NSX Troubleshooting Scenario 9

Welcome to the ninth installment of my NSX troubleshooting series. What I hope to do in these posts is share some of the common issues I run across from day to day. Each scenario will be a two-part post. The first will be an outline of the symptoms and problem statement along with bits of information from the environment. The second will be the solution, including the troubleshooting and investigation I did to get there.

The Scenario

As always, we’ll start with a brief problem statement:

“We’re in the process of deploying NSX. We were able to deploy the NSX Manager and Control Cluster, but every time we try to install the VIBs on the host, it fails with a licensing error. We have already added the license for NSX Enterprise in vCenter!”

Every time the customer tries to prepare cluster compute-a, they get the following error:

tshoot9a-1

The exact error is:

“Operation is not allowed by the applied NSX license.”

Looking in the most obvious spot, we can see that the customer had indeed added a license for ‘NSX for vSphere – Enterprise’. Not only that, but there is also an ‘NSX for vShield Endpoint’ license.

tshoot9a-2
Note: The column displaying license keys has been deliberately hidden from view.

The license expiration is also many months in the future, so no issues there. Looking at the NSX Manager logging, we don’t see anything else that may be helpful. Again, the blame is pointed squarely at licensing:

2018-05-10 23:19:03.606 UTC WARN http-nio-127.0.0.1-7441-exec-1 RemoteInvocationTraceInterceptor:87 - Processing of VsmHttpInvokerServiceExporter remote call resulte
com.vmware.vshield.vsm.exceptions.OperationNotPermittedException: core-services:1256006:Operation is not allowed by the applied NSX license.
 at com.vmware.vshield.vsm.nwfabric.facade.impl.NetworkPrepFacadeImpl.addFeature(NetworkPrepFacadeImpl.java:78)
 at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke0(Native Method)
 at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(NativeMethodAccessorImpl.java:57)
 at sun.reflect.DelegatingMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(DelegatingMethodAccessorImpl.java:43)
 at java.lang.reflect.Method.invoke(Method.java:606)

Questions

Since some of my scenarios have been added as tasks in CloudCred, I thought I’d try something a bit new and add some questions to go along with each scenario. Here are a few to consider for this one:

  1. What are the various license types offered by VMware for NSX for vSphere?
  2. What is the difference between Endpoint and Enterprise licensing? What features can be used in each?
  3. What are the differences between CPU and VM licensing models?
  4. What version of NSX did VMware introduce the new ‘Endpoint Only’ license?
  5. What is the correct process to use when licensing NSX?
  6. What may this fictional customer have done wrong or missed in this process?

Here are a few resources that may help:

What’s Next?

I’ll post the solution in the next day or two, but pay close attention to the license page screenshot. What stands out that may provide a hint?

How would you handle this scenario? Let me know! Please feel free to leave a comment below or via Twitter (@vswitchzero).

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