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VCAP-CIA Objective 1.3 – Maintain vCloud using command line tools

The blueprint states the following skills needed to cover the objective.

  • Manage and maintain vCloud Director cells using the cell management tool
  • Install and manage a vCloud Director installation using the configure script
  • Manage vCloud services using Red Hat command line tools including service, chkconfig and netstat
  • Collect logs for troubleshooting using the support script

The usage of the cell management tool is explained in the vCloud Director Installation and Upgrade Guide on pages 35 – 42 in the English version. It is located in the /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/bin directory on each cell and requires root credentials on the target server system administrator credentials for vCloud Director.

The cell tool offers different sub commands, the first bulletin of the blueprint configurable via the “cell” sub command. We will also have a short look at the other commands.


There seems to be only 1 particular kb article on how to use the cell management tool for quiescing a cell before shutting it down.

Using the vCloud Director Cell Management Tool to quiesce and shut down a server

An example output can be seen in the following screenshot.


The next sub command is “dbextract” which can be used to dump database contents without the need of a database management tool. There are several switches like “-exportSettingsFile” to further specify what exactly the dump will contain. Examples are in the /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/etc directory. If you want a full database dump you can use the syntax in the screenshot, just be sure to have a valid directory as the destination as the tool will not create one for you and will fail if the path does not exist.


The next sub command is “certificates” which allows you to replace SSL certificates on the cell. Remember that a restart is needed after replacing the certificates. As there is a whole objective dedicated to vCloud Director certificates I will only show the help output of this and the next sub command.


You can also create new SSL certificates using the “generate-certs” sub command. This might be an easier way than actually using the keytool.


Last but not least you also have the possibility to recover a lost admin password as long as you can remember the database password using the “recover-password” sub command.


This should cover the cell management tool, so we can move on to the second bulletin, the configure script which is also located in the /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/bin directory.

This binary can be used to update the vCloud Director cell configuration either by typing in the information manually or using the switch -r in combination with a response file as was covered in the previous objective. You can find an example of re configuring the cell using the manual way.


This leads us to the third bulletin. Which is not VMware specific at all but involves basic Linux administration skills. The service tool is used to run scripts located in /etc/init.d in a controlled way, to start, stop and restart services loaded by these scripts or give you an indication if the service is actually running. You can find a man page for the service command at http://linux.die.net/man/8/service or by simply typing “man service” via connected to the vCD cell.


Auto start options for services are controlled by the “chkconfig” command. The most important switches would be –list, –add, –del, on and off. More information can be found in the according man page, e.g. http://linux.die.net/man/8/chkconfig.

To find out if the expected service is listening on a specific port you can use the netstat command in conjunction with the ps command. Additional parameters can be found in the man page as well. http://linux.die.net/man/8/netstat


We are listing on and with a VMware vCD process which is a good sign. If you see anything else in here and your cell fails to start you might want to check with chkconfig if the according process is automatically starting and take it off the auto run list to prevent it from breaking your cell.

Even though it is not mentioned in the blueprint you might also want to read up a little bit on iptables, the default firewall used in RHEL. The man page can be found at http://linux.die.net/man/8/iptables.

The last bulletin is rather easy again. The process is described in the following kb article and shown in the last screenshot which also concludes this objective for today.

Collecting diagnostic information for VMware vCloud Director 1.x / 5.1.x


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