VMware vSphere 4 Guided Consolidation

October 16, 2009

I recently passed the VCP 410 exam and was surprised to find several questions on Guided Consolidation, a very basic tool that I had really no experience with.  To get more acquainted with it, I decided to write a blog about it.

If you are preparing for the VCP 4 exam, and have little or no knowledge about this tool, then maybe this blog may help you a little.

Guided Consolidation is a tool that will allow you to monitor a physical computer and determine it’s potential for adding to your virtual environment. I would highly recommend it for a small to mid sized business looking for some assistance with their P2V process. It has an easy to use interface with a more simplified approach than using the full VMware Capacity Planner utility.

It is free and can be installed from the vCenter installation CD.  Once installed, it can be accessed from the vCenter Home Menu.  In order to scan a physical computer, you will need to make sure the credentials provided during installation must have administrative permissions on any remote Windows systems selected for analysis.  This user account supplied during installation is used to run the “VMware vCenter Collector Service”, a Windows service used to connect to the remote systems. 

Once the tool begins to scan the system, it will gather data and display CPU information and utilization, memory information and utilization as well as the computer name.  Sometimes it may take up to 1hr before this process begins.  Be prepared to allow 24 to 48hrs for this process to complete as Guided Consolidation builds a confidence metric level.  Once a high enough confidence level is reached, the status of the system changes to “Ready for consolidation”. 

At this point, a consolidation plan is available by selecting the analyzed computer and clicking the “Plan Consolidation” button.

This plan will include a star rating which will indentify how likely the physical computer is for virtualization and will even make a recommendation for the target host.  The rating system ranges from 1 to 5 stars, with 5 stars indicating the system is a high candidate for the proposed host.  From the Consolidation Wizard, you can change several things, the name of the VM, the host being assigned too or even remove a VM altogether from the list.

Multiple systems can be converted to VM’s using this wizard, it’s a very simple process and by the click of one button you are off to the races converting your physical systems to virtual machines.

***Keep in mind that before using Guided Consolidation that a datacenter exists and a host is added to the vCenter Server inventory.  ***

I would highly recommend looking at this pdf: http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r40/vsp_40_admin_guide.pdf or picking up a copy of Mastering VMware vSphere 4 by Scott Lowe for more in-depth information on Guided Consolidation.

I hope this gives you a basic understanding of how Guided Consolidation can help you plan a smooth P2V process.

Thanks for stopping by!



  1. Hi
    Congratulations on the pass and thanks for sharing your Guided Consolidation info.
    I too sat the VCP410 exam on Thursday but fell short of passing with a score of 255. Like yourself I found many questions on Guided Consolidation and didn’t know or study anything about it so lost a lot of marks there.
    Re-sitting next week.
    Found your site by searching what the Guided Consolidation confidence rating was.

  2. Great thinks

  3. thanks a bunch. got a basic idea wht the GC does.

  4. About to sit my VCP 410 exam tomorrow (29th march 2011). Thanks so much for this info as I didn’t have much of an understanding of GC. Wish me luck

    • Good Luck!

  5. Wonderful, probably going to take mine this week – ran across a question in my studies concerning GC and I had no experience with it either!

  6. Thanks for very quick and easy explanation, I m thinking of sitting in exam in next two weeks,

  7. How many guided consolidations can you start at the same time? I find different answers on the internet..any idea? Thanks (also a question on exam)

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