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Multiple Service Console Portgroups

Posted on 2010-11-26
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Last Modified: 2012-06-22
Hi,

I have the following problem:
I found out that a ESX 3.5 server had more than 1 Service Console Portgroup defined. They were defined on different vSwitches.
One of them had a wrong IP address, so I assumed this is the reason why my HA cluster has an error displayed. (Error was: HA agent was unable to install).

I tried to delete the redundant and not neccessary Service Console portgroup, but ran into an error:
unable to find vswitch at config location net/vswitch/child

I then tried to change the IP configuration of the second Service Console portrgoup, but got an error in the UI (don't remember what it was exactly, but it basically said unable to apply settings without giving a reason). I noticed that the VI client was displaying the new IP address.

I changed into the service console:
esxcfg-vswif -l displayed _nothing_, which was kindof frightening.

ifconfig displayed both vswifs.
I tried to delete the wrong one of them with esxcfg-vswif but had no success. Error message was: no such vswif.

then I tried to add a third one just to get at least one displayed in esxcfg-vswif to ensure that I can connect via the VI Client: esxcfg-vswif -a -p "Service Console" -i <ip> -n <mask>. This time I succeeded and got the proper vswif displayed in esxcfg-vswif -l.

So i decided to restart the hostd and vpxa service (service vmware-[hostd|vpxa] restart).
Then I lost the connection, and it seems that the server doesn't have a ILO ;).

I'll get to the server tomorrow (physically). What would you recommend to do? I dont want to reinstall.
Here's my plan:

1. shut down every VM on the host and reboot it
2. esxcfg-vswif -l (I'm really curious about that output after a reboot ;-)
3. delete all vswifs
4. create a new vswif
5. -L ink it to a vmnic
6. service vmware-hostd restart and service vmware-vpxa restart

Hope you can give me any more input
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Question by:fr0nk
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Expert Comment

by:Danny McDaniel
ID: 34220592
Before you reboot, I'd check for a full filesystem (df -h) and also do a less on /etc/vmware/esx.conf and make sure it looks complete and not corrupt.  There might be a .bak copy of the file on the system if it is.  You could try to do an esxcfg-boot -p, ...-r, .... -b to rebuild the esx.conf if it is corrupt.  http://kb.vmware.com/kb/10065
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by:fr0nk
ID: 34232444
The esx.conf was corrupted and I couldn't rebuild it :( But thanks anyways for your input! :-)

I saw that every ESX in that environment was configured with two service console portgroups, residing on different switches, but only with one uplink. In my opinion this is absolutely braindead, when I want to archieve management network redundancy (the cluster will complain with a warning otherwise) I give the vSwitch 2 uplink adapters.

Am I missing something, or why would you implement the config I mentioned above?

Kind regards
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Danny McDaniel earned 2000 total points
ID: 34232759
Yeah, your way is better for redundancy.  with a second service console, VC will never use it since it has a different IP and you may have trouble connecting to it if it's on a different subnet and the default route is set to use vswif0.
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