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#VMware #vCentre Server booting too fast with co-located SQL Server

If you run VMware vCentre Server then when you restart the server you may find that the services for VMware end up in an apparent deadly embrace and just go horribly wrong for you.
I have had this recently and there was (initially) no sense to it.
Essentially the problem is that the vCentre Server Service tries to start the (VMware customised) Microsoft ADAM LDAP service (called VMwareVCMSDS), the SQL Server and the vCentre Service concurrently.
Now I don’t pretend to know quite what’s going on, but the behaviour looks like a deadly embrace with the services staying in “Starting” state, sometimes stopping and starting again, and then failed to get to started status.
I found by experimentation that the manual starting of services seemed to work most of the time (but sometimes I had to hop to the Task Manager to manually kill processes).  Then I found this: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1007669
This proves the theory that I had, and recommends the SQL and ADAM services should be set as services that vCentre Server is dependent on – it includes all the instruction, so I’ll let you read that.  But a couple of thoughts:
  • If your vCentre Server is on Windows 2008, the Delayed Automatic Startup may be good for you (although I think I’d still put the dependencies in, as if the boot of the services is slow…
  • A separate SQL server will help (although if the 2 servers are virtualised then you will need to manage their startup relationship)
  • You’d think VMware would have realised this and put it in the product…
  • Oh, and don’t expect to find any meaningful error messages in the event logs either when solving this one.
Another weekend lesson over for me J (at least I was able to fix another .NET Framework patching problem VM as well though – http://corylus.blogspot.com/2010/06/net-framework-patching-failures-and-how.html!)

By P J Bryant

Ramblings of a freelance IT Consultant working for some nice SME's, large organisations, resellers and the usual friends and family! Bit of

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