VMware & TSM- VixDiskLib: Error occurred when obtaining NFC ticket

I had the honour, and I use that sarcastically, of having some backups failing recently following a TSM upgrade. While the reason is not clear as to why a newer version of TSM failed my guess is that how TSM sends API or other calls has changed and that’s why the error came up. The new TSM version can make API calls based on a specific version of vSphere. As the environment was upgraded from vSphere 4 to 5 etc. the original license key edition was at the top of the license chain and this is what was being interrogated by the APIs so it failed to capture a valid backup.

What we were seeing was the the backup software connecting and taking the snapshot as per vCenter GUI but the transmission aborts with the following error;

08/12/2015 17:32:39.321 : vmvddksdk.cpp       (1168): VixDiskLib: Error occurred when obtaining NFC ticket for: [DATASTORE_NAME]  VM_NAME/VM_NAME.vmdk. Error 16064 at 3707.
 08/12/2015 17:32:39.321 : vmvddksdk.cpp       (1024): vddksdkPrintVixError(): VM name 'VM_NAME'.
 08/12/2015 17:32:39.321 : vmvddksdk.cpp       (1054): ANS9365E VMware vStorage API error for virtual machine 'VM_NAME'.
 TSM function name : VixDiskLib_Open
 TSM file          : vmvddksdk.cpp (1669)
 API return code   : 16064
 API error message : The host is not licensed for this feature

While it was not the exact issue I did find a VMware KB article which mentions removing the license from vCenter MOB (Managed Object Browser). The details however were not clear. Thankfully the community came to the rescue and I found the real solution in GSparks response from the Community thread. The overview was there but not the intimate detail which is why I’ve documented the process here.

Step 1: Read More


VMware ESXi 5.5 – Unable to Consolidate virtual machine disk files

I’ve been working on an issue over the past couple of days where a backup has constantly been failing. the problem was isolated down to the fact that the VM has a warning that it required disks to be consolidated. Nothing major, or so I thought. I had a look at the datastore where the VM resides and it has 185 snapshot vmdk disks. Well that can’t be right! So I did a bit of investigation and found a number of VMware KB articles around the problem. The basic option is to follow KB 2003638 and just run a basic consolidation by going to Snapshot -> Consolidate.

consolidate snapshot

You’ll then be prompted to select Yes/No as you’ll have to consolidate the Redo logs. Select Yes.

consolidate snapshot continue

At this point it looked as it the consolidation was going to work but at about 20% it failed. The next error shows that the file is locked.

consolidate snapshot fail disk locked

There are a number of recommendations around what can be done to remove the lock on the file. One is to run a vMotion/svMotion in VMware to another host. Unfortunately due to these both being standalone ESXi hosts with no vMotion network or capabilities that couldn’t be done. Some people recommend reboot the ESXi host to release the lock but per my issue above, there was no vMotion network and these hosts run production manufacturing systems and cannot just be randomly rebooted. Waiting on a downtime approval would take too long. The next step was to restart the management agents on the ESXi host. This was done by connecting to the ESXi host via SSH and running the following commands: Read More


How To: VMware vCenter 5.0 to 5.5 Update 2 Upgrade – Part 6

Other posts in this series:

Step 20:  Upgrade the ESXi hosts using Update Manager

20.1: The first step to carry out is to create a new baseline with the ESXi image. To do this go to Update Manager from the home page on the vSphere client

vCenter Upgrade Update Manager

20.2: Click on the ESXi Images tab as you’ll need to upload the image before configuring a new baseline. Select Import ESXi image

Update Manager Import ISO Image

20.3: Select the ESXi image that was downloaded earlier and click Next
Update Manager Import ISO Image Select Image Read More


How To: VMware vCenter 5.0 to 5.5 Update 2 Upgrade – Part 5

Other posts in this series:

Step 19: Post Installation tasks

Issue 1 – SSO access for admins

19.1: Give permissions to admin users for access to SSO. Log into the web client as the administrator account.

vSphere Web Client

19.2: Select Administration and then expand Single Sign-On. Select Users and Groups and select the groups tab. From here you can select Administrators

vSphere Web Client SSO Setup

19.3: Select Add member

vSphere Web Client SSO Add Member

19.4: Select the required domain from the drop down menu

vSphere Web Client SSO Add Group Read More


How To: VMware vCenter 5.0 to 5.5 Update 2 Upgrade – Part 4

Other posts in this series:

Step 13 : Upgrade SRM

13.1: Upgrade the SRM server software first and once that has been completed update the SRA. Select the SRM software and run it.

Update SRM 5.5

13.2: Click Ok on the language settings

Update SRM 5.5 Step 2

Update SRM 5.5 Step 3 Update SRM 5.5 Step 4

13.4: Go to C:WindowsSysWOW64 and run odbcad32 and check which server and database the connector is directed to. You can then run the normal 64bit ODBC from Administrative Tasks and add a new connection under System DSN

Click next to continue

Update SRM 5.5 Step 5

13.5: Click Next

Update SRM 5.5 Step 6 Read More

How To: VMware vCenter 5.0 to 5.5 Update 2 Upgrade – Part 3

Other posts in this series:

 Step 10:  Upgrade vCenter Inventory Service on Primary

10.1: Select vCenter Inventory Service and click Install

vCenter Inventory Service installation

10.2: Leave the default language settings and click Ok

vCenter Inventory Service installation step 2

10.3: Click Next on the initial screen

vCenter Inventory Service installation Step 3

10.4: Accept the EULA and click Next

vCenter Inventory Service installation Step 4

10.5: Select to keep the existing data and click next

vCenter Inventory Service installation Step 5 Read More


How To: VMware vCenter 5.0 to 5.5 Update 2 Upgrade – Part 2

Other posts in this series:

Step 7 – Unlink vCenter Server

7.1: Go to Start -> Programs -> VMware -> vCenter Server Linked Mode Configuration

vCenter Upgrade Break Linked Mode

7.2: When the configurator opens click on Next

vCenter Upgrade Break Linked Mode Step 2

7.3: Select Modify linked mode configuration and click Next

vCenter Upgrade Break Linked Mode Step 3

7.4: Leave Isolate this vCenter Server instance from linked mode group selected and click Next

vCenter Upgrade Break Linked Mode Step 4

7.5: Click Continue to remove the server from linked-mode

vCenter Upgrade Break Linked Mode Step 5 vCenter Upgrade Break Linked Mode Step 5 part 2 Read More


How To: VMware vCenter 5.0 to 5.5 Update 2 Upgrade – Part 1

Following on from a previous bit of work I carried out to convert vCenter from a physical to virtual machine I then had to upgrade vCenter from 5.0 to 5.5 Update 2 to allow the drivers for Trend Micro Deep Security Manager to work on the ESXi hosts. A workaround was tried to just have the ESXi 5.5 filter drivers for Trend installed on the 5.0 hosts but it caused some PSODs on our Dev servers and VMware recommended performing an upgrade of the environment. It was on my to-do list for later in the year anyway so it was good to get the upgrade out of the way. I documented the steps for the upgrade and while once again I didn’t want to create a multi-part blog post the sheer number of steps dictated that it was a requirement. I’ve broken down the posts into a 6-part series covering the below areas:

Step 1 – Planning

1.1: Check Compatibility

The first thing you need to check is that all the components of your environment are compatible with the version of vSphere you want to upgrade to. The first step is this process is to gather the version details of all the installations and plug-ins that you have and use the VMware Compatibility Guide – – to  verify that all the components listed are compatible or at least find out what versions of your products are compatible and seek out information on the upgrade process for each of those components. For example in the below matrix we will be upgrading SRM from 5.0.1 to 5.5.1 to be up to the latest version supported on vCenter 5.5 Update 2. Likewise for the IBM plug-ins and the SRA required for SRM.

Product Current Version Compatible Version
ESXi Host 5.0.0 5.5 Update 2
vCenter 5.0.0 5.5 Update 2
SRM 5.0.1 5.5.1
IBM SRA 2.1.0 2.2.0
Update Manager 5.0.0 5.5 Update 2
IBM TSM TDP 1.1 7.1
IBM Storage Mgmt Console 2.6.0 3.2.2 (supported on 5.5)

There is one other document to be aware of when it comes to planning for the upgrade and that is the upgrade sequence matrix so that you ensure that the correct products are updated at the correct times. This can be found here –

1.2: Download software vCenter 5.5.0 Update 2d

Go to the following website –

Select the relevant version of vCenter and click on Download Now

vCenter Upgrade Planning Step 1

From here you’ll be prompted to log into the account. Log in. Accept the EULA

vCenter Upgrade Planning Step 2

The download will begin. To get the Custom ISOs for Cisco blades for this version go to: and click Go To Downloads Read More


How To: P2V of vCenter Server

I was recently tasked with upgrading a legacy vCenter environment to cater for an upgrade to Trend Deep Security Manager. As I was reviewing the environment I noticed that one of the vCenter servers was a physical server running on an IBM HS22 blade. This server is part of a linked-mode vCenter and as the second vCenter was virtualized it caught me by surprise that this one wasn’t. Before beginning the work to upgrade vCenter from 5.0 to 5.5 and all its component I decided to virtualize the physical vCenter server to make management easier down the road and to eliminate the reliance on physical hardware outside of the ESXi hosts themselves.

As all ESXi hosts were being managed by the vCenter I was trying to convert I had to remove on host from the production cluster and isolate it so that it could be managed independently and could be used as the destination for the P2V in the vCenter Standalone Converter.



Step 1: Download vCenter Standalone Converter 5.5 from VMware site

1.1: Go to and download the installation file.

Step 2: Isolate an ESXi host to use as the destination of the conversion

2.1: Put the ESXi host in maintenance mode. Then right-click and Disconnect from vCenter. It will appear in italics and with a red X through it.

vCenter P2V step 1

2.2: Log on directly to the ESXi host using the root account

vCenter Server P2V Step 2 Read More

My VMUG – Melbourne VMUG UserConn

Recently I attended the local Melbourne VMUG UserConn. This is a once a year, full-day event hosted by the local VMUG group and boy do they put on a show. I didn’t have the opportunity to attend last year but thankfully I had to chance to attend for a second time this year. The agenda was packed full of both great global and local leaders from the IT community and as with all great events you can’t see everything so there’s a few sessions which I had to miss out on as it clashed with something else. MVMUG has however uploaded many of the sessions to Youtube. Craig Waters (@cswaters1) has created a Youtube playlist so you can catch up whenever you have some free time.

Before the event I was really looking forward to hearing the keynote speakers and having a chat to the guys at the PernixData stand. I had my day planned out on the VMUG iPhone app which was an excellent way to track my time for the day and it also provided a method to give feedback on the sessions. If you’re going to a VMUG I’d definitely recommend using the app. The speakers for the Keynote sessions included John Troyer (@jtroyer), Chad Sakac (@sakacc) and Vaughan Stewart (@vstewed). These guys are heavyweights in the IT-influencer arena and if you’re on twitter definitely give them a follow.

Read More