VM monitoring sources attributes/annotations

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VM monitoring sources attributes/annotations

L4 Transporter

Does anyone know more on the use of the "annotation" field for use in a dynamic address group from a vm information source?

Can the notes or tags field in the summary tab in vCenter be used to apply custom annotations? Any assistance on the syntax would be great since PAN dosn't seem to provide much on this that I could find.

The goal is to be able to apply multiple custom annotations in order to apply the proper dynamic address group to the VM and a VM could belong to multiple dynamic address groups.


Sorry, it doesn't seem to have the idea of multiple annotations within one VM note.

E.g. if you make a note:


Access to DMZ Server1

Access to DMZ Server2


The annotation becomes 'annotation.Access to Server1Access to Server2' rather than two seperate annotations



I ran across the same issue today and found another/better way to use tagging if you have vCenter and the VMware vCenter plug-in for panorama.  Details for configuring the plug-in can be found at Panorama Plugin for VMware vCenter .


Instead of using the 'Notes' field, you can use the vCenter 'Tag and Categories' feature.  It is located under 'Menu > Tags & Custom Attributes'.  In my example, I use vCenter Tags to create Dynamic groups in Panorama using the following categories; security-zone, site-or-location and domain-member.


FYI: If you don't see the Tags widget in vCenter, you may need to scroll down.

Screen Shot 2020-11-22 at 3.07.16 PM.png


There are two pieces to the vCenter Tag configuration; Categories and Tags.  Categories are groups of tags and also control if a VMware entity, in our case the 'VirtualMachine', can have more than one Tag from the Category.

Screen Shot 2020-11-22 at 3.14.01 PM.png


For example, the Tags for the "domain-member" category are domain-client, domain-server and domain-controller.  Multiple Cardinality is set to false (see above) and Associable Entities is set to VirtualMachines, so you can only select one Tag and the Tags are only available for Virtual Machines.

Screen Shot 2020-11-22 at 3.13.00 PM.png


Once you have your categories and tags defined, apply them to your virtual machines by clicking Assign in the Tags widget for the Virtual Machine.  To manually synchronize the Tags use the VMware vCenter plug-in.

Screen Shot 2020-11-22 at 3.29.07 PM.png


Now when you create dynamic address group, you should see your tags available.

Screen Shot 2020-11-22 at 3.34.42 PM.png



-You can use (parenthesis) to group multiple ANDs & ORs

-You can add Panorama Tags to dynamic address groups for use in other static or dynamic groups.

Screen Shot 2020-11-22 at 3.36.34 PM.png


Hope you find this useful,



Hi, SSullivan3, 

But Your solution require Panorama, how to use vcenter/ESXI tags without buying Panorama ? 


I have PA220 and vcenter 7.0 u2 and I can't see tags in Adres Groups. 

Tags are most important here, I am little bit disappointed, I hope I am doing something wrong and there is quick fix for that.



Jerzy Kołysz 


If you have configured the vSphere source under 'Device > VM Information Sources' and configured and assigned vSphere categories to the Guest, you should see those selections categories/tags when you add an Address Group and select type=Dynamic.


Device > VM Infirmation SourcesDevice > VM Infirmation SourcesvSphere  > Categories & TagsvSphere > Categories & TagsObjects > Address Groups (*set type=Dynamic)Objects > Address Groups (*set type=Dynamic)



I did all above,

 but my PA220 running 9.1.8, and You are running 10.x

I have to check it once again, or maybe update to 10, but it is quite slow on PA220

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