Cannot log in to VCenter? Check your database.

Today I was attempting to log in to vSphere server and was greeted with the following message (more or less):

vSphere client could not connect an unknown connection error occurred

After checking all the usual suspects (vsa was accessable, etc) I found the vSpehere service was not running and could not start.

Checking the log for the service (/var/log/vmware/vpx/vpxd.log) I spotted the following:

2012-06-11T09:17:40.166-04:00 [7FFFF3B09700 error 'Default'] [VpxdVdb::SetDBType]: Database error: ODBC error: (HY000) - [unixODBC][Oracle][ODBC][Ora]ORA-00257: archiver error. Connect internal only, until freed.

Our database was having problems, so vSphere couldn’t connect to it. (Too bad vSphere didn’t just say that, it would have saved a lot of time.)  Cleaning up the Oracle DB used by vSphere fixed the problem.


“Insufficient resources to satisfy configured failover level for vSphere HA”

“Insufficient resources to satisfy configured failover level for vSphere HA”

Not a message you wanted to see in your environment, especially a heavily virtualized one.  Nor is it particularly clear*.  There was a lack of resources, but where?  What type? CPU? RAM? VCenter knew but wasn’t sharing.

An entry in the VMWare forums pointed me to the page to looking in VCenter.  Of particular use was the reply by jjkrueger.

In short,

  1. Go to the Home->Inventory->Hosts and Clusters page
  2. Click on the Cluster you want to inspect
  3. Select the Resource Allocation Tab
  4. Select a View (cpu/memory/storage)

In this case, it was memory.  Almost all the virtual machines had the “Reserve all guest memory” option enabled.

Original forum post:

*  Unless you already know what it means.


Installing vmware-tools in FreeBSD 9

I recently tried to install VMWare’s tools into a 64-bit FreeBSD in VMware Workstation 8.  I was unable to get the tools provided by VMware to install.  A quick Google search showed this is a common problem.

The solution is to use the VMware tools provided in the ports collection.  Even this method requires some minor tweaking though.

The process:

  1. If you haven’t already, install the ports collection.
  2. From VMware Workstation’s VM menu (right-click in Vsphere), choose “Install VMware Tools…”.
  3. In the FreeBSD VM, determine which device is your CD drive.  It’s always been /dev/cd0 in my VMs but you’ll want to double-check.
  4. Before installing the VMware tools port, you need to update the Makefile /usr/ports/emulators/vmware-guestd6/Makefile.  Update the line MOUNT_DEV? = /dev/ad0 to point to your cdrom.  Mine looks like MOUNT_DEV? = /dev/cd0
  5. Change to the /usr/ports/emulators/vmware-tools6 and run the make command.  You’ll be prompted to continue.  Say yes.

If all goes well, the port will access the cdrom, grab some files, download more files and build the tools.  The tools are installed in /usr/local like most ports.

If you plan to run X11, you may also want to install the VMware X11 driver in /usr/ports/x11/drivers/xf86-video-vmware.  It will install the Vmware specific video driver.

03/05/2012 Update:  After few reboots, the errors returned.  See this post in the VMware forums for details: