How to Set/configure core dump Service in Appliance based vCenter or VCSA?

What is core dump service? here is the short explanation below:

Core dump service is the centralized network dump collector service that can receive and store the memory dumps from ESXi hosts. Memory dumps are received whenever ESXi hosts are crashed unexpectedly and generates purple screen of Death (PSOD). So, if the dump collector service is running and if ESXi hosts are mapped to this centralized dump target server, then during the crash, kernel grabs the memory and dumps it to the centralized dump collector before host reboots.

This would help to prevent the issue triggering again and also to investigate the PSOD error.

In vSphere 5.5,

you might have seen during vCenter server installation, vCenter core dump service installation was provided as separate installation option when you launch VMware vCenter installer. (you need to map vCenter 5.5 iso to launch this wizard).

vcenter5.5-core dump.pngIf you are deploying appliance based vCenter then core dump service is bundled with the appliance itself.

In vSphere 6,

Core dump service is bundled with vCenter server installation (windows or appliance based) so you don’t  have control to install it on different server.  Wherever you install vCenter, core dump service will also be installed.

So once the Windows based vCenter installation is done, then we can enable the core dump service in services.msc console

coredump-windows

If we deploy vCenter server appliance (VCSA), then how to enable service?

here are the steps:

  •  log in to web client using  SSO credentials of VCSA appliance through browser. https://[VCSA IP address of FQDN]:9443webclient
  • Navigate to Administration-> System configuration-> services, if you drag the navigator down, you can find the dump collector service. Start the service from the action wizarddump
  • you can also verify/start the core dump service through cli. Login to VCSA appliance, navigate to /etc/init.d
    • command> cd /etc/init.d
    • command> lscmdnetdump.png
  • check service status, command> service vmware-netdumper statusvmware-coredumper
  • start the service command> service VMware-netdumper start
  • you can also verify the same in web client GUI,
  • you also need to set the start type to ‘Automatic’ to keep the service up and running even if you reboot VCSA appliance. For that again you need to click on edit start up type on Action tab and set the service to ‘Automatic’

automatic

So how do you verify now? if you have already set the core dump collector in any of the ESXi hosts, then login to cli of respective host

set core dump target on ESXi server:

Commands below:

command>esxcli system coredump network set -i [ip_address_of_core_dump_collector-on-vCenter] -v vmk0 -o 6500

command>esxcli system coredump network set –enable true

type following command to check core dump collector is configured or not

command>esxcli system coredump network check

checknew

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