VRA 7.X Directory Config – Failed to connect to

We were having LDAP issues within our VRA 7.3 lab deployment which started directly after an array outage that took down our domain controllers.  During recovery of the domain controllers they were upgraded to 2016 before I was able to look into the LDAP issue within VRA.  Below is how I solved the connector issue that came about because of changing domain controller names.

Basic Setup:

  • VRA Build 5493917 – Compact deployment
  • Active Directory before outage
    • labdc01-0 (Server ’08 R2)
    • labdc02-0 (Server ’08 R2)
    • labdc03-16 (Server ’16 R2)
    • labdc04-16 (Server ’16 R2)
  • Active Directory currently
    • labdc01-16 (Server ’16 R2)
    • labdc02-16 (Server ’16 R2)


The first thing I came across was KB 2145438.  I reviewed the log files but didn’t have any of the errors mentioned within the Symptoms section.  I decided to review the config-state.json files within each Tenant folder and noticed “labdc03-16” listed for the domain server.  I took a snapshot of the appliance, backed up all config-state.json files, changed all instances of “labdc03-16” within them to “labdc01-16”, and restarted the horizon-workspace service per instructions.  I was still unable to logon or verify the directory configuration.

I decided to remove the domain integration and add it back since this is just a lab.  I removed the appliance from the domain within Connectors and deleted the directory from every tenant and tried to add it back to the system tenant.  I received the error message “Connector Communication Failed because of invalid data: Problem connecting to directory:


I checked the /storage/log/vmware/horizon/connector.log and noticed it was failing while trying to bind to “labdc04-16.”  DKmeo4JVYAAay2_.jpg

Naturally, I checked the DC’s for any remnants of this server including Sites & Services, ADUC and DNS.  I couldn’t find anything.  Checked /etc/hosts but nothing there.

I then decided to try grep -R labdc04-16 * starting in /usr/local/horizon/     BINGO!!!  It found it within /usr/local/horizon/conf/domain_krb.properties which based on time stamp of file was added 5 months ago when I deployed this lab.


I backed up the file, fixed it with the correct domain controller names, and the restarted the horizon-workspace service again.

I was then able to add the domain back as as a Directory.  All existing rights were still in place so I didn’t have to redo any anything else.

Turns out there’s a KB for this as well – KB2147737



vExpert 2015 Selections Announced

Today the vExperts for 2015 were announced via the VMTN blogs here. I’m proud to be selected for the third time and was excited to see some newcomers who are doing great things within the community.

For those of you who don’t know what a vExpert is please know that this is not a certification.  It is an award for those who promote VMware products and services within the community.  This can be within user groups, blog posts, podcast, customer workshops, etc…

The number of vExperts is getting larger and larger each year.   This is a good thing as is shows how far reaching VMware products have grown.  It’s not just GSX server anymore.  There’s so many products that users can focus on that there needed to be recognition within each and all of those areas.

Once again I’d like to say congratulations to all of those who received the award in 2015.  Keep up the great work.

2014 vExpert Applications

Applications for the 2014 vExpert awards are now being accepted.  Most people know what this is but if you don’t it is recognition by VMware for the work people have done within the VMware community.  This could be blogging, presenting, training, coming up with new ways to use their technology.

A few people have complained that the award is watered down now that the number of recipients have grown to over 500 and it’s not worth applying for.  I disagree with this for multiple reasons.  The VMware portfolio has grown and the recipient list should grow with it.  Also, a lot of people didn’t even know about the program until recent years, myself included.  I had no idea what it was even though I was doing enough to earn the award already.  I finally found out what it was once I got more involved with the Kansas City VMware User Group.  All of the leaders were vExperts and a couple others who attended were as well.  I finally had to ask and decided to apply.

Receiving the award isn’t about the benefits, it’s about what you do for the community.  The benefits don’t hurt though, especially if you have a home lab and no “access” to license keys for it.  Yeah, there are cool glasses, Raspberry Pi’s, shirts, etc… provided by hardware and software vendors but getting license keys to run the latest releases in my lab is so helpful.  You also get the opportunity to see some of what will be released and sometimes even participate in a beta release.

For all of you who think you can’t be a vExpert, you never will if you don’t apply.

Read more about the process and apply here.

VMworld 2013 – What I’m Looking Forward To

I’ve been to VMworld five out of the past six years and every year I’m looking forward to different topics/events during the week. As I’ve progressed through my career the type and level of knowledge I’m looking to obtain increased and I’ve learned different avenues to obtain and share this knowledge with others.

Here is my list for 2013:

  1. Hands-On Labs (HOL). This year 30 different labs can help you gain knowledge in areas you may not have the time or equipment to setup and use first-hand. A wide variety of topics and products make this a must stop for everyone. I put aside time each day to go through at least 1 or 2 labs.  More info here.
  2. Networking with others. I know the stereotype of all IT people is that we are introverted and like to work in our little cube without interference from anyone else. If you have attended VMworld or some of the other larger conferences you know this just isn’t true anymore. I learn so much from my peers. Meeting them in person and talking first-hand about different ways to use products is the best way to get real-world knowledge on how products actually work.  There are many ways to network with your peers from talking after sessions you have in common to playing games in the Hang Space to attending vendor parties.  The free beer and food at the parties are always nice as well.
  3. Solutions Exchange.  Most companies have very knowlegeable people across the country. If you want to talk to the top people at a company stop by the Solutions Exchange. Too many products to mention here but it’s a quick way to keep up with what the trends are and who the companies are in each market. Check out the list of companies for this years event here.
  4. Sessions – My must-see sessions for the content, presenters, or both.
    1. Ask the Expert vBloggers
    2. Mythbusting Goes Virtual
    3. Anything VCAC and VCHS
  5. VMunderground Party.  Last year was my first attendance of this event. I enjoyed it so much and highly recommend attending.  Don’t be afraid to talk to anyone as I didn’t meet a single person last year who wouldn’t say hello and talk to me.

I’m sure my wife thinks I go to this event just to party but the knowledge gained at this event is almost priceless. Buying the online content is good but being there in person is so much better.

Hope to see/meet everyone in a few days!!!

Scheduling ESXTOP (or other processes) on ESXi Host

I had a need to run ESXTOP at a specific time on a couple hosts but didn’t want to be awake to start it.  I’ve done this in the past on ESX and as a frequent Linux user I thought this would be quite simple.  Just type “crontab -e” and add the command and proper start time.  Not so fast as there is no “crontab” command in ESXi (busybox).

After using the global documentation repository (Google), without much luck, I searched the ESXi file system and found the /var/spool/cron/crontabs/root file.  I viewed the file and it looked like a normal crontab file. I tried to modify it but was unable to save changes with the standard “:wq” command.  I then searched on the file and found KB article 1033346.  Turns out you have to do a “:wq!” to save the file.

Next you need to stop the current crond process by locating its PID number:
cat /var/run/crond.pid

Kill the process:
kill -HUP pid##

Once that’s done start crond again:
ESXi 5.0:  /bin/busybox/crond
ESXi 5.1:  /usr/lib/vmware/busybox/bin/busybox crond

I prefer this method to getting up in the middle of the night and manually starting ESXTOP to monitor a host for 1 hour!!!

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