I just received an email from a fellow consultant about a customer which had vCenter tasks time-out every once in a while. At times also ESX hosts got disconnected for no apparent reason at all. He discovered the following article by Richard Blythe aka VMware Wolf: ESX disconnects randomly or when doing VI client tasks from VC, task randomly timeout after a long idle time. Richard created a list of issues/errors that might be related to this issue:
- ESX disconnects randomly from VirtualCenter
- ESX disconnects when performing VI Client tasks from VirtualCenter.
- Tasks randomly timeout after a long idle time
- “An error occurred communicating to the remote host” pops up.
The article refers to an issue with vCenter Update 3 in combination with firewalls using state-ful inspection. The problem occurs because of SOAP timeouts, and this behavior did not exist in VC 2.0.x or 2.5 GA, as they used a different mechanism to communicate with ESX. The official KB article hasn’t been released yet but a temporary workaround has been published by Richard. If you run into any of the before mentioned issues head over to Richard’s website and try out the workaround until the fix or official KB article is released.