wattpeter
Contributor
Contributor

Wizard fails with time offset

vRealize 7.4 Automation Installation Wizard fails with message:

Time offset for <IAAS HOSTNAME> is missing. Please wait for it to be populated.

IaaS host is Windows 2016.

30 Replies
Darren_DnFn
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Yeah I wanted to have Active Directory and DNS in place, since it would easier to manage. I have spent a good deal of time with Active Directory in my program so I am pretty comfortable with using it, I never used Zentyal so I rather stick with AD. This is what I  originally tried to do, when I had WinServer 2016 in place, I installed DNS and AD. However, when trying to install vCenter for Windows I received this error. This didn't make sense at first, but discovered shortly after that vCenter isn't compatible with domain controllers. I get this now as vCenter is formed on a datacenter object and has a similar structure to AD. So I had to revert back just to DNS.

DC.png

Then again I did install the Windows vCenter rather than appliance version. So maybe that is why I couldn't do it. And yeah, everything I have been reading recently has been pointing the appliance version rather than the Windows version, if I only I had discovered that a month ago. Anyways, to put things in simple terms, just so I know that I had to right idea when I started this project when I knew nothing about vSphere, I need one server for my ESXi host and one server with the appliance version of vCenter. Since I will migrate to the appliance version rather than the Windows version as it is way better, can the vCenter appliance be on the same machine as the Windows Server with DNS and AD or do you still need another server, assuming a simple embedded deployment?

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daphnissov
Immortal
Immortal

No, there's no restriction where the vCSA can run. Can all be on one ESXi host if you want or multiple. Definitely don't go with Windows vCenter just FYI.

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Darren_DnFn
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Well that definitely helps a bunch, good to know that vCSA can used with less restriction and with far less hassle. I know I can create a VM for the vCSA and have it one or more ESXi hosts rather than installing it directly on my Windows Server machine. While I will have no problem doing this, doesn't it make more sense to install the vCSA directly on my Windows Server machine and then just add the ESXi hosts via the Web Client, rather than pushing out the vCSA as a VM to each ESXi host individually? I will only have 3 ESXi hosts by the end of the project, so that's not to bad, I am just thinking if lets say you had ten or more ESXi hosts, this would get very repetitive.

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daphnissov
Immortal
Immortal

I'm not sure you full understand what vCSA is and what, in general, vCenter does. The vCSA is a pre-built, Linux-based appliance. It cannot be installed on a Windows OS because it is a fully packaged appliance containing an OS and the application. This gets deployed as its own dedicated VM on either the desktop products or vSphere (single ESXi host). vCenter is used to manage one or more ESXi hosts. There is no need to install vCSA in a 1-to-1 relationship with each ESXi host that needs to be managed. vCenter serves as a management and control plane for all the hosts and their collective VMs. vRealize Automation, in turn, is pointed to that vCenter to allow deployments and ongoing management of them to occur.

Darren_DnFn
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Oh I see, that makes sense thank you for the clarification. That is a much more elegant solution for sure, I can see why vCenter for Windows should be kicked to the curb. vCSA is its own environment and is thereby independent, which is why you said there is no restrictions to where it can run. I just read up on vCSA a bit more and vCenter Server as well as other software is included with the vCSA OS, that you just access through its IP in the same you would with the Windows version of vCenter after installing it.

Thank you for all the help daphnissov​, it is good to get some insight from someone that has been doing this for a long time and knows the in and outs of vSphere. I am definitely learning a whole bunch of new things, that we never even covered in my program, since I started my co-op placement so it is always good to pick up new knowledge and skillsets. Since you have been so much help, I will definitely let you know how I get on. I think I should be able to get it all working now.

Darren_DnFn
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi daphnissov​,

The mystery still continues. As advised I got rid of the Windows version of VCenter Server and did a fresh install of the vCSA. Despite being a real memory hog, even a tiny deployment needs 10 GB of RAM oh my! I had to move my ESXi to a much more powerful server, as I decided to put my vCSA on there, but other than that it runs much smoother than the crappy Windows version. Since I got rid of that mess, I was able to put in Active Directory and join the vCSA to the domain and add it as an identity source so that I can log with my own domain account. This is nice, as I no longer have to deal with administrator@vsphere.local as my login, which seemed like a security risk since it is the default during installation. Anyways, I got everything back up to where I had it, however when I tried the vRA wizard again, still no time offset.

The only thing I can think of is an inconsistency in my time synchronization. My ESXi, vCSA and Windows Server are all pointing to the Stratum 1 server I have in the lab. I double checked them all and they are all set to UTC (ESXi, vCSA and the Stratum 1). I noticed that I forget to change my time zone on my Windows Server to UTC (I had it as EST). So I cancelled the wizard, deleted the VM and restarted again, with the UTC time zone now applied. When I got the vRA VM back up again, the wizard was still showing no time offset.

This is a strange question, but is it possible that my Stratum 1 server is to accurate, and thus has no offset to display? Other than that I at a loss as to what to do. It would be really nice to have Automation. I am hoping that it isn't essential as I have decided to continue without it, since I have been stuck with the same problem for way too long. You have helped fixed a lot of the other issues I was having so at least I know I have a good basic setup, for the majority of my tasks.

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daphnissov
Immortal
Immortal

I'm honestly not sure why it would still display no time offset unless you do have something weird going on internally with your time, or else if you have something funky going on with your Windows VM functioning as the IaaS box. I also wonder if it could simply be a browser display issue. What browser are/were you using to run the wizard? Currently, VMTN notifications are not working for me (even mentions) so if I don't respond quickly it's because I'm not notified.

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Darren_DnFn
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Oops, I just saw this now. It looks like I had the same issue as you I didn't get notified of a new message, so there must have been a notification error for a good chunk of people. Anyways, good to know that you are just as confused as to why it won't show up as I am, unless I am missing something really small and stupid. Which funny enough I have found is typically the case when you run into problems with something. Then you bang your head against the wall when you realize the silly and simple thing that you forgot to do. I am using Firefox, specially Firefox ESR 60 to run the wizard. I read somewhere that you need Java, but according to Java's website no browser supports the plugin anymore. Could it simply be that?

Also, I know that IaaS is installed during the wizard, but should I try installing IaaS ahead of time using the installer link https:// VRA Appliance FQDN>:5480/installer. I installed the IaaS Management Agent in advance using this page so maybe do both?

As a side note, my Window Server 2012 is physical not a VM, so that rules out VMware issues, of which I have had before for school projects

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vanvleckw
Contributor
Contributor

Experienced this same issue, and have tried SO many combinations of time configurations, only to find (with VMware Support's help) that the vCAC Management Agent that is installed onto the Microsoft IIS Server was the culprit. Despite having the required forward, and reverse lookup entries in place, the issue was "DNS" related, in that the agent only utilizes the short hostname, and not the entire FQDN. We were able to get the Time Offset field to FINALLY populate by modifying the following config file

C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\vCAC\Management Agent\VMware.IaaS.Management.Agent.exe.Config

Once modifying the hostname to reflect the FQDN (hostname.domain.address.etc), and then restarting the VMware vCAC Mgmt Agent service within Windows... voila~ the Time Offset finally populated.

This may not be the case for you, but did resolve the Time Offset field not populating in the installation wizard for us. We sure racked our head on this, and would never have solved it, if we didn't open up a case. Hope this helps you, and good luck!

edwin0317
Contributor
Contributor

this work for me

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nmarus99
Contributor
Contributor

I too was having this issue and tried everything in this thread with no results. What ended up being the problem for me was the permissions of the user that the vCAC service was running under. I initially set this as "Domain Users". Changing it to "Domain Admins" and restarting the service fixed it.

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