Deploying NSX-V controller failed and disappear from vSphere client

One of the following issues hit during the deployment of the NSX-v Controller cluster may cause the deployment to fail and the deletion after few minutes of the instantiated Controller nodes.

  1. Firewall blocking Controller communication with NSX Manager.
  2. Network Connectivity between NSX Manager and Controllers.
  3. DNS/NTP misconfiguration between NSX Manager/vCenter/ESXi hosts.
  4. Lack of available resources, like disk space, in the Datastore utilized for the deployment of the Controllers.

The first area to investigate is the “Task Console” on vCenter. From an analysis of the entries displayed on the console, it is clear that first the Controller virtual machine is “powered on”, but then it gets powered off and deleted. But why?

 

View vCenter Tasks

View vCenter Tasks

 

Troubleshooting step:

  • Download the NSX manager logs.
  • Right click on the upper right corner of the NSX Manager GUI and choose “Download Tech Support Log”.
Download NSX Manager Logs

Download NSX Manager Logs

 

The Tech support file can be a very large text file, so finding an issue is as challenging as looking for a needle in a pile of hay.  What to look for?

My best advice is to start with something we know, the name of the Controller node that was first instantiated and then deleted. This name was assigned to the Controller node after the completion of the deployment wizard.

In my specific example it was “controller-2”.

Open the text file and search for this name:

Search in Tech Support File

Search in Tech Support File

 

When you find the name try to use the arrow down key and start to read:

NSX Tech Support file

NSX Tech Support file

 

From this error we can learn we have connectivity issues; it appears that if the Controller node can’t connect to NSX Manager during the deploying process, it will get automatically deleted.

The next question is: why do I have connectivity issues? In my case the NSX Controller and the NSX Manager run in the same IP subnet.

The answer is found in the manual Static IP pool object that was created for the Controller cluster.

In this lab I work with subnet class B 255.255.0.0 = prefix of 16, but in the object pool I mistakenly assigned a prefix length of 24.

 

Wrong IP Pool

Wrong IP Pool

 

This was just an example on how to troubleshoot an NSX-v Controller node deployment but there may be other reasons that can cause a similar problem.

  • Firewall block Controller to talk NSX Manager.
  • Network Connectivity between NSX Manager and Controllers.
  • Make sure NSX Manager/vCenter/ESXi hosts have DNS/NTP configured
  • Make sure you have available resource like disk space in the Datastore you deploying the controllers.

Improving NSX GUI user experience

Working with NSX on different environments I found that the vSphere Web client could work slowly. After hearing others users complains about those problems, I decided to write some tips for improving the overall user experience.

Fist try to login with local default user: administrator@vsphere.local; if this work faster than an LDAP user then please try to switching from using user@domain to domainuser.

  1. Increase the java memory limit for vCenter. The following VMware published KB article offers more information on how to do that:
    http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2021302
  2. Install the Client Interaction plugin. You should see the message on the vCenter login page:
client integration plugin

client integration plugin

3. Increase the local storage settings on the Flash Player will also speed up the web client.
Adobe have online tool to view and change the local storage setting:
http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager07.html

Flash Storage Settings panel

Flash Storage Settings panel

 

Note: if the PC you are using to connect to vCenter does not have access to Internet this Adobe link will not work. Thanks to Micha Novak and Yaniv Yaakov (my team colleagues) for this tip.

When we load the Web Client in the blue Screen try to fast “right click” on your mouse, then click on the Settings button.

Flash Storage Seeting1

Swipe right the scroll bar:

Flash Storage Seeting2

4. Remove idle sessions from you vCenter

vCenter idle session

vCenter idle session