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Category Archives: Management

vRealize Operations Manager 6.1.0 – new KB content

Exciting news for users of vRealize Operations Manager 6.1.0. We’ve been busy updating and creating new Knowledgebase articles to support the product. Enjoy!



Unable to access Administration and Licensing in vSphere Web Client

After upgrading or deploy the vCenter Server 6.0 or vCenter Server Appliance 6.0, some customers are being denied access to some features. Namely-

  • You are unable to access or see the Single Sign-On administration section
  • When attempting to access the System Configuration (located at: Administration > System Configuration) section, you are presented with:
    You do not have permissions to view this page. You must be a member of the SystemConfiguration.Administrators group in vCenter Single Sign-On to access System Configuration.
  • When attempting to access the Licensing administration (located at: Administration > Licensing > Licenses or Administration > Licensing > Reports) section, you are presented with:
    To view and manage licenses, you must have the Global.Licenses privilege on the vCenter Server system where this vSphere Web Client runs.

If you are encountering any of these messages you will want to check out this recent KB article:
Unable to access new Administration and Licensing features in the vSphere Web Client 6.0 (2120255)

Administration and Licensing in vSphere Web Client

ALERT: When removing CPU from VM configuration hard disks and nic are removed

VMware Support AlertVMware has become aware of situation whereby hard disks and/or nics may be removed from a virtual machine when reconfiguring VM workflows in vRealize Automation.

We have identified two distinct scenarios where this might happen and so have create two separate KB articles. Please familiarize yourself with both articles so that you can avoid these situations.

  1. When performing reconfigure operations in multiple browser tabs In VMware vRealize Automation, the hard disks and NICs are removed unexpectedly (2124198)
  2. In VMware vRealize Automation, the hard disks are removed unexpectedly when reconfiguring a virtual machine that has RDM disks (2124657)

Any updates to this information will be made in the KB articles themselves. The Additional Information section details how to receive these updates.

Fresh vSphere 6 KB articles!

vSphere 6.0 has been out now for a few weeks and you early adopters have been busy kicking the tires. We’ve heard some very encouraging things about this release ie: the web client improvements. It’s always interesting and top of mind for us to see what issues emerge in everyone’s environments and we monitor support requests coming into support as well as social media to see what customers run into.

Here’s an fresh list of Knowledgebase articles we’ve created to address some of these inquiries. Familiarize yourself with the list and of course share with your colleagues using the buttons on this page.

Database compatibility issues during upgrade

Deprecated VMFS volume errors

Backup failures/CBT mem heap issues

Replace certificates for vSphere 6.0

Decommissioning a vCenter Server or Platform Services Controller

Troubleshooting when virtual machine operations are greyed out

Hello, I am a Technical Support Engineer at VMware. I would like to talk about an issue I worked on recently with a customer that may come up for other users. The Support Request (SR) came to me with this description: “The Virtual Machine options are not working”. I had to ask myself, “What do you mean by ‘not working’”? I quickly called the customer and we got a remote session going so that I could see for myself what the problem was.

The problem was with only one Virtual Machine in that vCenter instance. I found that the virtual machine options were disabled (greyed-out) when I right-clicked the problematic virtual machine.

Note: Click an image to see the full-sized version.

The customer at this point mentioned that he had tried to take a backup using third-party software. He saw this error message in the “Recent Tasks” pane:

Error: Another task in progress

My initial hunch was that there was a job running for the virtual machine in the background, but I needed to verify it wasn’t a permissions problem.

Permissions are not set correctly

First I checked the permissions given to that virtual machine. The customer had a very small environment, so I did not spend too much time checking the complete permissions given for the entire vSphere environment. Instead, I went through the following steps:

Note: If your environment is large and you have multiple vSphere administrators with different permissions, permissions on a particular virtual machine machine might be incorrect/missing. In this case, the vSphere root administrator needs to ensure that there are sufficient permissions given for you to administer the virtual machine, at all levels.

  1. Check the Permissions tab for the virtual machine, to make sure that your name is listed there with the proper permission assigned. If your name is not there, but an AD/Local group is listed, then make sure that your name is added to the AD/Local group.Here, the user Testuser has the Virtual Machine Administrator role:
  2. If the permissions are defined at the host, cluster, Datacenter, or vCenter level:
      1. Apply the required permissions to the user/group.
      2. Make sure that the permission is propagated to all the objects.
      3. Make sure that your name is listed in the local/AD group.Here, the group Virtual Machine Administrator has the Virtual Machine Administrator role:

  3. Roles can also be assigned in the folder level. Go to the VMs and Templates view and make sure the folder where the Virtual Machine located has all required privileges assigned.In the below example, VM1,VM2 and VM3 are located in the folder Test. The Virtual Machine Administrator group is assigned with “Virtual Machine Administrator” role.
    In the examples above, the role “Virtual Machine Administrator” is not a default role, it is created with privileges to Administrate Virtual Machines. To know what privileges are required, I always refer to the Required Privileges for Common Tasks section in: Virtual Machine Administration Guide.

With that set of checks, we can now go on to the next step, and this comes back to my hunch because of the error message which I noticed in the “Recent Task”.

Tasks Running in the Background

We should always be aware that certain jobs for any given Virtual Machine may be running in the background which will not allow any changes/operations in the Virtual Machine. These background jobs cannot be seen in the “Task and Event” tab in the vCenter server or in the “Recent Tasks”.

The method we look for these background jobs is by logging into the host via SSH where the problem Virtual Machine is running. Here are the steps to find any running jobs which cannot be seen in the vSphere client.

1. Log into the ESX/ESXi host using a SSH client.
2. Run the following command to list all the Virtual Machines registered in the host. We are running this specifically to find the vmid for the problem Virtual Machine.

vim-cmd vmsvc/getallvms

The output appears as:

3. Check the tasks running on the Virtual Machine by running the command:

vim-cmd vmsvc/get.tasklist vmid

In our example, we run the command against the Virtual Machine VM3. It indicates there are 2 jobs/tasks running on that Virtual Machine.

The output shows as below if there is no jobs/tasks running.

4. Now you you have a choice to either wait for the jobs to complete, or restart the Management agent to terminate this job.

In this particular support case I was working we found a snapshot job that was triggered by the backup agent running in the Virtual Machine. I stopped the job by restarting the management agent on that host. For this customer, this solved the problem, but there is one more reason this might happen. I had a word with one my colleagues, and he pointed out that you could also encounter this if you have an invalid entry in your VMX file. Let’s go one step further and show you how to check this.

Invalid entries in VMX file

This type of issue might happen if a vmx file has invalid parameters or blank lines in it. You can resolve this issue by manually removing the invalid arguments or deleting the blank lines.

Caution: If incorrectly done, your virtual machine may fail to start or operate incorrectly. Always take a backup of your .vmx file before modifying it.

  1. Open the .vmx file using any text editor.
  2. Search for any blank lines and delete them.
    : To delete a single line using vi editor, press d twice.
  3. Compare the .vmx file with a working virtual machine .vmx file and see if there are any invalid arguments.
  4. To apply the changes, reload the .vmx file by running the command:
vim-cmd vmsvc/reload vmid

Note: The Default location of the vmx file is:



Virtual machine operations are grayed out

Possible Causes:

  • Permissions are not set correctly
  • Tasks Running in the Background
  • vmx file is corrupted

For further information on the steps used in this article, refer to: Troubleshooting when virtual machine options are grayed out in vSphere Client (2048748)

Hope this blog post helps you out a little bit. Have a great day!

New Network port diagram for vSphere 5.x

Over the past few weeks we have been working on constructing a brand new network diagram, depicting ports in use for vSphere 5.x

These diagrams have been very popular in the past and we hope you like this one too! We created Knowledgebase article: Network port diagram for vSphere 5.x (2054806) as a container for the pdf diagram. The pdf also lists all of the ports used in tabular format.

If you’d like to see more of these, tell us in the comments section below!

Network port diagram for vSphere 5

Alternate download location.

Note: This information provided is on a best effort basis. VMware will endeavor to update the diagram as new releases come out.

Physical or Appliance – Upgrading to vCenter Server 5.1

The other day we received this question from a customer via Twitter:

@VMwareCares planning to upgrade to 5.1 from 5.0 vcenter. What’s recommended physical or appliance? Ups and downs side of each?

We thought a few more of you might have the same questions so we decided we would take the opportunity to explain the differences between vCenter server and vCenter appliance and under what situation which one should be opted for, over the other.

The vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) is a preconfigured Linux-based virtual machine optimized for running vCenter Server and associated services. Versions 5.0.1 and 5.1 of the vCSA uses PostgreSQL for the embedded database instead of IBM DB2, which was used in vCenter Server Appliance 5.0 The vCSA embedded postSQL DB supports 5 hosts / 50 virtual machines, with an Oracle DB the vCSA can support 1000 hosts and 10,000 vms. If you configure your vCSA to use an external instance of Single Sign On (SSO), the external SSO instance must be hosted on another vCenter Server Appliance; it cannot be hosted on a Windows machine.

vCenter Server can be installed on a windows Guest OS and can be connected to Oracle or Microsoft SQL. SSO can be installed on the same Guest OS or can be on a different machine. It should be noted that patching of of the vCenter Appliance is not supported.

Below is a table listing more of the differences between the products.

Features vCenter Server vCenter Server Appliance
Guest OS Any Supported Guest OS Preconfigured Linux-based virtual machine (64-bit SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11)
Database Supported Versions SQL Server and Oracle. PostgreSQL (built-in ) can have 5 hosts and 50 Virtual Machines.Supported External Oracle database.
System Requirement 2 vCPU and 4 GB RAM 2 vCPU and 4 GB RAM
Platform Physical or virtual machine Virtual Appliance
Installation Using binary provided in .zip or .ISO Deploying OVF
Update Manager Can be installed on same vCenter Server or on separate Guest OS. Separate install
Single Sign On (SSO) Can be installed on same vCenter Server or separate Guest OS. Pre-installed.
Networking IPv6 and IPv4 Support IPv4 Support
Linked Mode Supported Not Supported
SRM (Site Recovery Manager) Compatible with SRM Compatible with SRM
vSphere Web Client Can be installed on same vCenter server or separate machine. Pre-Installed.
Syslog Server Can be installed on vCenter Server or separate server and configured using plug-in. Pre-installed and does not have plug-in.
ESXi Dump collector Can be installed on vCenter Server or on a separate Guest OS. Pre-installed and does not have plug-in.
Multi-site SSO Supported Not Supported. Basic SSO only.
VSA (vSphere Storage Appliance Supported Not Supported
VMware View Supported Not Supported

SSL Certificate Automation Tool version 1.0.1

Last month we announced a new SSL Certificate Automation tool to help everyone with the implementation of custom certificates. Yesterday, we released the second version of it (version 1.0.1). This is a minor update which aims to simplify the replacement of certificates further by adding Certificate Signing Request (CSR) functionality to the tool. This functionality allows a user to quickly generate certificate requests (and consequently the private keys) for submission to the Certificate Authority.  The CSR functionality was the largest portion of manual steps, and as a result the update reduces the number of steps by over 15.

In addition, there are several minor bug fixes which were fixed which impacted tool functionality.

For further details and to download the latest version of the SSL tool see: Deploying and Using the SSL Certificate Automation Tool (2041600)

We hope these additions provide useful for everyone!

The Inside Scoop: Maintenance tips for your vSphere Database

Today we have the third edition of our blog series The Inside Scoop. In this installment we will look at vSphere Databases and more specifically some helpful tips for maintaining them.

In order to obtain some real world perspective, we met up with some of our Technical Support Engineers at our support center in Cork, Ireland and mainly asked them two questions:

  1. What are the most common issues they deal with concerning vSphere Databases?
  2. What advice do they have for ensuring that a vSphere Database is maintained?

Here is what they had to say….

Common Issues

The two most common issues that come into our Technical Support teams are:

  1. Database Corruption
  2. Database Performance

These are really the two biggest issues that customers encounter with their SQL databases in their vSphere environments.

Many a database administrator has nightmares about database corruption and when an incident comes along quite often many hours are spent by the DBA trying to rescue the situation. Sadly, database corruption is something that just happens; nobody plans to have it.

If you are or were a system administrator or a database administrator at some point during your career, chances are that there was probably a time when you learned the hard way about not having a recent database backup.

However it is not all doom and gloom when it comes to database corruption incidents. The impact and headaches of such a corruption incident can be minimized and reduced by simply applying and enforcing a policy of regular database backups. Taking regular database backups will not fix the corrupted database but at least your road to recovery will be a much better and less painful one.

Along with database corruption the other big generator for support requests is that of database performance. A database is like the heart of the environment and just like a heart, if it is in a bad or a poorly maintained condition then it is going to experience performance issues.

The vSphere database is what manages and runs the jobs and processes that take place within the environment in any given moment. The speed at which the vSphere environment can run effectively and efficiently is quite often determined by the health of the database. If your database is unhealthy, then chances are you will notice performance impacts within your environment.

What symptoms should I look out for?

Symptoms of database corruption would include the vCenter Server failing to start or crashing on particular tasks.

Symptoms for database performance related issues can be more varied, however some common ones include:

  • The vCenter Server taking a long time to start up
  • Tasks taking a long time to complete or are timing out

Some Helpful Database Maintenance Tips

When it comes to database corruption scenarios the best thing that you really can have is a recent backup. This will save a lot of time and heartache when it comes to restoring your environment and the more recent the backup the better as it will minimize the loss of data.

In regards to database performance issues, prevention really is the best cure and so here are some steps and measures which will help to reduce or prevent your environment from encountering poor database performance:

  1. Monitor scheduled database jobs to ensure they are running correctly – For more information, refer to KB article: Checking the status of vCenter Server performance rollup jobs (2012226)
  2. Collect Stats
  3. Rebuild Indexes – For more information, refer to KB article: Rebuilding indexes to improve the performance of SQL Server and Oracle vCenter Server databases (2009918)
  4. Delete old data – For more information, refer to KB article: Reducing the size of the vCenter Server database when the rollup scripts take a long time to run (1007453)
  5. Monitor Database Growth – For more information, refer to KB article:
    Determining where growth is occurring in the vCenter Server database (1028356)

A pdf document on vCenter Server Database Best Practices is available: VMware vCenter Server 5.1 Database Performance Improvements and Best Practices for Large-Scale Environments

Introducing … RSS updates from the VMware Compatibility Guide / HCL

In the past, administrators wishing to determine whether their specific hosts, guest operating systems, storage arrays, or other hardware were on the official VMware Compatibility Guide / HCL had to continually return to our page to see if VMware had added support or added any updates.

The new and improved VMware Compatibility Guide makes it easier to get updates about specific hardware by providing RSS feed subscriptions. To subscribe to updates about an item:

  1. Search for the item you’re interested in.
  2. From the search results, click the model name.
  3. In the Model Detail seciton of the page, at the bottom-right corner, click the rss feed link.

You’ll be prompted for a way to subscribe to the feed, based on your browser and configuration. Updates will be sent via RSS when the page for this model is updated.

For more information about the Compatibility Guide / HCL, see our KB article Using the VMware HCL and Product Interoperability Matrixes (2006028).