vCenter 6 fails to boot with LVM file system errors and needs fsck

If your vCenter server 6 has ever crashed or maybe after you performed an upgrade you are presented with a screen telling you that you need to run an fsck on the file system.  Now logically you run fsck against /dev/sda3 which is the root partition.  If you find that there are no errors on /dev/sda3 you might find yourself scratching your head and wondering what now.  You could go and try to check /dev/sda1 & /dev/sda2.  With no luck there the head scratching may become a bit more intense.  I found myself in this situation recently as well as a few other folks with no answer how to get this resolved.

In vCenter 6 you will notice there are now a number of LVM partitions and these are most likely the cause to your pain.  Below are the steps you can take to resolve the issue and get your vCenter back up and running.

 

  1. First you need to get access to the filesystem.  I like to do this by changing the grub boot parameters, I have better success this way.
    1. When the grub boot loader is up press space to stop the auto boot.
    2. The press “p” and enter your password if you didn’t set one it’s “vmware”.
    3. Next on the 2nd entry in the list press “e” for edit.
    4. Then on the 2nd entry again press “e” again to edit the line and add “init=/bin/bash” to the end of the line and press “enter”.
    5. Now press “b” to boot single user mode
  2. Once the console is up and running you need to mount your / partition in Read/Write mode.  You can do this by issuing the following command mount -n -o remount,rw /
  3. Now issue the following two commands:
    1. lvm lvscan
    2. lvm vgchange -ay
  4. Once you have run these two commands you can now run fsck against your lvm volumes.  As an example let’s say the volume with errors is log_vg-log.  You would issue the command fsck -y /dev/mapper/log_vg-log
  5. Once you have repaired all the effected partitions reboot and you should be good to go.

That’s it, you should now have a working vCenter server again.

VMware vSphere 6 – Manually upgrading vSphere 6.0 to vSphere 6.0 Update 2 with ease

You have read all the announcements about vSphere 6.0 Update 2 being released and now you want to upgrade.  Maybe you haven’t tried out the embedded web ui and are tired on needing to use the thick client when your VC goes down.  Whatever the reason applying the update is pretty easy and straight forward.

Updating vCenter Appliance

First things first we need to upgrade vCenter to Update 2.  To do this manually you will first need to download the vSphere patch iso VMware-vCenter-Server-Appliance-6.0.0.20000-3634791-patch-FP.iso from myvmware.  Once you have downloaded the iso simply follow these steps to apply the update:

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VMware Sample Exchange beta

It dawned on me that you all may not be aware of the VMware Sample Exchange.  The sample exchange is a place where you can go to find samples shared by many different folks.  Some by VMware employees others by customers, and partners.  On the sample exchange you can share all sorts of things from sample code written in many different languages, vRO workflows, blueprints, and more.  With the ability to turn blueprints into code in vRA7 the sample exchange makes it possible to share those blueprints with others and the best part is it’s free!

I encourage all of you to participate.  The more of you that share your work the better this community will become for all.

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vSphere 6 Update 2 finally brings a full web client

I haven’t worked closely with vSphere much as most of my automation work has been 100% focused on not caring about what the infrastructure underneath actually looks like. It is however deeply ingrained in me based on my many years working for a global manufacturer who standardized on vSphere. I still fully remember every moment of managing hundreds of vSphere hosts and multiple vCenters across the globe! I can tell you without question if any communication with vCenter was lost then it was all about trying to manage that host.

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