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Kyle Gleed, Sr. Technical Marketing Manager, VMware

I love the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) and have been using it exclusively since early in the 5.0 beta.  Unfortunately, I’ve been a bit negligent about upgrading the VCSA server in my lab (still running a very old pre-release build) so I recently bit the bullet and updated to the official 5.0 GA release.  Everything went well with the exception of an error I ran into when trying to register the Auto Deploy plug-in.  When I tried to register using the vSphere client I ran into a connection error:

A1-plug-in-error

I spent more time than I'd like to admit going over my setup and checking firewalls, routing, DNS and couldn’t come up with anything.  So I eventually went as far as installing a second instance of the VCSA in a completely different environment and viola – same problem 🙁

Long story short, I finally tracked the error down to a service that wasn't running on the VCSA.  When you first start the appliance it starts all the services except for the Auto Deploy service:

A1-service-stopped

I suspect this may be intentional (and possibly even documented somewhere,  although I didn't find it in any of my searches) as not everyone running the appliance will use Auto Deploy, but for me it definitely wasn't expected.  What I learned is that this service needs to be running and listening on port 6502 in order to enable the Auto Deploy plug-in.  The fix was a matter of simply clicking the “start ESXi Services” button and the Auto Deploy service  started right up.

A1-service-started

I then went back to the vSphere client and enable the plug-in without issue:

A1-plug-in-enabled

The good news to all of this, besides fixing my issue, is that during my troubleshooting efforts I came across this very handy KB article on how to troubleshoot Auto Deploy.