ESXi hosts experience intermittent lockups after upgrading to ESXi 3.5 Update 4

Posted on 2:43 PM by Bharathvn

ESXi hosts experience intermittent lockups after upgrading to ESXi 3.5 Update 4


Symptoms

  • Prior to upgrading to Update 4, no lockups were experienced
  • Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) locks up after entering the username and password
  • ESXi Server is pingable, however connections using SSH or VI Client fail
  • Running the vm-support command from Tech Support mode fails
  • Some or all of the running virtual machines may lose connectivity to the network

Resolution

This problem is related to updated components within the CIM agent (sfcbd) that are installed on the system. The CIM agent allows ESX to monitor the hardware status of the physical server and provide this hardware status information back to the administrator either through vCenter Hardware status or Health Status views. If this service is disabled or otherwise not available, no updated hardware status information is received until it is available again.
To verify whether this behavior is the cause of problem and temporarily workaround the issue:
  1. Log in to vCenter as an Administrator and choose the ESXi host from the Inventory

    Note: These steps can be performed directly connected to the ESXi host as well

  2. Click the Configuration tab.
  3. Click the Advanced Settings link.
  4. Navigate to the Misc Category
  5. Find the Misc.CimEnabled parameter from the list and change the value to 0.

    Note: The default value of Misc.CimEnabled is 1.

  6. Click OK.
  7. Restart the ESX host for the change to take effect.

When these steps are complete, no lockups are experienced if you are experiencing the problem described in this article. This change is persistent across reboots.

VMware is aware of this problem and currently working on building a patch to resolve this behavior. This knowledge base article will be updated when a fix is available at which time CIM can be enabled again.