Author Archives: dean132

Upgrade vCenter 6 to 6.5

Another quick post to run through the migration steps to move from VCSA 6 to VCSA 6.5. I know this is only a simple one but I find it’s sometimes best to run through things again.

Mount the VCSA 6.5 ISO, and then browse the iso to (driveletter):\vcsa-ui-installer\win32\Installer.exe

Once the installer opens select Upgrade:

As the next page explains, what we are going to do is deploy a new appliance, with a temporary IP address and the migrate the data to the new appliance and then we complete the upgrade

Accepts the EULA

Connect to the source vCenter

Fill out the account details, and the address details for the target ESXi host or target vCenter.

Once you click next, the application will start validating, you should note here when I did this the validation process took quite a while but that was probably due to the performance of the lab I am running

Once validation completes, select the target ESXi host or vCenter to deploy the new vCenter too

If you choose to deploy to a vCenter you can select the datacentre and folder the new appliance should reside

You then need to select a compute resource to deploy the appliance too

Select your deployment size

Select the datastore where the appliance should be deployed to

Select the network and the give the appliance a temporary IP configuration

Review your settings and then click finish to start deployment

Its not the speediest in my lab but it does get there eventually

Oh no disaster the deployment failed…….the below error was pulled from the logs

error: sourcePrecheck: error in getting source Info: ServerFaultCode: A general system error occurred: vix error codes = (1, 4294967292).

Turns out its nothing too sinister…the root password on the source vCenter had expired, fix that and carry on.


Now connect to the source vCenter server, that we are upgrading/migrating from

Oh no another disaster……turns outs there was a duplicate portgroup name, change it and crack on see the article below for more details


Select the data you want to migrate across to the new appliance

Review the settings and click Finish to start the migration

I must admit mine took ages, again this is due to the poorly spec if this particular lab anyway hope this helps someone out I left the errors in just so you can see what I experienced when running through my upgrade

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinby feather

vRA 7.x Remote Console Connection Fails

I recently experienced some strange behaviour at a customer, we had a newly deployed vRA 7.2 platform, and we also built a test 7.3 and had the issue on both versions.

I should point out here that this particular customer runs on a G-Cloud site, so it’s a secure platform heavily firewalled and there is no internet access to the infrastructure.

What was happening was that when a user connected to a VM using the Remote Console they would hit the below error:

“Cannot establish a remote console connection , verify that the machine is powered on if the server has self-signed certificate, you might need to accept certificate, then close and retry the connection”

A quick google of that error will lead you to the following KB Article I followed the steps but alas no joy, also where my issue was different was that if you hit refresh on the browser the console would load, which was even stranger.

In the end I had to log a ticket with VMware Support, after the ticket was escalated to the software team, we were given the solution.

There is a default timeout when initiating the Remote Console connection, unfortunately the setting isn’t documented, and I am not sure what the default timeout setting is, I do know that to replicate our issue VMware support had to drop their timeout to 500ms.

So you need to find the file to edit, which is:


Go to the end of the file and add the below setting:


You can fine tune the setting to what ever your environment needs, 20000ms seemed to be the sweet spot for us.

Hope this helps someone else out there, the only thing we can think is that some kind of CRL lookup, or other checks are happening when the connection is being created and due to our environment having no internet access these fail and increase the initiation time.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinby feather

vRA 7 Create a Folder Selection Dropdown

Another quick post, I needed to create a dropdown box that would give a user the ability to select which vCenter folder a newly provisioned VM should be placed in. The custom property we need to set here is VMware.Virtualcenter.Folder, if you don’t want to give your users access to choose which folder to place a new VM in, but you want to ensure all of their VMs go in a specific folder you can set this property in a number of places.

Anyway for this example I want users to be offered a dropdown box on the request form, that will list all of the child folders in a folder called “Management Servers”.

In order to do this I need to create a vRO action and then a Property Definition to enable this.

vRO Action

The code for the vRO action is as follows:

var parentFolder = “Management Servers”;

var vmFolders = VcPlugin.getAllVmFolders();

var arrFolders = [];


for(var i in vmFolders){

if (vmFolders[i] == parentFolder)




return arrFolders;


You will need to specify a return type of Array/String

If you want to test the code copy it to a new workflow and sciptable task and change the return arrFolders; line to System.log (arrFolders); and ensure you are getting back the folders you expect to see

Property Definition

Setup you Property Definition as follows:

You need to select your newly created action from vRO:

Attach the property definition to the Blueprint:

Now you have a dropdown to select the vCenter Folder:

Hope someone finds this useful

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinby feather

Synchronise Embedded vRO

Just a quick note that had me confused for probably a little longer than it should have. I am using the vRA 7.2 embedded instances of vRO in a 2 node cluster, I recently imported a plugin using the vRO control centre, once the plugin was imported I noticed that when looking at the “Orchestrator Cluster Management” page the nodes were out of sync. I thought that as the instances were embedded then maybe vRA did something clever in the background to force the sync, however I left this for a long weekend and the nodes still hadn’t synced sync’d.

What I noticed was when looking at the Orchestrator Cluster Management page on the embedded cluster, you do not get the “Synchronize” option that you normally get when using an external appliance in a cluster, this is what had me stumped for a short while, after I found the solution I thought I’d best blog it just so can find the solution for my next deployment.

In order to view the Synchronize option I needed to append ?advanced to the URL

You’ll then have the Synchronize option available to force the sync.


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinby feather

vExpert 2017

I am very pleased to announce that I have been included in the vExpert 2017 program. For those of you who aren’t aware of the vExpert program you can find details here, this year is the first year I have been included, so I was really chuffed to have made the cut.

I can’t recommend high enough the value of getting involved with the VMware community, I have been fortunate to have worked with or on the same project as a couple of vExperts over the years, Simon Sparks, Gareth Hogarth and Sam McGeown and their knowledge and generosity in sharing that knowledge, was what got me into attending the UK VMUG UserCon, starting this blog and venturing down the vExpert path, so I must say a special thanks to those 3 guys in particular. I’d also like to extend a thanks to Corey Romero who runs the program and to VMware for putting the program in place.

Anyway I’ll keep updating my blog here, I am currently working on a large vRA / NSX deployment so hopefully that experience will lead to some interesting blog posts.

Bye for now.


Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinby feather