Restoring the default vCenter Server alarms

I’ve been troubleshooting some vCenter alarms lately, which involved a lot of editing, removing and adding of alarms. After the troubleshooting I wanted to reset everything back to default and ran into VMware KB article 2009166, explaining how to restore the default vCenter Server alarms.

To restore the default vCenter Server alarms you first have to delete all existing alarms, including the custom created alarms. Be warned that the restore procedure from the KB article will restore only the default vCenter Server alarms and not the custom created ones.

Backing up Alarms

When you’ve created a lot of custom alarms then KB Article 1032660 provides a way to backup your alarms by copying the alarms to another (temporary) vCenter server. Using the same procedure you can restore your custom alarms again and guess what? It’s done using a PowerCLI script :-)

Deleting Alarms

As per KB article:
To delete all the existing alarm definitions in the vCenter Server:

  1. Log in to the vCenter Server using the vSphere Client.
  2. Click the Hosts and Clusters view.
  3. Click the Alarms tab.
  4. Click Definitions.Note: All custom alarms must be manually recreated after they are removed. Ensure to note the custom alarms before removing.
  5. Select all alarms, right-click, and  click Remove.

Note: ALL vCenter Alarms need to be removed on ALL objects, not just only the alarms on the vCenter object.

Deleting Alarms using PowerCLI

When you’ve created alarms on different objects, going through the GUI deleting all of them might be a tedious task. You can easily remove all vCenter Server alarms using PowerCLI with just a one-liner regardless of the object the alarm is defined on.

Get-AlarmDefinition | %{$_.ExtensionData.RemoveAlarm()}

Restoring the Default Alarms

As per KB article:
To restore the default vCenter Server alarms, change the alarm version in vCenter Server:
  1. Connect to vCenter Server using the vSphere Client.
  2. Click Administration > vCenter Server Settings.
  3. Click Advanced Settings.
  4. Set alarm.version to 0.
  5. Set alarms.upgraded to false.
  6. Restart the VMware VirtualCenter Server service.

Creating Custom Alarms

If you’re interested in creating custom alarms then the document available at is a great read.

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1 Comment on “Restoring the default vCenter Server alarms”

  1. #1 karlochacon
    on Feb 8th, 2012 at 3:05 am

    interesting article about alarms

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