Filtering VMware vCenter Server Events Using PowerCLI

Recently we needed to review some changes and remote console events to check what user was accessing a particular VM and what changes where made.

I find searching event in the vCenter web client is a bit slow, I prefer to use Get-VIEvent as it has multiple parameters that can be used to search and can also use regular expression to filter by patterns.

I decided to do a blog post on how to filter events to show the different options that I use regularly to filter events.

First we need to connect to vCenter sever using a computer that has PowerCLI installed

Connect-VIServer vCenterServer

Once connected we can start to use Get-VIEvent, to return event for a specific object we can use -entity parameter and the object name.

In the below example I am getting the last event for my LAB-Win10 VM

Get-VIEvent -Entity ObjectName -Maxsamples 1

We can also filter by entity and user name is we know the user is tied to the event.

Get-VIEvent -Entity VM -Username User

We can filter the events by time range.

Get-VIEvent -Start "11/07/2021 20:48" -Finish "11/07/2021 21:00" | Select-Object EventTypeId,CreatedTime

Another option for filtering is to use where-object and search for a specific event message.

Get-VIEvent -Entity VM | Where-Object {$_.FullFormattedMessage -Like "VM started"}

There are addtional properties like host, ComputeResource, datacenter…. that are not return as readable values unless you format the results.

To format the result we can use select-object and create an array to give a name to the property and select the property value. Below will show the datacenter, cluster and host the event was create on.

Get-VIEvent -Entity object -Username User | Select-Object Message,CreatedTime,UserName,@{N="DataCenter";E={$_.DataCenter.Name}},@{N="Compute";E={$_.ComputeResource.Name}},@{N="Host";E={$_.Host.Name}}

Below is an example showing what the event looks like before and after using the array’s to return the readable values.

Once we the events we want we can either review them in the PowerShell console or use Export-csv to export the results.

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