Saturday, August 2, 2014

Some facts about vCenter Server Inventory Service

The Inventory Service uses some sort of XML database called xDB. Unfortunately, that database uses a flat file which ends in .log (which is stored on the filesystem of the VC) - during housekeeping, it is not uncommon for administrators to search for files that end in .log and to remove them.

The Inventory Service is used to search the VC inventory and it is used when checking the VC Service status. It was created to offload processing required to search inventory as the C# client hammers vpxd when searching.

By default, there are scripts that are installed on VC to backup and restore the IS database.

Under 5.0, the Inventory Service and vCenter Server both exist on the same machine. Under 5.1, vCenter Server and Inventory Service can exist on different machines.

After my digging, it appears a popular troubleshooting step is to reset the IS database. Our official documentation outlines how to do that: ml

The instructions to reset the IS database are also supplied in KB article below:

Logging in to the vCenter Server 5.0 Web Client fails with the error: unable to connect to vCenter Inventory Service

Under 5.0, it appears you can reset the DB with no adverse affects as the information in the database will repopulate - although I'm not sure how long that takes or how that is done.

Under 5.1, it appears the IS database includes new inventory tagging information although I believe this feature is not well known or used very often so most customers probably do not have any tagging information in their IS database.

In 5.5 the behavior still needs to be verified. If anyone has seen this they can leave a comment and I will update the post with 5.5.

Thanks for reading and share please !!

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