ESXi 5.5 update 3b (build 3248547) host fails to connect to vCenter 5.5 U2 after patching…

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To cut this long story short – if you have vCenter Server 5.5 update 2 you will have issues if you patch your hosts to the latest available patch level for ESXi. VMware disabled SSLv3 (POODLE and all that..) in update 3b for ESXi meaning if your vCenter Server is running update 2 you won’t be able to connect until the vCenter is patched to update 3b as well. Running ESXi hosts on update 3b and having vCenter Server on update 2 is normally a perfectly valid configuration but because SSLv3 got disabled as part of this process the connectivity is broken.

Example error messages in vpxd log file when patched host in being added to vCenter Server include:

Here’s what VMware have to say about this problem with potential recommendations:

Support for SSLv3 protocol is disabled by default.

In your vSphere environment, you need to update vCenter Server to vCenter Server 5.5 Update 3b before updating ESXi to ESXi 5.5 Update 3b. vCenter Server will not be able to manage ESXi 5.5 Update 3b if you update ESXi before updating vCenter Server to version 5.5 Update 3b. For more information about the sequence in which vSphere environments need to be updated, refer, KB 2057795

VMware highly recommends you to update ESXi hosts to ESXi 5.5 Update 3b while managing them from vCenter Server 5.5 Update 3b.

VMware does not recommend re-enabling SSLv3 due to POODLE vulnerability. If at all you need to enable SSLv3, you need to enable the SSLv3 protocol for all components. For more information, refer KB 2139396.

Now, there will be few scenarios where you cannot upgrade vCenter Server to update 3b or you can’t do so even if its the recommended path and you simply want to have vCenter update 2 working with ESXi update 3b hosts. If fall into this category read on – otherwise update your vCenter! 🙂

To enable SSLv3 protocol on ESXi update 3b you need to SSH into your host and edit /etc/vmware/rhttpproxy/config.xml with vi and include the following:

within:

tags. Example:

ESXi_5.5_update_3b_(build_3248547)_host_fails_to_connect_to_vCenter_5.5_U2_after_patching_1

Then save the file and restart the rhttpproxy services by running the following command:

/etc/init.d/rhttpproxy restart

and you should be good to go.

DISCLAIMER:

I’m not saying this solution is what everyone should use and forget about ever disabling SSLv3 protocol but it will certainly get you out of the hot water if you patched X number of hosts and they no longer can connect to vCenter Server. Applying update 3b is the next logical step so drafting plans to have your vCenter Servers upgraded should be on the cards.

Have a good weekend everyone.

3 thoughts on “ESXi 5.5 update 3b (build 3248547) host fails to connect to vCenter 5.5 U2 after patching…

  1. Eduardo Nazato

    Thanks so much! It was exactly the issue I was trying to solve.
    Upgraded all vCenter components, problem solved

  2. Mike Dawson

    tried the KB article on VMware’s website and it didn’t work. Tried your article and it worked perfectly

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