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Triaging a vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 installation, upgrade, or migration (6.0 U2m) failure (2106760)

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Purpose

The purpose of this article is to describe the process of triaging a failed vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 installation, upgrade, or migration process.

Resolution

High level install process overview

The vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 installer does the following:
  1. Detects the presence of the Client Integration Plugin (Required before install).
  2. User is prompted for information, and the information is validated by the vCenter Server Appliance installer.
  3. When the user clicks Finish, the specifications of the install is passed into ovftool and is deployed to the target ESXi host.
  4. The vCenter Server Appliance is deployed, and the specifications of the installed are passed into the vCenter Server Appliance and to the firstboot scripts.
  5. The firstboot scripts are executed and initially configure the appliance.
  6. Post-installation steps are displayed to the user.

High level upgrade process overview

The vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 installer does the following:

  1. Detects the presence of the Client Integration Plugin (Required before install).
  2. User is prompted for information, and the information is validated by the vCenter Server Appliance installer.

    • The target host is the ESXi host on which a new appliance is deployed.
    • The source appliance is the existing older version appliance.
    • The source host is the ESXi host on which the old appliance is deployed.

  3. When the user clicks Finish, the specifications of the upgrade is passed into ovftool.exe and is deployed to the target ESXi host.
  4. The appliance is deployed, and the specifications of the upgrade are passed into the appliance.
  5. Export scripts export information from the source appliance to a temporary location specified during in earlier steps.
  6. The firstboot scripts are executed and initially configure the appliance.
  7. The exported data is imported and the upgrade is completed.
  8. Post-installation steps are displayed to the user.

Collecting Information

The installation process may fail in two ways.
  • Installation failures where we download the vCenter Server support bundle
  • Installation failures where we fail to download the vCenter Server support bundle

Installation failures where we download the vCenter Server support bundle

When the installation fails and the attempt to collect the support bundle succeeds, do the following:
  1. Record the date and time of the error.
  2. If the vCenter Server Appliance install was connecting to an external Platform Services Controller, open a browser and go to https://ip_or_fqdn_of_PSC/appliance/support-bundle where the ip_or_fqdn_of_PSC is that of the Platform Services Controller specified in the vCenter Server Appliance install process.  Save the file to a known location.
  3. Compress the contents of %AppData%/../Local/VMware/CIP/ folder to a known location.
  4. Upload the files from step 2 and 3 to VMware.  For more information, see  Uploading diagnostic information for VMware (1008525).

Installation failures where we fail to download the vCenter Server support bundle

When the installation fails and the attempt to collect the support bundle fails, symptoms similar to the following can include:
  • The request for acquiring a DHCP address has timed out.
  • Failed to download vCenter Server support bundle logs.
Do the following:
  1. Record the time and date of the error.
  2. Open the vSphere Client connect to the target ESXi host used during your appliance install process.
  3. Open a console to the virtual machine that was created during the appliance install process.
  4. Use the vCenter Server Appliance Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) to review and correct your networking configuration if necessary.
  5. Diagnose and fix any existing network configuration issues:

    • Using the same console press SHIFT+F1 and log in as root using the password provided at install-time.  The appliance shell includes commands that can be used to diagnose networking connectivity issues.  For more information using the appliance shell, see API Commands in the vCenter Appliance Shell.

      Note: You can switch back to the DCUI by pressing SHIFT+F2.

    • Use a conventional shell to continue troubleshooting.  For more information, see Enable Bash Shell Access From the Appliance Shell.
    • If you need tcpdump or netcat for troubleshooting, run the command /etc/vmware/gss-support/install.sh to install those RPMs.

      Note: The binaries tcpdump and netcat are removed for security reasons.  These binaries are uninstalled upon reboot.

  6. Open a browser and collect the support bundle from the appliance by visiting https://ip_or_fqdn_of_Appliance/appliance/support-bundle and provide the root user and password and save the resulting log bundle to a known location.
  7. If the vCenter Server Appliance install was connecting to an external Platform Services Controller, open a browser and go to https://ip_or_fqdn_of_PSC/appliance/support-bundle where the ip_or_fqdn_of_PSC is that of the Platform Services Controller specified in the vCenter Server Appliance install process.  Save the file to a known location.
  8. Compress the contents of %AppData%/../Local/VMware/CIP/ folder to a known location.
  9. Upload the files generated in steps 5 to 7 to VMware.  For more information, see  Uploading diagnostic information for VMware (1008525).

Additional Information

Log Levels and Sizes

If the installation fails due to a problem with the Client Integration Plug-in, but the logs do not contain sufficient detail, you may 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. Navigate 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.

Directories and Files

On the Microsoft Windows desktop where the vCenter Server Appliance was deployed from:
  • Directory %AppData%\..\Local\VMware\CIP\vcsaInstaller\sessions\session_####\logs\ 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 target vCenter Server Appliance:
  • 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.
On a Mac desktop where the vCenter Server Appliance 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.


See Also

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