This is the first post in a series on how to use PowervRNI to manage your vRealize Network Insight environment. Starting with Data Sources.

Data Sources

Brief background; data sources in vRNI are endpoints from which vRNI retrieves information from. Examples are: vCenter, NSX, Switches, Routers, Firewalls, an AWS account or converged infrastructure systems like Cisco UCS or HP OneView.

Adding data sources is usually only performed when vRNI is installed into the environment and every time a new endpoint is added to your environment (for example a new vCenter environment, or when a new switch is plugged in).… Read more

I am excited to introduce PowervRNI to the world! In the 3.6 release of vRealize Network Insight (vRNI) in November, there was a public API added. Through this API, you can offload certain tedious tasks like creating applications and managing data sources. I was using the private API for a couple of things already, like importing data sources. With the release of the public API, I could move those things to use the public (and supported) API. Ever since then, I’ve been working on PowervRNI.


The first release of PowervRNI is on GitHub here. With this … Read more

With the release of vRealize Network Insight 3.6, the flow analyser inside vRNI now supports external sources for NetFlow. This means you can perform micro segmentation planning on physical servers (before you migrate them to virtual) and create deep insight into what network traffic is going through your entire network (and not just limited to what’s happening in your virtual network).

Currently, NetFlow versions 5, 7, 9 and IPFIX are supported. Getting started with NetFlow in vRNI is pretty easy, but it is slightly more complicated than regular data sources.

Getting Started

I say it’s slightly more complicated, because … Read more

One thing that I absolutely love about vRealize Network Insight (vRNI) is that the entire database is open by default and that the search bar is powered by Elastic Search. That means that you can type in pretty advanced search queries and basically query everything that vRNI collects. The query itself is written in natural language, so you don’t have to be an expert to use it. You can get really creative as well, getting output you would have a hard time seeing without using the search. To give you some examples, below you can find my cheatsheet with searches … Read more

I’ve been rolling out quite a few vRealize Network Insight deployments (labs, Proof-of-Concepts) and while the installation of NI is a cake walk (see automated installer here), add the data sources can be time consuming if you have a bunch of switches and/or other data sources which need to be imported.

The Network Insight team has done a very good job on the architecture of the product, where they are using all kinds of cool API calls to push and retrieve information from the NI backend. This is mostly done via JavaScript, which means the users browser is executing … Read more

The good people of vRealize Network Insight made the OVAs of Network Insight 3.2 Import-vApp safe, which means you can now install it with PowerCLI!

Network Insight consists of two VMs; the Platform VM and the Proxy VM. The setup process looks like this:

  • Deploy Network Insight Platform OVA to vSphere
  • Browse to the Platform UI and:
    • Active your license,
    • Generate a Shared Secret for use in the Proxy VM deployment.
  • Deploy Network Insight Proxy OVA to vSphere
  • Login to the Platform UI and start adding data sources and consume all the goodness that is Network Insight!

Having to deploy … Read more