Monday, July 29, 2019

No VAMI after vCSA Update

It happens. Upgrades go south. Even tried and true updates like those VMware releases for the vCenter Server Appliance suffer from the occasional bomb.

Last week, as I was applying the latest security patches to a quartet of virtual appliances that were previously running 6.5.0.30000, I ran into a strange issue. The update to 6.5.0.30100 ran without a hitch on my PSC, but it failed on my vCSA appliance. The progress window disappeared from view, and after 10 minutes of patiently waiting, I took the plunge and rebooted the VM.

Yes, it's possible that I interrupted something important with that reboot. But in all of the updates I've pushed out over the years, it's not common for the progress window to just go away and not provide any feedback on the status of the update operation.

After the reboot, vCenter was up and running ok, albeit on the .30000 version. After doing some checks to make sure I didn't need to revert to a snapshot (always take a snapshot), I decided to log back into the VAMI and try it again.

Except the VAMI was down.

Some head-scratching ensued. But after a few minutes of panic, I realized that it's an easy fix. Here's what to do:
  1. Log into your virtual appliance's console (easy to do if vCenter is still functional. If not, just log into the host directly. Good reminder that you should record the hostname for your vCSA before you start this type of task.)
  2. The process that is responsible for that nice VAMI interface is named vami-lighttp. It's probably not running, which you can confirm with a quick ps -ef | grep vami-lighttp.
  3. Start the process by issuing this command: /etc/init.d/vami-lighttp start.
  4. Verify that your VAMI is back online.
Now you can log back into the VAMI and re-run that update.

Friday, July 5, 2019

It Only Gets Worse When You Try To Make It Better

I have realistic expectations, I say.
It's something I blurt out to ease the tension.
These are delicate matters, he says.

He opens a small tool pouch and selects a metallic instrument.
It's not a scalpel. But it looks like it is.
He approaches.

Nevermind the century-old exterior, he says. There's only so much that can be done.
He says something else, but I'm already gone, trying to add detail to a memory
of being a child and listening to the ballgame on a radio.

It's summer, and there are no seedless watermelons.
Everyone is drinking ginger ale.

And it's hot. The mimosa trees were cut down, so there's no shade, only a jagged shadow that the limbless trunk of a dead oak casts near the well cover.

I'm brought back when he says to use warm water and dish soap on a soft cloth.
Be gentle with the ivory.

When the time comes, throw it into the landfill and don't think about it again.

The dispassion of it all is routine.