Tag Archives: vCloud Suite

Backup Options for vCNS Manager | vSphere Design

I was asked the following question recently:

“Why do I need to bother backing up the config file of my vCNS Manager, can’t I just snapshot it?”

It’s a good question, and one that involved a little lab testing to play around with.

If you were to snapshot your vCNS manager,which does work from testing in my lab (albeit limited functional testing),  then you are able to restore the vCNS manager from snapshot fairly efficiently and quickly.

The questions I then thought of were:

  • When is the backup window? (if there is one)
  • How often would a vCNS snapshot be taken?
  • How busy is the vCNS manager?
  • Does a backup restore involve change control or other teams?

The reason for these questions in my head were simple.

If a vCNS manager was in a relatively busy vCloud environment deploying a number of Edge devices daily, then yes they would continue to run if the manager were to fail, but if the vCNS manager were only scheduled to have a daily snapshot during a nightly backup window, then there could be an issue with unknown Edge devices after the restore from backup.

The official supported method of backing up vCNS manager is to schedule a backup from the manager itself, to backup the configuration to an FTP/SFTP site.

If the vCNS manager were to fail, you would simply deploy a new vCNS manager (normally within minutes) then re-apply the last saved configuration and get back up and running fairly quickly. Yes, you could argue that if only a single backup was taken daily then we would be in the same boat as with a snapshot, however, It’s much easier and more manageable, in my opinion, to set perhaps an hourly backup (in busy environments) and perhaps only keep a days worth of backup files.

After some debate with my client, my recommendation was to ‘keep it simple’. This meant, stay within the realms of vendor recommendation and support. Configure an hourly backup and keep a single days worth of backups. In the case of a failed and unrecoverable vCNS manger, deploy a new appliance and restore the configuration.

I’d be interested to hear any feedback from others as to what they do in their environments or in fact recommend to others.

vCAC 5.2 Distributed Execution Manager (DEM) Install Error

In preparation for an upcoming project, I’m installing vCAC 5.2 in my home lab. Anyone who has installed vCAC will have used the vCAC prereq checker tool. This tool is simply fantastic. vCAC has a huge amount of prereq’s that need to be configured, this tool does a great job in capturing everything. I like that it provides instructions on how to resolve issues when components need resolving. There is also a ‘Fix Issue’ button which allows for an automated fix of a handful of the requirements.

Prereq checker


With the checker reporting I was good to go, I proceeded with the install. All was going well until I came to install the DEM worker and I was met with the following error.

vCAC DEM Install Error


I did a few basic checks to ensure DNS was all good in the lab, however I had no issues there. Upon further investigation I looked to see what services the vCAC Server Setup had installed previously.

There is only one service which is the “VMware vCloud Automation Center Service” and it wasn’t started.



The vCAC server setup allows you to specify a service account to assign to this service, which I had ensured was a local admin on the server. When trying to start the service I got a permission error.

After granting the account the right to ‘Log on as a service’ the service did start and I was able to finish the installation of the DEM worker.

It seems odd to me that the PreReq checker doesn’t prompt for this, as it seems such a comprehensive tool.