is at least 1500.

vRealize Orchestrator – You can for example trigger vRealize Orchestrator workflow using vRO REST API. This is another level.

HA restarted VMs notification – when you have a HA event within your cluster, you can be notified via email, which VMs has been restarted. The system sends an email listing all of the VMs which were restarted due to a host failure in an HA enabled cluster.

Send VM config changes to Slack – Send Slack message when a VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC is Provisioned or Deleted.

Auto Backup of VMs via Veeam – Veeam-vm-backup function uses 3rd party solution Veeam to provide automatic backup for any virtual machine when the VM state changes.

If you have an idea of new function, you can also contribute. You can build functions using the language of your choice. You’ll find more details here.

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Final Words

If you’d want to try and explore this very promising product, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team that is behind. You’ll find many useful information within the documentation, FAQ or other resources. VMware Event Broker Appliance is a Fling. It is not supported by GSS, if you find an issue, you can always open a bug on the Flings website or create an issue on our Github.

VMware and its engineers continue to innovate behind the scenes to make the existing products more aware of the outside environment allowing you to hook prebuilt actions that get executed when the exact situation happens.

There are many VMware Flings on the VMware Labs site and from time to time, one of them make it to the production and is integrated as a part of the VMware product family. VMware Labs site is a real laboratory for testing and development new and interesting products of tomorrow.

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Vladan Seget
IT and Virtualization consultant, owner of vladan.fr - ESX Virtualization - one of the top independent virtualization blogs. VCAP5-DCA/DCD, VCP4/5