vCenter Server services is not accessible (troubleshooting continued..)

In continuation to one of my last article vCenter Server services is not accessible where I was trying to make a point that collecting information is the first line of defense against the problem from re-occurring in future. Now in this article we will talk about how to troubleshoot any vCenter Server service related issue. I may be web- client not being accessible, services of vCenter Server not responding properly on the vSphere web client, Web client connectivity issue, vCenter Server going down intermittently, etc. The list is endless.

Well collecting the information is definitely going to help at the time of analysis or problem identification.

So where to start from?

The best place to start looking at a problem is to make a note of all the prominent symptoms from all the information collected so far on the issue and then looking at the relevant components and its related logs. This is something I had mentioned in one of my previous article ()

Isolation of the problem was little easy till version 5.5 with less number of services but with 6.x the problem identification has moved from “hard” to “It’s complicated.” One of the reason for the issue is number of services increased in 6.0/6.5 from 4(major service’s) to more than 26. This has been done for easier integration of other VMware products, but this has also complicated the problem solving approach.

Coming back to the facts on how to proceed with this issue.

  • List out all the information about the problem as simple facts. Now, all the information is not going to be relevant to the problem. So it needs to be analysed from a 3rd person perspective to find out what is relevant to the problem.
  • Have the log bundle of the vCenter Server service handy for isolating the problem through logs.
  • Start by looking at the respective log files, specifically by arranging it by last modified time-stamp and this is the place which I usually go to when I started looking into the vCenter Server logs when I started looking into the respective versions.
    • For vSphere 5.5 : https://kb.vmware.com/kb/1021804
    • For vSphere 6.x : https://kb.vmware.com/kb/2110014
  • In the logs start by looking at the warning message received while attempting operation on vSphere client, vSphere web client / HTML 5 based client.
    Note:  Would strongly recommend to start using the vSphere web client in 6.0 and HTML 5 client on version 6.5 as vSphere client(fat client or c# client) is already a deprecated product and soon even the vSphere web client may also be taken away to remove the flash dependency which was a major problem and cause of lot of problems in the previous versions.

There is still a lot more that I can think off but it is hard to place off all the scenarios here with the article. You would be thinking that what a waste of time, this guy did not talk about a problem and he is already trying to close off the article. Well, I just wanted to share my experience on how I started with troubleshooting issue when I was in Global Support Services at VMware and I found it to be a good start till date.

That’s the end for this article. Have fun reading !!

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