VMware ADP (Application Dependency Planner)

I have recently been delivering a Virtualization Assessment engagement for an Enterprise customer, where they have benefited of the recently introduced VMware Application Dependency Planner(ADP). I thought many enterprises & consultants out there would be interested to find out the what, why, when & how they can benefit of this new offering. Below I will try to give a brief of the answers:

What is Application Dependency Planner (ADP)?

VMware Application Dependency Planner is a consulting tool that provides automated, real-time application discovery and dependency mapping to accelerate datacenter migration, precisely plan infrastructure consolidations, and confidently virtualize business critical applications. VMware and partner consultants can use this agentless, non-intrusive, and continuous dependency mapping tool across physical and virtual application infrastructures to quickly gain an understanding of service dependencies with accuracy and efficiency.

Not to confuse it with VMware vCenter Application Discovery Manager (ADM). Where ADM had to be licensed by the customer to use it & permanently run it to keep an updated Application Dependency Mapping, ADP is a consulting tool that VMware Consultants and partners can use to help customer prepare for any Data Center transformation being Virtualization, Cloud Computing, SDDC, or even a disaster recovery. The customer does not have to purchase an ADP license, & the consultant will deliver the Application Dependency mapping for the customer applications as a service as a part of consulting engagement (Ex: Virtualization Assessment Engagements offered by VMware & its partners). This should give customers quicker results at lower costs, & help them succeed with their Data Center transformation.

VMware Application Dependency Planner Visio


Why do I need to use VMware Application Dependency Planner (ADP)?

Having depth knowledge of the applications in your environment is critical to the success of any Data Center transformation effort being Virtualization, Cloud Computing, SDDC, or even just building your Disaster Recovery. You will need to know your Applications SLAs, Required Capacity, Security Constrains, Application Dependency, & more. While most of these requirements and knowledge can be collected by conducting interviews across the SMEs and business owners of the applications, application dependency mapping has proved to be more challenging due to the dynamic nature of application dependance as well the lack of complete application dependency knowledge in most enterprises.

While being challenging, Application dependency mapping knowledge is critical prior to any Data Center transformation effort to avoid a catastrophic failure. Imagine the case where you build a disaster recovery solution, & when the time come to use it you discover that your most critical business application is not coming up as no one has thought of one of its forgotten about dependency. I am sure that is not a scenario that any of us wish for. Luckily today there is automated tools & consultancy service that can help you with it including VMware Virtualization Assessment Service (Include Capacity Planning & the use of Application Dependency Planner).

When should I consider VMware Virtualization Assessment service?

As mentioned earlier in this post, VMware Virtualization Assessment consist usually of two main parts Capacity Planning & Application Dependency planning where it can be customized to give a more in depth understanding of the customer applications. This make such a service crucial before or while planning for any Data Center Transformation effort being Virtualization,  Moving to the Cloud, SDDC, or even Building a Disaster Recovery.

How to obtain a VMware Application Dependency Planner or VMware Virtualization Assessment Service?

If you are a customer then your best bet is to contact your VMware Sales Rep/SE/TAM, & as a start you might want to check the VMware Virtualization Assessment Service Datasheet that can be found at: Virtualization Assessment Data Sheet

How to install & Configure VMware Application Dependency Planner?

If you are a VMware Consultant, then the tool can be downloaded from the Savo pages though partners can get it from the partners portal. Below are the steps to install and configure VMware ADP to scan Application Dependency for an environment running vSphere & where you will deploy multiple collectors and a Separate aggregator.

Deploy ADP DB:

  1.  First deploy the Postgres DB Appliance using the supplied OVF (at least 80GB disk available for DB & Thick provisioning it with lazy zeroed is recommended)
  2. Power on the ADP DB.
  3. When the Postgres DB appliance first powered on a password is randomly generated for the user root.  To change it use /opt/aurora/sbin/set_password
  4. Change the PermitRootLogin to yes in /etc/ssh/sshd_config
  5. Enable time Sync using: /usr/bin/vmware-toolbox-cmd timesync enable
  6.  Logout

Deploy ADP Aggregator:

  1. Deploy ADP Aggregator Virtual Appliance using the downloaded OVF(it takes about 80GB as well).
  2. After booting the ADP Aggregator choose yes to run the setup
  3. Change the Password
  4. provide IP Information
  5. Setup the time zone
  6. Use an NTP for time sync option when asked to sync time
  7. When rebooting the ADP Aggregator(This happen automatically as a part of the setup) it will take a while to reboot it 10-15 minutes
  8. Choose yes to setup the appliance roles, Choose installation type, Then enter the DB IP & Password (Take several minutes to complete). In our Scenario, we will choose Aggregator with Separate Postgress DB.
  9. Login again with the root user
  10. Browse to /home/nlayers/Seneca/tools using: cd /home/nlayers/Seneca/tools
  11. Run the following command to configure the Postgress DB # ./update_postgress_configurations.sh  (This command is run on the Aggregator VA as well).
  12. If you get asked for the DB password again and installation stuck at that point, this means you have entered it incorrectly and you will need to re-do the role installation. Entering the password again does not work. You can use the role_setup command to re-setup the appliance role.
  13. To complete the DB Configuration run the following commands on the ADP Aggregator VA

su – nlayers

cd /home/nlayers/Seneca/db_scripts/postgress/

./db_create.sh prod

./db_create.sh dev

14-  Use the below commands to start the service of the ADP Aggregator Appliance:

su – root

adm_control.pl — restart all            (This restart take several minutes)

You have just completed the ADP Aggregator installation; now let’s configure the Aggregator before proceeding with installing the collectors.

  1. Get the ADP License Key by opening /home/nlayers/license-key.txt file on the ADP Aggregator. Note it down or copy it somewhere as you will need it in further steps.
  2. Access your ADP Aggregator page using IP/URL from IE(The only supported browser at the moment)
  3. Login using the default user name and password: admin/123456
  4. As soon you are login to the ADP aggregator you will be hitting the license properties page. You will need to hit the upload a new license then enter the license key obtained in step one before you can do anything at the web interface.
  5. Run the self test to ensure the system is installed correctly by going to Manage => System => Start Self Test   (Make sure all component has a result of OK in green).

      Installing the Collector:

  1. At every ESXi host where you are planning to deploy a collector you will need to create a port group with Promiscuous mode set to accept and that where you will connect your ADP Collector Discovery port to.
  2. Deploy the collector OVF to every host you need to collect Data from & make sure you connect the Network ports to the right network.
  3. Power on the collectors & go through the setup where you will need to provide IP configurations as well the IP of the aggregator.

       Configuring the Aggregator:

  1. Configure the IP range and scope of Servers to discover from: Manage => Passive Discovery.
  2. Initialize the Discovery by going to Manage => System => Restart Discovery
  3. Now you are ready should start seeing data popping up in your dashboard.

Hope you find this helpful.


  1. Hi!
    Thanks for all the great content! I’m with a Premier Level Solution Provider partner, and I can’t find anything other than the pdf you linked to from the partner portal. Can you give me the path to where to download the ADP appliances?

    Thank you!


  2. Hi Gurusimran,

    Unfortunately, we use a different internal link to download it. Not sure where exactly the link is in the partner portal, but I know for sure its there.


  3. Hi Eiad,
    Thanks for your response. Someone else pointed me to the download location. Thank you again for the great post. All the best!

  4. Mario Rossi says

    Hi, thanks for the useful post.
    We are getting a strange error message when trying to restart services. In particular the “engine” service is not restarting..
    ADM control: starting the engine service:
    You have new mail in /var/spool/mail/root

    Any suggestions?
    Thanks in advance for your help

  5. Hi Mario,

    This is usually caused by a problem connecting to the database. Make sure you have created your database correctly and it is accessible from ADP.


  6. Hi Eiad,

    I am new to the consulting and I have to install VADM and VADP and set up for DC discovery. Can you share any video links if you have created while performing installations. Please provide me some detailed document so that it will be very helpful for me.

    Thanks in Advance


  7. Hi Manjunath,

    While I have not created a video during ADP install, If you are working for a partner you should have access to a video training on our partner portal.
    If you are not a partner or VMware employee, then you will need to reach out to one to access ADP as it meant to be used by consultants not end users.
    On the other hand, I have not installed ADM my self, I have only tried ADP.

    Hope that help.


  8. Hi Eiad,

    Can we make the collector configuration in such a way that it should collect all information regards to the traffic collected but the same information should not be passed to the aggregator. The collector has just to collect the information but it should not send traffic to aggregator.


  9. Hi Manjunath,

    I doubt you can do that, but I am not sure why you are trying to achieve with this. If you can provide me with more details about what you are trying to achieve, then I could check for you with one of our ADP gurus and get you the definitive answer.


  10. Hi Eiad,

    We are going to implement this collector in a PCI zone where there are some security concerns so we need to stop sending the data to the aggregator. I just want to deploy the collector and make sure it collects the data and no communication to the aggregator.


  11. But how are you planning to process the collected data? You need the aggregator to process the data as far as I know.
    Are you working for a partner? If so can you provide me with your official e-mail, so I can pass it to our ADP team who might be able to help you further.

  12. Can anyone direct me to the partner download location?

  13. Hi All,

    Is there a way to get collector ID which we usually give while installing a UNIX Collector (which starts from 100), I have installed a collector but want to check which ID has been given so that I can configure Active probe.

  14. Hi Eiad ,

    I am working for planning of data center transformation where we have lot of Legacy application & we are planning to do manual discovery .If you think ADP can help please let me know or could you link me with ADP team.
    Thank You

  15. Hi Ranjitsinh,

    ADP will definitely help you identify application dependency, if you need to connect with the ADP team, please e-mail me from your official partner e-mail. By the way, another product you might consider is vCenter Infrastructure Navigator.


  16. Hi Eiad,
    Does ADP runs a Passive Discovery or Active Discovery and is there a requirement to make sure that the ADP account that collects the data is a member of the local admin. I am trying to find Admin guide so I can read more about how to implement and use it.


  17. Hi Bob,

    As I last remember it can do both Passive or Active Discovery. If you need an admin guide or so on, please reach me out on my VMware e-mail from your partner account. I have just e-mailed you from my VMware account.


  18. Does anyone know if the ADP product has been EOL? When looking for some support for ADP, the VMware support person said it was but I want to make sure he wasn’t referring to ADM.

  19. Hi Robert, I don’t think it went EOL, I have reached out to you by e-mail with extra details.

  20. Hi Eiad

    I’m also having a few problems trying to find the ADP download. Can you send me any extra details please?



  21. Hi,

    Same here, Eiad, can you please also send me details for the ADP?


  22. Patrick Khattar says

    Hello ,

    Is there any way to change the default SFTP port

    I need to connect to SFTP from the UI on port 8022 , I know how to connect to it from CLI but was hoping if someone can help me out with how to edit the port so I dont have to add the -oPort number and it connect by default on 8022

    I tried to edit the sshd_config file but its still connecting on port 22

    Thank you for looking into that

  23. Patrick, Not sure, but if you can e-mail me from your partner e-mail assuming you are working for a partner as ADP is limited to partners, then I can get you connected with the ADP team.


  1. […] At last the good news is the availability of tools and services that help automate the process of creating an accurate application dependency mapping of your environment.  ADM & the Virtualization Assessment service (includes the use of Capacity Planning & Application Dependency Planner (ADP)) offered by VMware can be quite handy in creating an Application Dependency Mapping for applications within your environment. For more information about ADP, please visit:  My VMware Application Dependency Planner Post […]

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