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Vectra vSensor installation on VMware vSphere 6.5 and later

About vSensors

Vectra's vSensor offering allows customers to deploy virtual sensors within their environment.  These virtual sensors provide comparable functionality to our S2 appliance sensors.

The Vectra brain appliance web user interface provides a means to download an OVA that can be used to launch a vSensor within a virtualization environment.  The OVA is properly keyed to work with the specific brain.

Installing a vSensor

The vSensor OVA can be downloaded from the brain by clicking “Download Virtual Sensor OVA” on the "Manage / Sensors" page of the UI.   End users can subsequently import the OVA into their virtualization environment, and launch it within a VM.

Installing a vSensor on VMware vSphere 6.5

With the 6.5 release of vSphere, VMware has introduced a number of changes, including some which affect OVA deployment.

Specifically, the web-based administrative interface for ESXi 6.5 doesn't yet have full feature support for some standard OVA features including specifying "deployment options" within an OVA. Therefore the web-based UI for vSphere 6.5 cannot be used for OVA deployments until such time as VMware includes this functionality.

This issue means that it is currently not possible to deploy vSensors on standalone ESX hosts running ESXi 6.5 Update 1 or later.  Earlier versions are not affected by this constraint.

For the immediate future, to launch vSensors it is best to do so via either VMware's "vCenter" application or via the "vSphere Client for Windows" application.  The CLI command "provision vsensor" on the brain CLI is also expected to work.  The Vectra OVA can run within vSphere 6.5 when deployed using either of those management interfaces.

Vectra has reached out to VMware to request that this functionality is re-added to the vSphere 6.5 web-based interface.  At this time VMware has not indicated any willingness to revert this change.  We shall update this Knowledge Base Article as soon as we learn of any changes to VMware's offering.

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