Free GUI utility called svfAlarms for Import and Export vCenter Alarms

By chance I stumbled through this free GUI utility called svfAlarms, which enables you to import and export vCenter Alarms. The author does not provide his name on his blog (he probably does not care about glory… -:) … ). But the tool is useful for persons wanting to quickly import alarms created on other vCenter servers.

Each time you export alarms with this tool, it creates an Alarm Sets.  What’s that? An Alarm Set is a folder where are placed the individual exported alarms as XML files plus a single Alarm Index XML file. By default the folder is created under the sfvAlarsm installation directory. This file contains a reference to the Inventory where the individual alarms were defined. While mostly defined in root, there might be a situation when there are not only per vCenter, but also other custom alarms defined per Datacenter (there could be a situation where there is two datacenters within single vCenter). So it’s quite important to read the User guide, where you’ll find out how to deal with this case. You can click to enlarge.

Free GUI utility to export/import vCenter Server Alarms

The 32-bit utility is compatible with vSphere 4, 5 and 5.1. A .NET framework 3.5SP1 is required for this tool. You can download this tool from the author’s download page, where he provides also a PDF user guide. The utility is provided as an MSI package (Just to let you know, when I checked, the tool had extension *.pps and so after you’ll have to rename it to *.MSI, but it installs correctly).

What are The possibilities?

  • Import and export vCenter alarms
  • Save connection information for several vCenters
  • Possibility to Delete all existing alarms during import (Through File > Preferences).

You can see the export directory called Alarms, which is located under the installation directory.

Import and export vCenter

A quick quote from the Users Guide:
There are some 37 default alarms in vCenter 4, 55 default alarms in vCenter5 and 61 default alarms in vCenter5.1 Alarm definitions can be fairly complex and to manage and document alarms, duplicate them across multiple vCenter installations and also to keep a managed state can be time consuming for administrators. The sfvAlarms utility can help simplify the alarm management task.

To Import and Export vCenter Alarms is easy through this utility.

It’s rather convenient way of save a different sets of Alarms per vCenter. The use cases are numerous. You might want to test some alarms in non production environment before going into a production environment. So this quick way you can import them into your production environment, by keeping your existing alarms untouched. Other ways of doing this would certainly be the PowerShell way….

Supported versions of vCenter Server

  • vCenter 4.0 U3 and U4
  • vCenter 5.0 U1 and U1b
  • vCenter 5.1

The sfvAlarms utility can be downloaded from this page.


If you like this post, don’t hesitate to share….!!!

Rate this post


  1. Johann Krasinger says

    I just tried this “Alarm-Gui” and i can say thats a tool i was missing a long time. With this GUI i can transfer the Alarm rules from one vcenter to the other in keeping these rules the same on all vcenters. Very nice. The only problematic thing i found was, that this tool is writing the exported data into the “program files” directory, which is definitely not allowed within the company (i know, i can override the rules as an administrator). So my question is, if this behavior can be changed or alternately the target directory can be selected or defined within the preferences?

    Thanks for this Tool

  2. Johann Krasinger says

    Thats a nice message, thanks in advance.

    I do have an additional question, maybe you can answer it. As i am working at an Austrian Company we are using German Language in Windows OS. Administrators however are using english GUI’s for the vSphere Web Client or the vSphere viClient. When i’m exporting the Alarms with the svfAlarms Tool all Alarms are exported in german language. If i now reimport these Alarms these were “translated” to German, and even if i’m using the English GUI theses Alarms will be shown in German. For now i have no idea if this may influence any further upgrades on vCenter ?

    Do you have any simple idea how to avoid this translations?

    • Stripeyfish says

      Haven’t looked into localization before, however, on first thoughts when importing the German alarms, they are probably staying in German as not going through any of the vCenter APIs directly but being serialised directly into the alarm classes, hence localization wont be applied, maybe(?). That would be my guess – would have to do some tests.
      Thanks for trying out the utility :)
      Have made the code edits to allow custom export path to be selected in Preferences, just need to test it then will upload.

    • Stripeyfish says

      Multi language support in the core vCenter product I expect uses ‘string tables’ or resource files, so that upon OS language detection, or install language, all the defined strings will use the correct language entries.
      Unfortunately when importing Alarms, they always come in as Custom alarms, even if they are exact copies of the original default alarms – hence vCenter effectively knows nothing about them and the string table/resource file lookups wont occur. If you wanted to import as English, then would need to export from English language OS, or manually translate and update the XML files before import :(

      • Johann Krasinger says

        Thank you for your detailed description, this is helping me a lot … now awaiting the edited version of your tool.

        Thanks for your assistance.

  3. Johann Krasinger says

    Thank you for this quick change – works great.

    If my time allows i will start playing around with localization.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *