Unable to get vCenter server certification chain error during vcOPs 5.8.1 install

During the deployment of the vcOPs vApp for a customer I ran into a new error – well, new for me. While the vApp (v5.8.1) deployed and booted fine, as I was registering it with the vCenter (v 5.1) as part of the initial configuration I got the following error: Unable to get vCenter server certification chain. Off we go to Google… Here’s a quick summary of things to check:

  • Confirm name resolution is working, username/passwords are right, etc.
    • Assuming Windows, RDP to vCenter with the user you’re attempting to use or try access via your favorite vSphere management tool
    • Hop on the console of the UI VM and ping the vCenter by IP and DNS name (username: root initial password: vmware)
  • Check that your vCenter certificate hasn’t expired. It’s the rui.crt file in c:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware VirtualCenter\SSL. This article has good info on locating and renewing your certificate, should that be your problem.
  • In the end, my fix came by importing the certificate file to the UI VM manually as outlined in this VMware KB article.
    • Full disclosure, the symptoms in the above article didn’t match my problem exactly and I don’t like just trying random fixes. However, when I found this Blog Post, in Spanish, with my exact error recommending a similar .cert import process I threw caution to the wind. The exact steps from the Spanish blog didn’t quite work, which could be a result of my inability to read Spanish and/or Google Translate not being perfect, but the VMware KB article was spot on.

After importing the certificate manually and restarting services, all was well and I was able to complete the configuration of vcOPs. By the way, did you know that since vSphere 5.1, all licensed versions of vSphere now include the Foundation edition of vcOPs? More than 5 hosts in your environment and you’ve got enough scale to warrant leveraging this tool. For a limited time, VMware is letting Lewan perform a free vSphere Optimization Check including a 60 day trial of the Standard Edition, complete with the capacity management features, dynamic thresholds, and root cause analysis. Give us a call today to test drive Operations Management!

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