Decommissioning the vCenter Server or a Platform Services Controller

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Now that vSphere 6 is out, at some point you’ll probably be experimenting in your lab with various vCenter deployment configurations.  During my testing I shut down one of my Platform Services Controller (PSC) and vCenter to see how it would impact the other PSC/vCenter it was replicating with.  When I logged into the active vCenter I saw the following:


I wanted to remove all references to the old vCenter server (vc6c.vmware.local) so I looked through the vSphere 6 Install, Configuration and Troubleshooting guides but didn’t find anything.  They mentioned how to uninstall the vCenter software, but that’s it.

I decided to jump onto my existing PSC and try to see if I could find any commands that may be helpful.  Since it’s faster to deploy, I’ve been using the vCenter Service Appliance (VCSA) in my lab.  First I ssh to the server and then run the following commands as prompted to enter the shell:

shell.set –enabled True

The first directory that I found with some promising files was the /usr/lib/vmware-vmdir/bin directory.

vc6b:/usr/lib/vmware-vmdir/bin # ll
total 724
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  62656 Feb  8 06:14 vdcadmintool
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  46512 Feb  8 06:14 vdcbackup
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  48864 Feb  8 06:14 vdcleavefed
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root   7640 Feb  8 06:14 vdcpass
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  50152 Feb  8 06:14 vdcpromo
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  13168 Feb  8 06:14 vdcrepadmin
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  44712 Feb  8 06:14 vdcsetupldu
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  42648 Feb  8 06:14 vdcsrp
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  57320 Feb  8 06:14 vdcupgrade
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 332480 Feb  8 06:14 vmkdc_admin

We can run the vdcrepadmin command to see what replication partners are registered:

./vdcrepadmin -f showpartners -h vc6b.vmware.local -u administrator -w VMware1!

Here we see that on my existing vCenter server (vc6b.vmware.local) the only replication parter is the server that I shut down (vc6c.vmware.local).

By specifying showservers as the as a parameter, we can see the distinguished name of all servers:

./vdcrepadmin -f showservers -h vc6b.vmware.local -u administrator -w VMware1!

My first attempt at trying to remove vc6c.vmware.local was by running the vdcleavefed command:

./vdcleavefed -h vc6c.vmware.local -u administrator -w VMware1!
vdcleavefd offline for server vc6c.vmware.local
Leave federation cleanup done

The output looked promising but the warning regarding vc6c.vmware.local being unavailable still remained.  I then found article Decommissioning the vCenter Server or a Platform Services Controller (2106736).  The KB article says to run the following command:

cmsso-util unregister –node-pnid vc6c.vmware.local –username administrator@vsphere.local –passwd VMware1!

The output of the command is:

2015-04-09T04:01:20.317Z   Running command: [‘/usr/lib/vmware-vmafd/bin/dir-cli’, ‘service’, ‘list’, ‘–login’, ‘administrator@vsphere.local’]
2015-04-09T04:01:20.378Z   Done running command
2015-04-09T04:01:20.449Z   Running command: [‘/usr/lib/vmware-vmdir/bin/vdcleavefed’, ‘-h’, ‘vc6c.vmware.local’, ‘-u’, ‘administrator’]
2015-04-09T04:01:26.522Z   Done running command

After I logged back into the Web Client I found that the warning regarding my old vCenter was gone.  I re-ran the vdcrepadmin command to confirm that the old vCenter was no longer being referenced.  The dir-cli service list command appears to only list the running services and the output from the cmsso-util command says the only other command that was ran was the vdcleavefed command, which I had tried previously, so it must be doing something that’s not mentioned in the output.  cmsso-util is a Python script so it should be straightforward to see what it’s doing.

I wish VMware had some more documentation around the various SSO commands.  I’m compiling my own list as I go along and thought this KB would be a good one to share.

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