Fix: vCenter failure to upgrade – unable to configure log browser windows service

During a recent upgrade from vCenter Server 5.5 Update 2d to vCenter Server 5.5 Update 3b it kept failing at the web client upgrade. After successfully upgrading Single-Sign On I proceeded with the upgrade of vSphere Web Client. I got the following error during the installation:

Error 29702 unable to configure log browser windows service please check vminst.log in system temporary folder for details

The update to 5.5 3b caused disk capacity to fill up and make the installation process unable to finish the upgrade. The SSO install worked but the WebClient fails with error 29702. The primary issue was that over 40GB of space on C drive was taken up with SSO upgrade. I searched for fixes and found the following link but before carrying out the task of removing the Java Components and re-installing again I wanted to check with support on the procedure.

The steps I followed to fix the issue were:

Step 1: Go to Control Panel, select VMware vCenter Server – Java Components and select uninstall

vmware java component unistall

Step 2: Click ok to confirm the uninstall

vmware java component unistall step 2

Step 3: Click Yes to confirm reboot

java component uninstall step 3

Step 4: Following the reboot you can then begin the upgrade process once again and this time it will succeeed. Run the vCenter installer and from Custom Install select vCenter Single Sign-On. Click Next.

vcenter upgrade step 1

Step 5: Click Install

vcenter upgrade step 3

Step 6: The single sign-on components will begin to install, including components such as OpenSSL

vcenter upgrade step 3

One of the key components being installed is VMware JRE.

vcenter upgrade step 4 vmware JRE

Step 7: If you get prompted to close some applications select “Close the applications and attempt to restart them”. Click Ok.

vcenter upgrade step 5

Click ok to the prompt to close apps automatically

vcenter upgrade step 6

Step 8: Click Finish to complete the Single Sign-On upgrade

vcenter upgrade step 7

Step 9: Click on vCenter Web Client to begin the next stage of the upgrade

vmware upgrade step 8

Step 10: Click Yes to continue

vmware upgrade step 9

Step 11: Click Accept License agreement and click Next

vmware license agreement

Step 12: Click Install to begin the web client installation

vsphere web client install

Step 13: Click Finish to complete the installation

vsphere web client installation completion

Once you click Finish click Ok on the dialog to advise that the services will take a few minutes to restart

vsphere web client installation completion 1

Step 14: Select vCenter Inventory Service and click Install

vcenter inventory service upgrade step 1

Step 15: Click Yes for Inventory Service install

vcenter inventory service upgrade step 2

Step 16: Click Next to continue the installation process

vcenter inventory service upgrade step 3

Step 17: Click Accept License agreement and click Next

vcenter inventory service upgrade step 4

Step 18: Click Install for inventory service

vcenter inventory service upgrade step 5

Step 19: Click Finish on completion

vcenter inventory service upgrade step 6

Step 20: Install vCenter Server

vcenter server upgrade step 1

Step 21: Click Ok to continue

vcenter server upgrade step 2

Step 22: Click Next to continue

vcenter server upgrade step 3

Step 23: Click to accept the license and click Next

vcenter server upgrade step 4

Step 24: Enter the database user login credentials, VC_User

vcenter server upgrade step 5

Step 25: Click Install at the Customer Experience Improvement Program

vcenter server upgrade step 6

Step 26: Click Finish to complete the installation

vcenter inventory service upgrade step 6


VMware Metro Storage Cluster Overview

VMware Metro Storage Cluster

VMware Metro Storage Cluster (vMSC) allows vCenter to stretch across two data centers in geographically dispersed locations. In normal circumstances, in vSphere 5.5 and below at least, vCenter would be deployed in Link-Mode so two vCenters can be managed as one. However, with vMSC it’s possible to have one vCenter manage all resources across two sites and leverage the underlying stretch storage and networking infrastructures. I’ve done previous blogs on NetApp MetroCluster to describe how a stretched storage cluster is spread across two disparate data centers. I’d also recommend reading a previous post done on vMSC by Paul Meehan over on The idea behind this post is to provide the VMware view for the MetroCluster posts and to give a better idea on how MetroCluster storage links into virtualization environments.

The main benefit of a stretched cluster is that it enables workload and resource balancing across datacenters. This helps companies to reach almost zero RTO and RPOs and ensure uptime of critical systems as workloads can be migrated easing using vMotion and Storage vMotion. One thing to keep in mind regarding vMSC, it’s not really sold as a disaster recover solution but rather a disaster avoidance solution when linked with the underlying storage. Some of the other benefits of a stretched cluster are:

  • Workload mobility
  • Cross-site automated load balancing
  • Enhanced downtime avoidance
  • Disaster avoidance
  • System uptime and high availability

There are a number of storage vendors that provide the back-end storage required for a vMSC to work. I won’t go into the entire list but you can find out more on the VMware Compatibility Matrix site. The one that I have experience with is NetApp MetroCluster but I know of others from EMC and Hitachi at least. So what components make up a vMSC? It comes down to an extended layer 2 network across data centers so that vMotions can take place with ease and also a resilient storage platform connected to ESXi via VMFS or NFS datastores. VMware vCenter itself does need some configuration changes but it’s nothing outside the scope of what a regular VMware admin can implement. A view of what a vMSC looks like is below. The networking and storage components have been simplified.

fabric metro cluster diagram


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VMware – Security vulnerability VMSA-2015-0007

VMware announced over the weekend that some major security vulnerabilities have been identified in vCenter and ESXi 5.0, 5.1 and 5.5 as well as version 6.0. 6.0 Update 1 is not affected. Only the JMX RMI Remote code execution is an issue in vSphere 6.0. 3 vulnerabilities have been identified and the affect different versions in total.

ESXi OpenSLP Remote Code Execution

  • Allows unauthenticated users to execute code remotely on ESXi host

vCenter Server JMX RMI Remote Code Execution

  • An unauthenticated remote attacker that is able to connect to the service to execute arbitrary code on the vCenter server

vCenter Server vpxd denial-of-service vulnerability

  • Can allow a remote user to create a denial of service on the vpxd service through unsanitized heartbeat messages

The announcement was broken on both the VMware and TheRegister sites and I’d recommend viewing more information on both of those sites. TheRegister also gives some great background on how the issues were originally identified. The full advisory details including links to the CVE references can be viewed on the VMware Security Advisories site for VMSA-2015-0007.

If you are running vSphere 5.0 the recommendation is to upgrade to v5.0 Update 3e. For vSphere 5.1 upgrade to v5.1 Update 3. For vSphere 6 the recommendation is to patch with Update 1. vSphere 5.5 however has some issues. In order to fix the denial-of-service or the OpenSLP issues it’s advised to upgrade to vSphere 5.5 Update 2. However, to resolve the JMX RMI issue VMware have confirmed that vSphere 5.5 Update 3 which was released in early September as being the fix. But, a new bug has been identified with Update Patch 3 regarding snapshots. If a snapshot is deleted in vCenter it causes the VM to crash. Considering that the majority of snapshot related backup solutions utilise VMware snapshots it means that all VMs would reboot each night. Considering uptime is always a business and IT priority then it’s really not a feasible solution.

My advice would be to at least upgrade to vSphere 5.5 Update 2 if you can. Upgrade to vSphere 6.0 Update 1 if possible but that may require considerable research and interoperability checks and may not be on your roadmap just yet. Do not install ESXi 5.5 Patch 3 if your backup software depends on VMware snapshots.


Unable to upgrade VMware Tools – VMwareTools64.msi is not a valid package

A while back I upgrade my vCenter and vSphere environment to 5.5 Update 2. As part of this upgrade VMware Tools was upgraded on most servers. Except that is of vCenter itself. This wasn’t a major issue but other issues began to arise where alerts came for disk consolidation problems. On investigation of this most KB articles were pointing towards upgrading the VMware Tools and that should fix the problem. So that’s what I tried. When running the VMware Tools installation on the vCenter VM I got an error that the VMwareTools64.msi was not a valid installation package and to find the correct package to install. I tried a number of things to get this to work but it would just not run the VMwareTools64.msi. I also couldn’t update the VM through Update Manager either.


The first step was to get the correct VMware Tools version as a standalone ISO. Since I performed the upgrade VMware have released a new version of VMware Tools, now it’s version 10, and that’s the only one that can be downloaded from the support site. The version I’m looking for is 9.4.5 and I don’t want to install version 10 without doing prior deployment to the test environment. And this all led me to Vladan’s website article called Manual Download of VMware Tools from VMware Website. Thanks to this article I was quickly able to get the VMware Tools package that I needed.  You can go to and select the VMware Tools version you need for download. The ISO was added to the ISO Datastore and mounted to the VM.

Following this I tried a number of different VMware KB articles but the one I finally found to work was KB1012693. This involved opening a command prompt, changing directory to the CD drive where VMware Tools was mounted and running the command:

setup64.exe /c

Once that completed I re-ran the VMTools installation and it completed successfully. Following the server reboot the VMTools are showing as up to date in vCenter.


How To: VMware vCenter 5.0 to 5.5 Update 2 Upgrade – Part 6

Other posts in this series:

Step 20:  Upgrade the ESXi hosts using Update Manager

20.1: The first step to carry out is to create a new baseline with the ESXi image. To do this go to Update Manager from the home page on the vSphere client

vCenter Upgrade Update Manager

20.2: Click on the ESXi Images tab as you’ll need to upload the image before configuring a new baseline. Select Import ESXi image

Update Manager Import ISO Image

20.3: Select the ESXi image that was downloaded earlier and click Next
Update Manager Import ISO Image Select Image Read More


How To: VMware vCenter 5.0 to 5.5 Update 2 Upgrade – Part 5

Other posts in this series:

Step 19: Post Installation tasks

Issue 1 – SSO access for admins

19.1: Give permissions to admin users for access to SSO. Log into the web client as the administrator account.

vSphere Web Client

19.2: Select Administration and then expand Single Sign-On. Select Users and Groups and select the groups tab. From here you can select Administrators

vSphere Web Client SSO Setup

19.3: Select Add member

vSphere Web Client SSO Add Member

19.4: Select the required domain from the drop down menu

vSphere Web Client SSO Add Group Read More


How To: VMware vCenter 5.0 to 5.5 Update 2 Upgrade – Part 4

Other posts in this series:

Step 13 : Upgrade SRM

13.1: Upgrade the SRM server software first and once that has been completed update the SRA. Select the SRM software and run it.

Update SRM 5.5

13.2: Click Ok on the language settings

Update SRM 5.5 Step 2

Update SRM 5.5 Step 3 Update SRM 5.5 Step 4

13.4: Go to C:WindowsSysWOW64 and run odbcad32 and check which server and database the connector is directed to. You can then run the normal 64bit ODBC from Administrative Tasks and add a new connection under System DSN

Click next to continue

Update SRM 5.5 Step 5

13.5: Click Next

Update SRM 5.5 Step 6 Read More

How To: VMware vCenter 5.0 to 5.5 Update 2 Upgrade – Part 3

Other posts in this series:

 Step 10:  Upgrade vCenter Inventory Service on Primary

10.1: Select vCenter Inventory Service and click Install

vCenter Inventory Service installation

10.2: Leave the default language settings and click Ok

vCenter Inventory Service installation step 2

10.3: Click Next on the initial screen

vCenter Inventory Service installation Step 3

10.4: Accept the EULA and click Next

vCenter Inventory Service installation Step 4

10.5: Select to keep the existing data and click next

vCenter Inventory Service installation Step 5 Read More


How To: VMware vCenter 5.0 to 5.5 Update 2 Upgrade – Part 2

Other posts in this series:

Step 7 – Unlink vCenter Server

7.1: Go to Start -> Programs -> VMware -> vCenter Server Linked Mode Configuration

vCenter Upgrade Break Linked Mode

7.2: When the configurator opens click on Next

vCenter Upgrade Break Linked Mode Step 2

7.3: Select Modify linked mode configuration and click Next

vCenter Upgrade Break Linked Mode Step 3

7.4: Leave Isolate this vCenter Server instance from linked mode group selected and click Next

vCenter Upgrade Break Linked Mode Step 4

7.5: Click Continue to remove the server from linked-mode

vCenter Upgrade Break Linked Mode Step 5 vCenter Upgrade Break Linked Mode Step 5 part 2 Read More


How To: VMware vCenter 5.0 to 5.5 Update 2 Upgrade – Part 1

Following on from a previous bit of work I carried out to convert vCenter from a physical to virtual machine I then had to upgrade vCenter from 5.0 to 5.5 Update 2 to allow the drivers for Trend Micro Deep Security Manager to work on the ESXi hosts. A workaround was tried to just have the ESXi 5.5 filter drivers for Trend installed on the 5.0 hosts but it caused some PSODs on our Dev servers and VMware recommended performing an upgrade of the environment. It was on my to-do list for later in the year anyway so it was good to get the upgrade out of the way. I documented the steps for the upgrade and while once again I didn’t want to create a multi-part blog post the sheer number of steps dictated that it was a requirement. I’ve broken down the posts into a 6-part series covering the below areas:

Step 1 – Planning

1.1: Check Compatibility

The first thing you need to check is that all the components of your environment are compatible with the version of vSphere you want to upgrade to. The first step is this process is to gather the version details of all the installations and plug-ins that you have and use the VMware Compatibility Guide – – to  verify that all the components listed are compatible or at least find out what versions of your products are compatible and seek out information on the upgrade process for each of those components. For example in the below matrix we will be upgrading SRM from 5.0.1 to 5.5.1 to be up to the latest version supported on vCenter 5.5 Update 2. Likewise for the IBM plug-ins and the SRA required for SRM.

Product Current Version Compatible Version
ESXi Host 5.0.0 5.5 Update 2
vCenter 5.0.0 5.5 Update 2
SRM 5.0.1 5.5.1
IBM SRA 2.1.0 2.2.0
Update Manager 5.0.0 5.5 Update 2
IBM TSM TDP 1.1 7.1
IBM Storage Mgmt Console 2.6.0 3.2.2 (supported on 5.5)

There is one other document to be aware of when it comes to planning for the upgrade and that is the upgrade sequence matrix so that you ensure that the correct products are updated at the correct times. This can be found here –

1.2: Download software vCenter 5.5.0 Update 2d

Go to the following website –

Select the relevant version of vCenter and click on Download Now

vCenter Upgrade Planning Step 1

From here you’ll be prompted to log into the account. Log in. Accept the EULA

vCenter Upgrade Planning Step 2

The download will begin. To get the Custom ISOs for Cisco blades for this version go to: and click Go To Downloads Read More