Problems applying Host Profiles in vSphere 5

I came across an interesting issue today when attempting to apply a new host profile that had been created from a pre-configured ESXi 5 host. This particular host configuration was using four 1GbE NIC’s in a VST trunk. It contained two vswitches, one dedicated for iSCSI traffic (vswitch1) and the other for management, vmotion and virtual machine traffic (vswitch0).

The vswitch0 had the two host port groups configured as follows:

Each port group looked like this:

When I tried to apply the profile to a new host I ran into some weird problems. I could ping the management interface, but when I checked the hosts remote console (via HP iLO), the management interface showed the vMotion ip address and VLAN! Weird…

If I tried to manually change the hosts management interface from the management console it returned an error (unfortunately can’t quite remember the error but it made little sense 🙂 )

At this point I was stumped and had to reset the host configuration from the management console. I reapplied the profile and the same thing happened. Thinking that I must have screwed the profile up I went back to it. After looking and looking I could not think of anything wrong with it. I finally wondered if it was something to do with the order in which the port groups were being created…

I went back into my profile configuration, deleted the vMotion port group (argh, I wish the Host Profile editor was nicer!) and re-inserted its configuration below the management port group as shown below.

I saved it and re-applied the profile. Viola!

This time it worked!! Weird!!! So, in summary, there must be a requirement to apply the management port group before any other host port group, at least in the configuration I am using. If anyone out there has any ideas on why this is the case I’d love to hear them!

UPDATE: Just a quick followup to this old post. A reader below (thanks Alex!) pointed me to this VMware KB article that explains the bug:

It seems there is still no fix for this and requires the workaround as described above and in the KB article. Interestingly I have seen this same problem occur not only after applying the profile but after performing a host HBA rescan. The host disconnects and looking at the DCUI it shows the same symptom, the management address is now the vMotion one! Unfortunately for me this particular host is running production VM’s and the SSH service is not running 😦

About Ben Loveday
My name is Ben Loveday and I am working as a Systems Architect in New Zealand. I have a keen interest in VMware products and are VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA and Microsoft MCITP certified. I am studying towards VCDX5 certification…I hope! My areas of focus are the virtualisation of manufacturing automation systems with the aim to improve traditional automation/SCADA system design and improve their availability and reliability. I am married with three kids and my hobbies include playing the guitar (less often than I’d like) and listening to music, mostly 80′s Metal and Rock/Blues :-) Oh..and I'm a PC gamer!

4 Responses to Problems applying Host Profiles in vSphere 5

  1. Barrie says:

    I don’t have an answer to why this is, but have seen the same thing with applying host profiles with iSCSI vmkernel interfaces.

    One of the iSCSI interfaces would get vmk0 assigned before the mgmt/vmotion and then the mgmt interface would show the incorrect IP address and things like the ESXi DCUI wouldn’t work

    As you said, just applying the mgmt interface (after removing and re-adding the other vmkernel interfaces) works.

    Another small and annoying host profiles glitch

    • Ben Loveday says:

      Thanks Barrie, yep, like you said it must be one of those “undocumented features” haha. I really look forward to VMware revamping the whole Host Profile editor, it is extremely clunky. I also find it strange when you create a profile from a configured host, and find particular settings in the profile that have mandatory fields but are blank…oh well.

  2. Alex says:

    Take a look at “Applying host profiles on ESX/ESXi 4.x and 5.x can swap vmk# order” this kb describe this issue

  3. Pingback: Host profile removing vmk0 management port – vKARPS

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