VCAP5-DCA Objective 6.5 – Troubleshoot vCenter Server and ESXi host management

Objectives

  • 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

Official Documentation:

Summary:

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.

Figure 1 – vCenter Services

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:

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.

Other references:

  • A

Troubleshoot the ESXi firewall

Official Documentation:
vSphere Security Guide, Chapter 3 “Securing the Management Interface”, page 33.

Summary:
The ESXi firewall is covered in Objective 7.2 “Configure and Maintain the ESXi firewall”

Other references:

Troubleshoot ESXi host management and connectivity issues

Official Documentation:

Summary:
Some useful reading on this topic:

Other references:

  • A

Determine the root cause of a vSphere management or connectivity issue

Official Documentation:

Summary:
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”

Other references:

  • A good

Utilize Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) and ESXi Shell to troubleshoot, configure, and monitor an environment

Official Documentation:

Summary:
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.

Other references:

  • A
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