You can use the Global Inventory Lists navigator to browse and select objects in the vSphere inventory as an alternative to the hierarchical inventory tree.

Unlike the inventory tree, which presents hierarchical arrangements of the parent and the child objects arranged in the Hosts and Clusters, VMs and Templates, Storage, and Networking inventory lists, the Global Inventory Lists navigator presents a list of all related objects in the inventory. You can navigate from an object to its related objects, regardless of their type.

Tip: You can retrieve all objects of a specific type by using the vSphere Web Services API and the vSphere Automation API. For more information about how to use the APIs, see the vSphere Web Services SDK Programming Guide and the vSphere Automation Programming Guides at


  1. From the vSphere Client home page, click Global Inventory Lists.
  2. In the left pane, select one of the object or the resource categories to view the objects of that type.
    For example, to view the hosts in the vSphere inventory, click Hosts.
  3. In the left navigation pane, to display information about the object, click an object from the list once.
  4. (Optional) Click the object again to open it.
    Opening an object brings it to the top of the navigator and displays related object categories beneath it.
    For example, opening a host allows you to see the child resource pools, virtual machines, datastores, networks, and distributed switches associated with this host.
  5. To access additional information or manage the selected object, click one of the tabs in the center pane.
    Option Description
    Summary You can view basic status and configuration for an object.
    Monitor You can view alarms, performance data, resource allocation, events, and other status information for an object.
    Configure Depending on the selected object, you can edit settings, alarm definitions, tags, permissions, and so on.
    Permissions You can view, add, change, and delete permissions. This tab is only available for logged in users with administration privileges.
    Related Objects tabs You can view and manage the objects related to the object that you selected. For example, if you select a host, the tabs that you see are VMs, Resource Pools, Datastores, and Networks.
    Updates Depending on the selected object, you can check the hardware compatibility of a host against the VMware Compatibility Guide, check the status of virtual machines, upgrade the VMware Tools version or the virtual hardware version of the virtual machines, and perform vSphere Lifecycle Manager operations.
    Note: The Updates tab is available only for certain types of inventory objects, for example, hosts, virtual machines, and clusters.