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"no suitable host in the inventory" error when applying host profile after upgrading vCenter Server to 6.5.0d (2150534)

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Unable to apply the host profile captured from ESXi 5.5 to the upgraded host for the following scenarios:

  • The host used for reference is upgraded to ESXi 6.x
  • The inventory does not have any host at version ESXi 5.5 ( same version it was captured from )
  • vCenter Server is upgraded to 6.5
  • In the %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\VMWare\vCenterServer\logs\vsphere-client logs file, you see entries similar to:

    [ERROR] data-service-pool-791 70180422 126989 225566 com.vmware.vsphere.client.hostprofile.HostProfileUtils profileManager.queryMetadata(...) throws error: com.vmware.vim.binding.vim.fault.InvalidProfileReferenceHost: There is no suitable host in the inventory as reference host for the profile Prod 05 sun.reflect.GeneratedConstructorAccessor1825.newInstance(Unknown Source)at sun.reflect.DelegatingConstructorAccessorImpl.newInstance( java.lang.reflect.Constructor.newInstance( java.lang.Class.newInstance( [ERROR] http-bio-9090-exec-1795 70180422 126989 225566 com.vmware.vise.core.model.CompositeException (vim.fault.InvalidProfileReferenceHost) {
    faultCause = null,
    faultMessage = (vmodl.LocalizableMessage)
    [ com.vmware.vim.binding.impl.vmodl.LocalizableMessageImpl@57baba61]reason = missingReferenceHost,
    host = null,
    profile = null,
    profileName = Prod 05 Cluster

    Note: This log excerpt is an example. Date, time, and environmental variables may vary depending on your environment.



As per the Reference Host Independence section on the host profile documentation for vSphere 6.5, we see that a dedicated reference host is not required to be available to perform host profile tasks. In previous releases, vSphere required that the reference host was available for certain host Profiles tasks, such as editing, importing, and exporting. In addition to that we see that warning indicating that no valid reference host is associated with the profile is expected. Due to the introduction of this feature, users can no longer edit or change the reference host from the vSphere Web Client. The reference host selection occurs at runtime, without notifying users, in the vCenter Server for on-going tasks.


This is a known issue affecting vCenter Server 6.50d.
Currently, there is no solution.
To workaround this issue for vSphere 5.5 profile after upgrade to vSphere 6.5, 
  1. Select 5.5 profile from the inventory.
  2. Invoke "Copy settings from host".
  3. Select the host to upgrade. This will upgrade 5.5 profile version to selected host version.

To workaround this issue for other versions:

  1. Retain an ESXi host with the same version as the one used for the creation of the host profile. In case if a host cannot be made available, then we would need a nested ESXi running on a VM in the inventory.


  2. Manually match the profile configuration from the older version of the ESXi with a profile extracted from current version. During this, we need to manually un-check the features with the newer release to match with the existing profile.

See Also

Update History

7/12/2017 - Added workaround from the linked PR1891506

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