NSX-V Troubleshooting registration to vCenter

In the current NSX software release, the NSX Manager is tightly connected to the vCenter server in a 1:1 relationship.

During the process of coupling the NSX Manager to vCenter we have two different initial steps: the configuration of “Lookup Service” and “vCenter Server”.


Lookup Service:

Lookup Service allows to bind NSX role to SSO user or group. In other word this enable the “Role Based Access Control” authentication functionality in NSX and its optional configuration. Notice that without Lookup service configuration the functionality of NSX is not affected at all.


 VCenter Server:

This is a mandatory configuration. Registering the NSX Manager with vCenter injects a plugin into the vSphere Web Client for consumption of NSX functionalities within the Web management platform.

While trying to Register to vCenter or configuring the Lookup Service you might see this error:

“nested exception is java.net.UnknownHostException: vc-l-01a.corp.local( vc-l-01a.corp.local )”


Or when trying to setup the Lookup Service:

“nested exception is java.net.UnknownHostException: vc-l-01a.corp.local( vc-l-01a.corp.local )”


Or similar to this Error:

“NSX Management Service operation failed.( Initialization of Admin Registration Service Provider failed. Root Cause: Error occurred while registration of lookup service, com.vmware.vim.sso.admin.exception.InternalError: General failure. )”


Most of the problems to register NSX Manager to vCenter or configure the SSO Lookup service are:

  1. Connectivity problem between the NSX Managers and vCenter.
  2. Firewall blocking this connection.
  3. DNS not configured properly on NSX Manager or vCenter.
  4. Time is not synced between NSX Manager and vCenter.
  5. The user authenticated via SSO needs to have administrative rights.


TSHOT steps

Connectivity issue:

Verify connectivity from NSX Manager to vCenter. Ping from NSX Manager to vCenter using both the IP address and the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN). Check for routing or static information or for the presence of a default route in NSX Manager:

nsxmgr-l-01a# show ip route

Codes: K – kernel route, C – connected, S – static,

> – selected route, * – FIB route

S>* [1/0] via, mgmt

C>* is directly connected, mgmt


DNS Issue:

Verify NSX Manager can successfully resolve the vCenter DNS name. Ping from NSX Manager to vCenter with FQDN:

nsxmgr-l-01a# ping vc-l-01a.corp.local

PING vc-l-01a.corp.local ( 56 data bytes

64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=64 time=0.576 ms

If this does not work verify the DNS configuration on the NSX Manager.

Go to Manage -> Network -> DNS Servers:


Firewall Issue:

If you have a firewall between NSX Manager and vCenter, verify it allows SSL communication on TCP/443 (also allow ping for connective checks).

A complete list of the communication ports and protocols used for VMware NSX for vSphere is available at the links below:





NTP issue:

Verify that actual time is synced between vCenter and NSX Manager.


From NSX Manager CLI:

nsxmgr-l-01a# show clock
Tue Nov 18 06:51:34 UTC 2014


From vCenter CLI:

vc-l-01a:~ # date
Tue Nov 18 06:51:31 UTC 2014

Note: After configuration of Time settings, Appliance needs to be restarted.


User permission issue:

Registered user to vCenter or Lookup service must have administrative rights.
Try to work with default administrator user: administrator@vsphere.local

Now the official KB publish at 21/1/15: