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vCenter Appliance - Server (vpxd) will not start

Posted on 2014-12-29
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Last Modified: 2015-01-03
I am running the Linux-based vCenter appliance version 5.1.0.10100 Build 1123965 and am using the embedded database.  As of this morning, I can no longer connect to the server with the vi client.  The web GUI responds on port 5480 and the "Summary" shows that the "Server" is "stopped".  Clicking "start" does not change the Server status.

I logged into the appliance and tried starting the vmware-vpxd service manually and I get a "failed" status.  I looked at the vpxd.log file and am receiving the following error:

Failed to connect to database : ODBC error: (08001) - [unixODBC] could not connect to server: Connection refused. (See attached image)

Using the web GUI, I tried the "Test Settings" button on the database page and I receive an error "Incompatible DB schema version" (See attached image)

I tried the steps in this article: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2035070  This procedure fails with the same error "Incompatible DB schema version". (See attached image)

This problem happened once before where the Server service showed "stopped" in the web GUI, but a reboot of the appliance fixed the problem.  This time a reboot did not work.

Nothing has changed on this server and it was working fine when I left the office on Friday.  Any ideas on what's going on here and how to fix it?

Thanks in advance for your assistance!
ODBC-Error.jpg
Web-GUI-Schema-Error.jpg
vpxd-start-error.jpg
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Question by:CipherUser
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:Sean
ID: 40521868
The easiest thing to do is to upgrade as this seems to be a bug.

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2063954

I always suggest using the windows version of vcenter as it seems to work a little better IMO.
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Author Comment

by:CipherUser
ID: 40521878
Zindel1 - The article you suggested "VMware vCenter Server Appliance service fails to start after an upgrade to 5.1" would not apply in this situation as there was no upgrade performed.  This vCenter VM has been on the same version for over a year I believe (I am new to this environment).  This server has been working fine and just failed, untouched, over the weekend.

Thanks for the suggestion to use the Windows version, but that is not an option at this point. I just need to fix the existing installation.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:Sean
ID: 40521883
Is the vcenter appliance using a local database or a remote one? I would still suggest reinstalling the vcenter even if you use the appliance but if that is out then we can start looking at deeper options.



    Connect to the vCenter Server Appliance via SSH as the root user. The default password is vmware.

    Note: To enable SSH on the vCenter Server Appliance 5.0, see the Enable or Disable SSH Administrator Login on the VMware vCenter Server Appliance section of the vCenter Server and Host Management Guide.

    Run this command to stop the vpxd service:

    service vmware-vpxd stop

    Run this command:

    /usr/sbin/vpxd_odbcconfig

    You see output similar to:

    VMware vCenter Server Appliance ODBC Configuration

    Choose a database to use with VMware vCenter Server

    1) oracle
    2) embedded

    Enter 2.

    You see output similar to:

    Configuring ODBC for embedded
    Operation was successful.
    Database already populated with version VirtualCenter Database 5.0
    Reinitialize database? (WARNING: WILL DELETE ALL RECORDS) [y(es)|N(O)]: OK, preserving the database. (select No to preserve the database)
    Restart vCenter Server now to activate the database changes [y/N]:y
    Successfully restarted vCenter Server
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Author Comment

by:CipherUser
ID: 40521900
Zindel1 - Thanks for the suggestion to use the VMware vCenter Server Appliance ODBC Configuration CLI tool, but if you look at my original post and the images, you'll see that I've already done that and it failed.
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Author Comment

by:CipherUser
ID: 40522209
Zindel1 - I tried your suggestion about updating to the latest version (Update 3), but the update failed. (See image)

Do you or anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks!
vCenter-Update-Failure.jpg
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Author Comment

by:CipherUser
ID: 40522225
According to this article: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2031331 ....

"To monitor the progress of the update, see the /opt/vmware/var/log/vami/updatecli.log file."

See attached image of the updatecli.log for failure message for the update attempt.
updatecli.log.jpg
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Accepted Solution

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CipherUser earned 0 total points
ID: 40522359
Lacking any other input, I had to resort to recovering the vCenter appliance from a backup.  This fixed the issue at hand.  Thanks for your suggestions Zindel1, but I wasn't able to mark any of them as the correct solution as they didn't fix the issue.
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Author Closing Comment

by:CipherUser
ID: 40528928
I graded this solution as a 'C' as it was my own answer and the original issue was never resolved.  I made the issue 'go away' by restoring the affected VM from a backup - not fixing it as was my original intention.
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