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Home > Success Center > Virtualization Manager (VMAN) > VMAN Documentation > VMAN 8.2 Administrator Guide > Search for objects in Virtualization Manager > Configure search queries

Configure search queries

Search queries in Virtualization Manager are composed of terms and operators. A term can be a single word, such as windows or west, or a phrase, which is a group of words enclosed by quotation marks, such as windows west.

You can combine multiple terms with Boolean operators to form complex queries.

Additional supported syntax elements include:

Use fields in search queries

When you run a search, you can either specify a field, or use the default field. You can search any field by typing the field name followed by a colon, and then the term you are looking for.

For example, SolarWinds Virtualization Manager may contain two fields, host and text, and text is the default field. In this case, to find the VM named "River Ranch" which contains the text "Windows Server 2008," enter one of these queries:
VM:"River Ranch" AND text:"Windows Server 2008"
VM:"River Ranch" AND "Windows Server 2008"

Because text is the default field, the field indicator is not required.

The field is only valid for the term it directly precedes, so the query VM:River Ranch only finds VMs named "River." It finds "Ranch" in the default field, in this case, the text field.

Use wildcard searches

You can use single and multiple character wildcard searches within single terms but not in phrase queries. To run a single character wildcard search, use the ? symbol. To run a multiple character wildcard search, use the * symbol. The single character wildcard search looks for terms that match the search term with the single character replaced. For example, to search for "ESX3.0.1" or "ESX3.0.2," you can use the search ESX3.0.?.

Multiple character wildcard searches look for 0 or more characters. For example, to search for ESX, ESX3.0.2, or ESX3.5, you can use the search ESX*.

You can also use wildcard searches in the middle of a term. For example, ESX*2.

You cannot use a * or ? symbol as the first character of a search.

Use fuzzy searches

SolarWinds Virtualization Manager supports fuzzy searches based on the Levenshtein distance algorithm, which measures the edit distance between two sequences.

To run a fuzzy search, use the tilde (~) symbol at the end of a single term. For example, to search for a term similar in spelling to "SQL", use the fuzzy search SQL~.

This search finds terms such as "PQL" and "TQL". An optional parameter can specify the required similarity. The value is between 0 and 1. If the value is closer to 1, only terms with a higher similarity will be matched. For example, SQL~0.8.

The default that is used if the optional parameter is not given is 0.5.

Use proximity searches

By using proximity searches, you can find words that are within a specific distance away. To run a proximity search, use the tilde (~) symbol at the end of a phrase. For example, to search for "Microsoft" and "Server" within 10 words of each other in a document, use the search "Microsoft Server"~10.

Use range searches

By using range queries, you can match documents whose field values are between the lower and upper limit specified by the range query. Range queries can be inclusive or exclusive of the upper and lower limit. Sorting is done alphabetically. For example, this query finds documents with modification date fields that have values between 20020101 and 20030101, inclusive:
mod_date:[20020101 TO 20030101]

You can also use range queries with non-date fields. This query finds all VMs with names that are in the range between DB01 and DB10, but not including DB01 and DB10:
VM:{DB01 TO DB10}

Indicate inclusive range queries by straight brackets, and exclusive range queries by curly braces.

Search for specific or relative dates

You can search for both specific dates and relative dates.

Specific date searches can be in these formats:

The part separator can be either a period (.), a dash (-), or a slash (/).

Searches using either format or any part separator return the same VMs.

Use these terms to include dates relative to now:

  • DAY, DAYS, or DATE

Boost a search term

You can control the relevance of a document by boosting its term.

To boost a term, use the caret (^) symbol with a boost factor (a number) at the end of the term you are searching. The higher the boost factor, the more relevant the term will be.

For example, if you search for Microsoft Windows, and you want the term "Microsoft" to be more relevant, boost it by using the ^ symbol along with the boost factor next to the term. For example, Microsoft^4 Windows.

This search query makes documents with the term Microsoft more relevant. You can also boost phrase terms, for example, "Microsoft Windows"^4 "Server 2003".

By default, the boost factor is 1. The boost factor must be positive, but it can be less than 1, such as 0.2.

Use Boolean operators in search queries

By using Boolean operators, you can combine terms through logical operations. The Boolean operators you can use in Virtualization Manager are:

  • AND
  • +
  • OR
  • NOT
  • -

Boolean operators must be all uppercase letters.


The AND operator is the default conjunction operator. If there is no Boolean operator between two terms, the AND operator is used. The AND operator matches documents where both terms exist anywhere in the text of a single document. You can use the && symbol instead of the word AND. To search for documents that contain "Microsoft Windows" and "SQL Server," use the query "Microsoft Windows" AND "SQL Server".


The plus (+) symbol, or required operator requires that the term after the + symbol must exist somewhere in a field of a single document. To search for documents that must contain "Microsoft" and may contain "Windows," use the query +Microsoft Windows.


The OR operator links two terms and finds a matching document if either of the terms exists in the document. You can use the || symbol instead of the word OR. To search for documents that contain either "Microsoft Windows" or "Microsoft," use either of these queries:
"Microsoft Windows" || Microsoft
"Microsoft Windows" OR Microsoft


The NOT operator excludes documents that contain the term after NOT. You can use the exclamation point (!) symbol instead of the word NOT. To search for documents that contain "Microsoft Windows" but not "SQL Server", use the query "Microsoft Windows" NOT "SQL Server".

The NOT operator cannot be used with a single term. For example, this search does not return any results:
NOT "Microsoft Windows"


The minus (-) symbol, or prohibit operator excludes documents that contain the term after the - symbol. To search for documents that contain "Microsoft Windows" but not "SQL Server", use the query "Microsoft Windows" -"SQL Server".

Group clauses into sub-queries

You can use parentheses to control the Boolean logic for a query. To search for either "Microsoft" or "VMware" and "Server," use the following query:
(Microsoft OR VMware) AND Server

This query ensures a required server exists, and that either the term Microsoft or VMware may exist.

Group multiple clauses to a single field

You can use parentheses for this purpose. To search for a VM that contains both the word "Server" and the phrase "Oracle Database", use the following query:
VM:(+Server +"Oracle Database")

Escape special characters in searches

To escape special characters that are part of the query syntax, type a backslash (\) before the special character. In Virtualization Manager, the special characters are:
+ - && || ! ( ) { } [ ] ^ " ~ * ? : \

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