In case of vCenter Server appliance 6.0 Install / Upgrade failure what to do?

This article is basically about what to check when the install / upgrade to 6.0 fails. Opening a ticket with VMware support, yeah you can go ahead and do it, but you can start looking into the problem yourself. The question here is “Where to look and what?” Where to look, well the answer to that is, it is scattered in various log files and there is no one file which has all the information in it. We would have to review log files and directories on the basis of last modified time stamp (reason is the error was reported when a specific service / script was being installed / executed and this will be logged in respective log directory and files). Next, what to look for, well that is a simple question, we will be starting with the message prompted during the install / upgrade.

Note : The log files are going to be helpful in the review when the logs are collected / checked before the warning / error message for upgrade failure is accepted, as once the failure is accepted a rollback is initiated which makes it difficult to capture the exact issue.

If installation fails at client Integration stage ?

If the installation fails due to a problem with Client Integration Plug-in, but the logs do not contain sufficient detail, you should increase the logging level and increase the sizes of the logs to get more details. On the Mircosoft Windows Desktop where you are performing the install, do the following:

  1. Go to %AppData%\..\Local\VMware\CIP\csd\config\.
  2. Make a backup copy of vSphereClientSupport-settings.js .
  3. Edit the file vSphereClientSupport-settings.js .
  4. Modify the value of the logLevel property from info to trivia .
  5. Save the file.
  6. Restart all your browsers.
  7. Reproduce the issue.

Note: Once you have reproduced the problem with trivial logs, we recommending reverting the changes.

Where will the above files be located & whats does it contain?

Client integration plugin is going to log all the events / information (including warning and errors) as soon as the vCenter Server appliance version 6.0 installation starts and it is logged at %AppData%\..\Local\VMware\CIP\vcsaInstaller\sessions\session_####\logs\ on the windows system from which the install is attempted and it contains the following files :

  • csd.log – Log messages generated by Client Integration Plug-in.
  • filetransfer-####.log – Log messages generated when using filetransfer.exe to copy files to and from the appliance. The file filetransfer.exe is installed with the client integration plug-in in %ProgramFiles%\VMware\Client Integration Plug-in 6.0\filetransfer\filetransfer.exe.
  • ovftool.log – Log messages generated when using ovftool.exe to deploy the appliance. The file ovftool.exe is installed with the client integration plugin in %ProgramFiles%/VMware/Client Integration Plug-in 6.0/ovftool/ovftool.exe.
  • vcsa.index – A file containing the number of vcsa log file we are currently using to log.
  • vcsa_####.log – Log messages related to:
    • The validation of the values provided by the user
    • The ovftool syntax used to deploy the appliance.
    • The incremental progress updates.
    • The attempt at collecting a support bundle from the appliance after a failure occurs.
  • wss_####.log – Log messages related to Web Socket connections made throughout the install process.
  • Directory %AppData%\..\Local\VMware\CIP\csd\config\ contains the following files:
    • vSphereClientSupport-settings.js – A JSON file that contains settings for the Client Integration Plugin. This file may be edited to increase the logging levels and retention settings for the purposes of troubleshooting.

On the newly deployed vCenter Server Appliance these are some of the places and files that you will be looking at :

  • Directory /var/log/firstboot contains the following files:
    • rpmInstall.json – A JSON formatted file containing status messages that is passed from the appliance to the vCenter Server Appliance installer on the Microsoft Windows desktop. Contains progress information, and error messages that are passed up to the user.
    • cloudvm.log – Log messages created throughout the vCenter Server Appliance installation process.
    • firstbootStatus.json – A JSON file containing the current status of the installation process.
    • firstbootInfrasrtucture.log – A log containing messages that identify when the firstboot scripts were initiated and how whether they completed succesfully.
    • *_stdout.log – A log file created to capture the standard output of each firstboot scripts.
    • *_stderr.log – A log file created to capture the standard error of each firstboot scripts.
  • Directory /var/log/vmware/upgrade contains the files:
    • export.json – Contains the current status of the export process.
    • export-upgrade-runner.log – Aggregate log of the export process.
    • upgrade-export.log – Aggregate log of the export process.
    • import.json – Contains the current status of the import process.
    • import-upgrade-runner.log – Aggregate log of the import process.
    • upgrade-import.log – Aggregate log of the import process.
    • Import*.log – Log file containing log message related to each individual import script.
    • Export*.log – Log file containing log message related to each individual export script.
Logs of install / upgrade of vCenter Server appliance 6.0 on a Mac desktop where the vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 was deployed from:
    • Directory /Users/username/VMware/CIP/ui/sessions/ contains the following files:
    • csd.log – Log messages generated by Client Integration Plug-in.
    • filetransfer-####.log – Log messages generated when using filetransfer.exe to copy files to and from the appliance. The file filetransfer.exe is installed with the client integration plug-in in %ProgramFiles%\VMware\Client Integration Plug-in 6.0\filetransfer\filetransfer.exe.
    • ovftool.log – Log messages generated when using ovftool.exe to deploy the appliance. The file ovftool.exe is installed with the client integration plugin in %ProgramFiles%/VMware/Client Integration Plug-in 6.0/ovftool/ovftool.exe.
    • vcsa.index – A file containing the number of vcsa log file we are currently using to log.
    • vcsa_####.log – Log messages related to:
      • The validation of the values provided by the user
      • The ovftool syntax used to deploy the appliance.
      • The incremental progress updates.
      • The attempt at collecting a support bundle from the appliance after a failure occurs.
    • wss_####.log – Log messages related to Web Socket connections made throughout the install process.

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