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vCenter Server Heartbeat Plug-in - Online Help (1008601)

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This article provides online help with vCenter Server Heartbeat.


About vCenter Server Heartbeat Plug-in

vCenter Server Heartbeat Plug-in pro-actively monitors the VMware vCenter Server and VMware License Server environment. vCenter Server Heartbeat Plug-in provides protection for all associated VMware vCenter Server and VMware License Server configuration data, services, application data files, and log files.
Plug-in for SQL Server provides protection for the database if it is present on the same server.

: SQL Server instances added after Plug-in for SQL Server is installed are not protected.
Supported Versions of Microsoft Windows
VMware vCenter Server with a local SQL Server database:
  • Requires VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat Plug-in

    This protects the License Server component if it is present.

  • Plug-in for SQL Server
VMware License Server component only requires VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat
Install/Uninstalling the vCenter Server Heartbeat Plug-in Via the VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat Console
The VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat Plug-in can be installed either via the VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat Setup process or by using Application > Plugins in the VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat Console using the procedure below. VMware recommends that for initial installations of VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat, installation be performed using the VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat Setup.exe.

: When installing the VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat Plug-in, the WebClient service must be Stopped with the service set to Manual to prevent errors during the installation.

To install the VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat Plug-in:
  1. Unzip the VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat Plug-in to the desired location.
  2. Using the Services Control Manager, set the WebClient service to Manual and Stopped.
  3. Launch the VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat Console.
  4. Click Application > Plugins.
  5. Click Install.
  6. Click Browse and navigate to the location of the VirtualCenterNFPlugin.dll located at:

    • For vCenter Server Heartbeat 6.3.x: Install_Directory\R2\plugins\VMwareVirtualCenter\
    • For vCenter Server Heartbeat 6.4x and 6.5x: Install_Directory\R2\plugins\VMwareVirtualCenter\

  7. Click OK to complete the installation.
To remove/uninstall the VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat Plug-in: 
  1. Launch the VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat Console.
  2. Click Application > Plugins.
  3. Select the desired plug-in to be removed/uninstalled.
  4. Click Uninstall in the Plugins pane.

    Note: When uninstalling this plug-in, the passive server may display the following error message:

    AMFx Error: []:VPXD: Time out has expired and the operation has not been completed. (Timeout).

    This error does not affect the uninstall process.

  5. When the plug-in is uninstalled, the files are not removed. This is by design for future functionality and therefore the following workaround is provided:

    1. Copy the contents of the r2\plugins\sponsor\version folder to a different location.
    2. Delete the contents of the r2\plugins\sponsor\version folder.
    3. To reinstall the plug-in, when prompted for the location of the plug-in files, navigate to the new folder location.

Note: As an alternative, re-installation can be accomplished by using the downloaded files from the original download location after removing the plug-in.

Note: If re-installation is performed, files under C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\VMware Capacity Planner may temporarily become out of sync. 


For VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat Plug-in, monitoring consists of:
  • Service Availability Monitoring
  • Application and Performance Monitoring
Service Availability Monitoring
VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat monitors services specified by the plug-in to ensure application availability. In the event that a specified service stops or fails, VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat can take up to three pre-configured actions to remedy the issue.
Application and Performance Monitoring

Rules – There are no configurable performance monitoring rules for this plug-in.

Tasks – There are no configurable Tasks associated with this plug-in when used in a LAN deployment. If deploying in a WAN environment, follow the instructions in Support in a WAN Environment.

Protected Services

This is a list of all services protected by this plug-in:
VMware VirtualCenter
  • VMware VirtualCenter Server (vpxd) service
  • VMware Virtual Infrastructure Web Access (webAccess) service
  • VMware Capacity Planner service
  • VMware Converter Enterprise service
  • VMware Update Manager service
  • VMware License Server service
When the plug-in is installed, all protected services are set to manual unless otherwise stated.

Protected Data

This is a description of the protected data set determined at plug-in install time. Exact filters depend upon the configuration of the application plug-in at the time of install.
VMware vCenter Server
  • All registry data, log files, security certificates, and configuration files.
  • All VMware vCenter database instances discovered at install time.

Support for WAN Deployments

VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat supports WAN deployments where the disaster recovery site is configured:
  • With the same subnet range, where the Secondary server is configured with the same IP address (default).

    No changes required

  • With a different subnet range, where the Secondary server requires a different IP address.

    Follow the steps detailed below.

Configuring VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat for different subnets

VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat provides a utility that can be configured to update the ESX hosts with the new IP address during the switchover or failover process. The utility requires the Managed IP to be set either in the vpxd.cfg file or the registry.

Configuring the ManagedIP in the VPXD file

The vpxd.cfg file is located at C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\VMware\VMware Virtual Center server. On the active server, locate the <vpxd> element in the vpxd.cfg file and add a new element <managedIP> that contains the IP address of the VirtualCenter server.

Configuring the ManagedIP in the Registry

At HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\VMware, Inc.\VMware VirtualCenter, create a new key, <managedIP>, with a value of the IP address of the currently active server.

Configuring notRespondingTimeout

If a large number of ESX hosts are being updated, additional changes may be required to the vpxd.cfg file. Try increasing the notRespondingTimeout value from the default value specified.
The timeout is measured in seconds, and defaults to 60.

Configuring the VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat Utility

When the registry or vpxd.cfg file is configured the VCWANUtility can be configured:
  1. Launch the VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat Console and click Application > Tasks.
  2. Click Add to create a new task and assign a name to the task.
  3. Choose Post Start from the Task Type drop-down.
  4. Enter the following in the Command field:

    VCWANUtility.exe -eupdate

  5. Select a user account that has permissions for vCenter Server, as the task needs to be able to communicate with the ESX hosts.
  6. Click OK to accept the new task.
Note: The VCWANUtility fails after a switchover if it cannot find an IP to update. The VCWANUtility looks for the Managed IP in the vxpd.cfg file and the registries. If there is nothing to update, the new IP address is not published to the ESX hosts and the hosts are unaware that the vCenter Server has a different IP address. As a result, when the user starts vCenter Server, the hosts appear as Not Responding.

Unsupported Components or Features

The plug-in does not protect the following application features or components:
  • This plug-in does not support deployments with a local Oracle database.
  • This plug-in does not protect the Oracle client configuration files present on a vCenter Server deployed with a remote Oracle Database.
  • The plug-in does not protect user preference settings for Virtual Infrastructure Client programs when installed on the vCenter Server.
  • This plug-in does not protect the VMware license server log file lmgrd.log.
  • This plug-in does not support the use of custom ports

See Also

Request a Product Feature

To request a new product feature or to provide feedback on a VMware product, please visit the Request a Product Feature page.


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