- Troubleshoot vCenter Server service and database connection issues
- Troubleshoot the ESXi firewall
- Troubleshoot ESXi host management and connectivity issues
- Determine the root cause of a vSphere management or connectivity issue
- Utilize Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) and ESXi Shell to troubleshoot, configure, and monitor an environment
Troubleshoot vCenter Server service and database connection issues
I assume this topic refers to the Microsoft Windows based vCenter Server (and not the vCenter Server Appliance.
The VMware VirtualCenter Server is one of many – but probably – the most important Service on the vCenter Server. The actual Service runs under the name: vpxd.exe.
VMware has done a good job publishing some very nice KB articles related to troubleshooting the vCenter Service.
VMware KB 1003926 ” Troubleshooting the VMware VirtualCenter Server service when it does not start or fails on vCenter Server” is a good starting point and presents 8 steps for troubleshooting your vCenter installation.
The KB also refers to many related KB articles, like:
- VMware KB 1003928 ” vCenter Server installation fails with ODBC and DSN errors” presents resolutions for
- Checking the Data Source vCenter Server is using;
- Viewing and modifying the database server and/or database used by vCenter Server (Microsoft SQL and Oracle)
- To reset the username and password manually, without running the installer (valid for all versions of vCenter Server). Remember the account is in the tegistry, use
> vpxd.exe –p
to reset the password.
- VMware KB 4824652 “Port already in use when installing vCenter Server”, port 902, 80 and 443 must be available at all times;
- VMware KB 1003979 “Investigating the health of a vCenter Server database”;
- VMware KB 1005882 “Missing folders on a vCenter Server prevent VirtualCenter Server service from starting”
Other useful information:
- The vCenter Server service has a configuration file.
On a Windows 2008 R2 server the file is located at: C:\Programdata\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\vpxd.cfg.
- The vCenter Server service logfiles are located at: C:\Programdata\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\Logs\.
- Changing the hostname or IP address of your vCenter Server can cause serious trouble, see also my post “VMware vCenter Server IP address change” on this subject.
Troubleshoot the ESXi firewall
vSphere Security Guide, Chapter 3 “Securing the Management Interface”, page 33.
The ESXi firewall is covered in Objective 7.2 “Configure and Maintain the ESXi firewall”
- VMware KB 2005284 “About the ESXi 5.0 firewall”, presents a nice overview of the available esxcli network firewall namespace;
- VMware KB 2008226 “Creating custom firewall rules in VMware ESXi 5.0”
Troubleshoot ESXi host management and connectivity issues
Some useful reading on this topic:
- Objective 6.3, section “Utilize Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) and ESXi Shell to troubleshoot, configure, and monitor ESXi networking”;
- VMware KB 1003409 “Diagnosing an ESX/ESXi host that is disconnected or not responding in vCenter Server”, also a lot of references to other KB articles;
- VMware KB 1003490 “Restarting the Management agents on an ESX or ESXi host”;
- VMware KB 1002849 “Troubleshooting vmware-hostd service if it fails or stops responding on an ESX/ESXi host”
Determine the root cause of a vSphere management or connectivity issue
See also Objective 6.3, section on “Analyze troubleshooting data to determine if the root cause for a given network problem originates in the physical infrastructure or vSphere environment””.
Imho, also here, the best approach is to start Bottom-up.
- Use the ESXi console to verify that the ESXI host completed the boot process;
- Log in to the console (DCUI);
- DCUI, Verify the Management Network Configuration;
- Be aware of VLAN issues and the configuration of the physical switchport connected to the network adapter used for the management network;
- DCUI, run the “Test Management Network”;
- From your management station, can you ping he ESXi host?
- From your management station, can you connect to the ESXi host using the vSphere Client or Web Client?
- Use, the “”Troubleshooting Mode Options”, try “Restart Management Agents”
- A good
Utilize Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) and ESXi Shell to troubleshoot, configure, and monitor an environment
In fact, all subjects related to troubleshooting ESXi hosts converge in this objective:
- Know the DCUI;
- Know your way into the ESXi shell, the commands, the location of configuration files and logfiles;
- Know how to use esxtop and other tooling.