vCloud Director web page portal fails to load

March 25th, 2019 by jason Leave a reply »

Last week I went through the process to upgrade a vCloud Director for Service Providers environment to version 9.5.0.2. All seemed to go well with the upgrade. However, after all was said and done, the vCloud Director web page portal failed to open. It would partially load… but then failed.

I seem to recall this happening at some point in the past but couldn’t remember the root cause/fix nor could I find it documented on my blog. So… time to dig into the logs.

The watchdog log showed the cell services recyling over and over.

[root@vcdcell1 logs]# tail -f vmware-vcd-watchdog.log
2019-03-22 11:25:25 | WARN | Server status returned HTTP/1.1 404
2019-03-22 11:26:25 | ALERT | vmware-vcd-cell is dead but /var/run/vmware-vcd-cell.pid exists, attempting to restart it
2019-03-22 11:26:33 | INFO | Started vmware-vcd-cell (pid=10238)
2019-03-22 11:26:36 | WARN | Server status returned HTTP/1.1 404
2019-03-22 11:27:36 | ALERT | vmware-vcd-cell is dead but /var/run/vmware-vcd-cell.pid exists, attempting to restart it
2019-03-22 11:27:43 | INFO | Started vmware-vcd-cell (pid=10827)
2019-03-22 11:27:46 | WARN | Server status returned HTTP/1.1 404
2019-03-22 11:28:46 | ALERT | vmware-vcd-cell is dead but /var/run/vmware-vcd-cell.pid exists, attempting to restart it

The cell log showed a problem with Transfer Server Storage. Error starting application: Unable to create marker file in the transfer spooling area

[root@vcdcell1 logs]# tail -f cell.log
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.networking-server’ 20% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common-cell-impl’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common.core’ 12% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common-util’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.cloud-proxy-server’ 42% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common-util’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.networking-server’ 40% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common-util’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.cloud-proxy-server’ 57% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.cloud-proxy-services’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common.core’ 16% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.api-framework’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.cloud-proxy-server’ 71% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.hybrid-networking’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.cloud-proxy-server’ 85% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.hbr-aware-plugin’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.cloud-proxy-server’ 100% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.cloud-proxy-web’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.cloud-proxy-server’ complete.
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common.core’ 20% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common-vmomi’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common.core’ 25% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.jax-rs-activator’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common.core’ 29% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.pbm.placementengine’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common.core’ 33% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.vim-proxy’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common.core’ 37% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.fabric.foundation’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common.core’ 41% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.imagetransfer-server’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common.core’ 45% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.fabric.net’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.networking-server’ 60% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.fabric.net’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common.core’ 50% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.fabric.storage’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common.core’ 54% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.fabric.compute’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common.core’ 58% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.service-extensibility’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common.core’ 62% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.backend-core’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.networking-server’ 80% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.backend-core’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common.core’ 66% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.vapp-lifecycle’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.networking-server’ 100% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.networking-web’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.networking-server’ complete.
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common.core’ 70% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.content-library’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common.core’ 75% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.presentation-api-impl’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common.core’ 79% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.metrics-core’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.ui.h5cellapp’ 33% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.h5-webapp-provider’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common.core’ 83% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.multi-site-core’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common.core’ 87% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.multi-site-api’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.ui.h5cellapp’ 50% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.h5-webapp-tenant’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.ui.h5cellapp’ 66% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.h5-webapp-auth’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.ui.h5cellapp’ 83% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.h5-swagger-doc’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.ui.h5cellapp’ 100% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.h5-swagger-ui’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.ui.h5cellapp’ complete.
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common.core’ 91% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.rest-api-handlers’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common.core’ 95% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.jax-rs-servlet’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common.core’ 100% complete. Subsystem ‘com.vmware.vcloud.ui-vcloud-webapp’ started
Application Initialization: ‘com.vmware.vcloud.common.core’ complete.
Successfully handled all queued events.
Error starting application: Unable to create marker file in the transfer spooling area: /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/data/transfer/cells/8a483603-43b8-4215-b33f-48270582f03d

To be honest, the NFS server which hosts Transfer Server Storage in this environment isn’t always reliable but upon checking, it was up and healthy. Furthermore, I was able to manually create a test file within this Transfer Server Storage space from the vCD cell itself.

Walking the directory structure and looking at permissions, a few things didn’t look right.

[root@vcdcell1 data]# ls -l -h
total 4.0K
drwx——. 3 vcloud vcloud 27 Mar 22 11:39 activemq
drwxr-x—. 2 vcloud vcloud 6 Mar 15 04:58 generated-bundles
drwxr-x—. 2 vcloud vcloud 4.0K Mar 15 04:58 transfer
[root@vcdcell1 data]# pwd
/opt/vmware/vcloud-director/data
[root@vcdcell1 data]#
[root@vcdcell1 data]#
[root@vcdcell1 data]#
[root@vcdcell1 data]# cd transfer/
[root@vcdcell1 transfer]# ls -l -h
total 1.0K
drwx——. 2 1002 1002 64 Mar 22 11:38 cells
-rw——-. 1 root root 386 Mar 21 11:51 responses.properties
[root@vcdcell1 transfer]# cd cells/
[root@vcdcell1 cells]# ls -l -h
total 512
-rw——-. 1 1002 1002 0 May 27 2018 8a483603-43b8-4215-b33f-48270582f03d.old
-rw-r–r–. 1 root root 6 Mar 22 11:38 jgbtest.txt

Looking at some of the pieces above, I seem to recall vcloud is supposed to be the owner and group for the vCD file and directory structure. I further verified this by restoring my old vCD cell from a previous snapshot and spot checking. So let’s fix it using the chown example on page 53 of the vCloud Director Installation and Upgrade Guide.

[root@vcdcell1 cells]# chown -R vcloud:vcloud /opt/vmware/vcloud-director
[root@vcdcell1 cells]#
[root@vcdcell1 cells]#
[root@vcdcell1 cells]# ls -l -h
total 512
-rw——-. 1 vcloud vcloud 0 May 27 2018 8a483603-43b8-4215-b33f-48270582f03d.old
-rw-r–r–. 1 vcloud vcloud 6 Mar 22 11:38 jgbtest.txt

The watchdog daemon followed up by restarting vCD cell. With the correct permissions now, a new cell file was successfully created and the vCD cell successfully started. I deleted the .old cell file and of course my jgbtest.txt file.

[root@vcdcell1 cells]# ls -l -h
total 512
-rw——-. 1 vcloud vcloud 0 Mar 22 12:23 8a483603-43b8-4215-b33f-48270582f03d
-rw——-. 1 vcloud vcloud 0 May 27 2018 8a483603-43b8-4215-b33f-48270582f03d.old
-rw-r–r–. 1 vcloud vcloud 6 Mar 22 11:38 jgbtest.txt

How did this happen? I’m pretty sure it was my own fault. Last week I was also doing some deployment testing with the vCD appliance. At the time I felt it was safe for this test cell to use the same Transfer Server Storage NFS mount (so that I wouldn’t have to go through the steps to create another one). Upon further investigation, the vCD appliance cell tattooed the folders and files with the 1002 owner and group seen above.

All is well with the vCD world now and I’ve got it documented so the next time my vCD web portal doesn’t load, I’ll know just where to look.

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