A solution is an extension of vCenter Server that adds new functions to the vCenter Server instance. In the vSphere Client, you can view an inventory of the installed solutions together with detailed information about them. You can also monitor the health status of the solutions.

VMware products that integrate with vCenter Server are also considered solutions. For example, vSphere ESX Agent Manager is a VMware solution that lets you manage host agents that add new capabilities to ESX and ESXi hosts.

You can also install a solution to add functionality from third-party technologies to the standard functions of vCenter Server. Solutions are typically delivered as OVF packages. You can install and deploy solutions from the vSphere Client. You can integrate the solutions into the vCenter Solutions Manager, which provides a list of all installed solutions.

If a virtual machine or vApp runs a solution, a custom icon represents it in the inventory of the vSphere Client. Each solution registers a unique icon to show that the solution manages the virtual machine or vApp. The icons show the power states (powered on, paused, or powered off). Solutions display more than one type of icon if they manage more than one type of virtual machine or vApp.

When you power on or power off a virtual machine or vApp, you are notified that you are operating with an object that is managed by the Solutions Manager. When you attempt another operation on a virtual machine or a vApp that is managed by a solution, an informational warning message appears.

For more information, see the Developing and Deploying vSphere Solutions, vServices, and ESX Agents documentation.