VMware vSphere

VMware vSphere is one of the virtualization technologies supported by BigFix Inventory.


This solution consists of two products: a VMware ESX (or ESXi) hypervisor and a VMware vCenter server. Both of these components provide the API that can be used to extract information concerning virtual machines in your infrastructure. The section below shows the differences between these two varieties.


It is an operating system that hosts virtual machines. It is enough to connect to a specific ESX if you do not use any software deployed in a clustered environment. However, if an ESX is controlled by a vCenter, it is recommended to connect a given VM manager to it via the vCenter. This is because BigFix Inventory needs data from every ESX box (every box that hosts a virtual machine where the CIT scanner is installed). If you choose a connection via ESX, you have to define all the ESX boxes separately in the VM Managers panel. If you have a vCenter deployed, you can manage all the ESX boxes via this server (it saves time and decreases the network load).

Note: Changing the Universally Unique Identifier (UUID) on ESX virtual machines may lead to overcharging because when the identifier is changed, BigFix Inventory recognizes it as a brand new virtual machine.

Supported versions:

For a full list of supported versions, see: Supported virtualization types.

Diagram showing the communication between the server and the ESX box.


It is used for managing computer systems on which virtual machines are installed. You have to use it if your software is installed in a clustered environment. Instead of connecting to each ESX box separately, you connect to all ESX boxes via a vCenter, whose main role is to retrieve data from them. Therefore, it is beneficial to you to connect to ESX boxes through a vCenter even if you do not have a clustered environment because in this way you can reduce the network traffic.

Supported versions:

For a full list of supported versions, see: Supported virtualization types.

Diagram showing the communication between the server and vCenter.

The default URL for ESX or ESXi, and vCenter

The default URL that is to be used (it may vary in your environment if the administrator of the ESX box, or vCenter has changed the configuration of the API, for example, if the HTTP protocol is used instead of the HTTPS one):
  • For ESX or ESXi: https://ESX_IP_address/sdk/vimService.wsdl
  • For vCenter: https://vCenter_IP_address/sdk/vimService.wsdl
Make sure that the vSphere Web Services SDK is set up and verify if the given URL is valid. Paste the URL into the Web browser and make sure that if it can be accessed. If not, check the setup of the URL in vCenter settings. To do this, go to vCenter Server Settings > Advanced Settings and see the setting of VirtualCenter.VimApiUrl. If the URL cannot be reached, consult your VMware administrator.

Supported topologies

BigFix Inventory supports configuration with one single sign-on domain, one single sign-on site, and vCenter Server with Platform Services Controller on the same machine (Embedded Deployment Model). To set up other topologies, including external Platform Services or multiple single sign-on sites, you must connect to each ESX box separately.