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Configuring the Network Dump Collector service in vSphere 5.x/6.0 (2002954)

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Purpose

This article provides methods for configuring the network coredump collector services in vSphere 5.x/6.0. For more information on the Network Dump Collection feature, see ESXi Network Dump Collector in VMware vSphere 5.x/6.0 (1032051).

The network coredump functionality in ESXi helps in capturing diagnostic data through the network in the event of a purple diagnostic screen. For more information, see Interpreting an ESX/ESXi host purple diagnostic screen (1004250).

Resolution

The VMware ESXi Dump Collector is packaged with vCenter Server. The configuration method differs for the Windows and Linux versions. The configurable options include:

  • Directory for storing received coredumps
  • Amount of disk space used for storing received coredumps
  • Listening network UDP port number

VMware ESXi Dump Collector for Windows

The vCenter Server installation media contains the VMware ESXi Dump Collector service installer. The directory used for storing received core dumps, the amount of disk space used, and the listening port number can be set during installation. However, all options can be changed later by editing the configuration file.

To configure the ESXi Dump Collector for Windows:
  1. Locate the vmconfig-netdump.xml configuration file in the VMware ESXi Dump Collector installation directory. By default, it is located at C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware ESXi Dump Collector\.

    Note: For ESXi 6.0.x, it is located in C:\ProgramData\VMware\vCenterServer\data\netdump\.

  2. Open the vmconfig-netdump.xml configuration file using a text editor.
  3. Locate the defaultDataPath tag, which appears similar to:

    <defaultDataPath>C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware ESXi Dump Collector\Data\</defaultDataPath>

  4. Change the directory used for storing the coredumps received, as required.
  5. Locate the defaultValues tag, which appears similar to:

    <defaultValues>
    <port>6500</port>
    <maxSize>2</maxSize>
    </defaultValues>


  6. Change the listening UDP port number to another value, as required.
  7. Change the maximum amount of disk space used for storing received coredumps to a different value. The value is specified in gigabytes.
  8. Save the vmconfig-netdump.xml configuration file.
  9. Restart the VMware ESXi Dump Collector service using these commands:

    net stop vmware-network-coredump
    net start vmware-network-coredump

VMware ESXi Dump Collector in the vCenter Server Virtual Appliance

The vCenter Server Virtual Appliance has a pre-configured Netdump service available and running. The directory used for storing received core dumps, the amount of disk space used, and the listening port number are all set to defaults, but can be changed later.

Configuring the ESXi Dump Collector using the VMware vCenter Server Virtual Appliance Web interface

  1. Open a web browser, and connect to https://vCenterServerVirtualApplianceHostnameOrIP:5480/.
  2. Log in using an administrative account.
  3. Click the Services tab.
  4. Click the NetDump tab.
  5. Change the listening UDP port number to the desired value.
  6. Change the maximum amount of disk space used for storing received coredumps to a different value. The value is specified in gigabytes.
  7. Click Save Settings.
  8. Click the Status tab.
  9. Click Stop ESXi Services.
  10. Click Start ESXi Services.

Configuring the ESXi Dump Collector using the VMware vCenter Server Virtual Appliance command line

  1. Open the console of the vCenter Server Virtual Appliance.
  2. Log in using an administrative account.
  3. Open the /etc/sysconfig/netdumper configuration file using a text editor. The default configuration appears similar to:

    NETDUMPER_DIR="/var/core/netdumps"
    NETDUMPER_DIR_MAX_GB=2
    NETDUMPER_PORT=6500

  4. Change the directory used for storing received coredumps.
  5. Change the listening UDP port number to the desired value.
  6. Change the maximum amount of disk space used for storing received coredumps to a different value, as required. The value is specified in gigabytes.
  7. To enable verbose logging, modify the NETDUMPER_OPTIONS line to:

    NETDUMPER_OPTIONS="-n -v -d ${NETDUMPER_DIR} -o ${NETDUMPER_PORT}"

  8. Save the /etc/sysconfig/netdumper configuration file.
  9. Restart the VMware ESXi Dump Collector service using the command:

    service vmware-netdumper restart

Configure ESXi Dump Collector with ESXCLI

  1. Set up an ESXi system to use ESXi Dump Collector by running esxcli system coredump in the local ESXi shell or by using vCLI.

    esxcli system coredump network set --interface-name vmk0 --server-ipv4 10.xx.xx.xx --server-port 6500

    Note: You must specify a VMkernel NIC and the IP address and optional port of the server to which to send the core dumps. If you configure an ESXi system that is running inside a virtual machine that is using a vSphere standard switch, you must choose a VMkernel port that is in promiscuous mode. ESXi Network Dump Collector is not supported on vSphere distributed switches in ESXi 5.0. For more information, see  Network Dump Collector on vSphere ESXi 5.0 is not supported on vDS (2000781).

  2. Enable ESXi Dump Collector:

    esxcli system coredump network set --enable true

  3. Check that ESXi Dump Collector is configured correctly:

    esxcli system coredump network get

Additional Information

The vSphere ESXi hosts must be configured to send diagnostic information to the Dump Collector service. For more information, see Configuring an ESXi 5.x host to capture a VMkernel coredump from a purple diagnostic screen via the Network Dump Collector (2002955).

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See Also

Update History

08/08/2013 - Added vCenter Server 5.1 to Product Versions.

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