Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fixing Licensing issue if evalution period of ESX host is expired

One of the server builder was trying to deploy VM using template and it was throwing message “Invalid configuration for Device 0 and sometimes device 1”.

1. Converted template back to VM and then removed CDROM and ISO image no luck.

2. Restarted “hostd” and “vpxd” on the target host but no luck.

Now I tried to deploy the VM on different host it was successful. What is going on with this target host? So I cold migrated the vm to the same host on which I was having trouble, it was successful.

Now I tried to power on the VM I got this message “There are not enough licenses installed to perform the operation”. Wow I thought everything is pointing to license server but no, someone forgets to change the licensing information for this host and it was still running under evaluation mode (Though we have license server installed).

1. Selected host view mode and then selected configuration and then “Licensed Features” and directed to our license server but it was getting timed out.


2. Thought might be license service might be stopped. Tried restarting service but it get timed out with Error -5. Thought let me try to reboot the virtual center and that may fix it. Yeah even I got alias for Virtual center ☺. Rebooted the server and I was able to restart the license server service but it use to die very soon. I thought it might be license server which I can install it again. I went to VMWare support site and download License Server for ESX3.5 and got my license server reinstalled.

3. After the license server was reinstalled license service was started for ever. Now I have got to fix the host.

4. I was tried to license again using licensed feature and still it was getting timed out. I check the license server from the console and I was not able to ping the license server using FQDN but only using IP. Now I got to fix DNS , the entry for DNS was wrong under “DNS and Routing” (Great Feature ) . Updated the DNS and now I was able to ping using FQDN but still I was not able to use either IP address or FQDN for license server.

5. OK now I did tried this Change the Host date and time to the value when it was still running under evaluation method (This trick work for most of the evaluation software ;) ). I restarted hostd and vpxd and guess what. I got the tab which says “Enable evaluation mode”. So this tricks was working to some extend but I was not able to put the host into evaluation mode.

6. I thought I will put the host into evaluation mode and then change it back to host based license.

7. It still not allowing me to put it into evaluation mode. So I thought this is the right time to contact VMWare license support. I called VMWare license support and the asked me to use host based license then convert it back to server based license.

8. This was bit risky but I told them to put back my license into the pool when I change to server based license.

9. I did same first I used their license file and register host with that file. When it was licensed then I changed it to server based license.

10. Contact VMWare support to put back the license into the pool ☺

Key is please update the license information for the host before evaluation period expire.

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