Managing and Troubleshooting vSAN using RVC

By | May 5, 2018

We always need a tool to manage, monitor and troubleshoot VMware vSAN. Ruby vSphere Console (RVC) is one of the primary tools to manage and troubleshoot vSAN environment. The Ruby vSphere Console is a console user interface for VMware ESXi and Virtual Center.The Ruby vSphere Console comes bundled with both the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) and the Windows version of vCenter Server. RVC is a programmable interface that allows administrators to query the status of vCenter Server, clusters, hosts, storage, and networking. For vSAN, there are quite a number of programmable extensions to display a considerable amount of information to manage and troubleshoot vSAN cluster using RVC. I will explain the some of the important commands to manage and troubleshoot vSAN cluster using RVC commands in this article. You can also manage and monitor VSAN using ESXCLI commands, Take a look at my article Monitor and Manage vSAN using esxcli vsan commands

How to Manage and Troubleshoot vSAN Cluster using RVC Commands

As we already discussed, There are quite a number of programmable extensions to display a considerable amount of information that you need to know about a vSAN cluster in the RVC (Ruby vSphere Console). We will see some of the important commands to manage and troubleshoot vSAN cluster using RVC commands.

How to Access RVC from vCenter Server appliance

To access Ruby vSphere Console (RVC), Log in to on your vCenter Server Appliance through SSH and run the below command and enter the user password if prompted.

rvc ssousername@hostname


rvc administrator@vSphere.local@localhost

VSAN Observer

Run the CD command to navigate to your vCenter Server directory.

cd localhost

Navigate to the data center for your vSAN environment and you can further navigate your cluster, host, VM and even VMDK of VM’s using CD command.

cd datacenter Name

VSAN Observer

You can use ~ to refer to your current datacenter, and all clusters are in the “computers” folder under your datacenter.

vsan.cluster_info ~cluster

This command prints cluster, storage and network information from all hosts in the vSAN cluster.  It displays the complete information of all the hosts which are part of the vSAN cluster.  It also shows the role of each ESXi host in the vSAN cluster

There are 3 types of roles Master, backup and agent. When a vSAN cluster is created, Each ESXi host in the vSAN cluster will be assigned to particular host roles in the vSAN cluster. These roles are for vSAN Clustering service only. The clustering service (CMMDS) is responsible for maintaining an updated directory of disks, disk groups and objects reside on each ESXi host in the vSAN cluster. This role is not responsible or related to handling objects and I/O.

This role allows nodes in the cluster to keep track of other nodes in the vSAN cluster. The clustering service is based on a master (with a backup) and agents. All the ESXi nodes in the cluster send updates to the master and then master redistributes them to agents. Electing master node is automatic and we don’t have control over on the election process.

In case of master node failure, backup node will hold all the information and this speed up the process of electing a new master node instead of all nodes resending their directory contents from their respective view of the cluster to the new master.

vsan.cluster_info ~/computers/vsanclustername/

Manage vSAN Cluster with RVC commands



This command is used to apply a VSAN license to a VSAN cluster. The command runs against a cluster object and takes a license key as an argument.

vsan.apply_license_to_cluster {cluster} {-k, --license-key}

Manage vSAN Cluster with RVC commands


This command displays resource information and is useful for ensuring that Virtual SAN is operating within its resource limits. The command runs against a cluster object. Check out my article to understand limitation and configuration maximum of vSAN 6.6

RDT relates to networking limits and Disks relates to storage limits. RDT is Reliable Datagram Transport and is the Virtual SAN network transport. RDT has a number of limits listed. These are Associations (Assocs) and Sockets. Additional information regarding Clients and Owners is also displayed.

Manage vSAN Cluster with RVC commands


This command performs 3 steps basically 3 tests on the vSAN cluster:
1.Check for inaccessible Virtual SAN objects
2.Check for invalid/inaccessible VMs
3.Check for VMs for which VC/hostd/vmx are out of sync

vsan.check_state ~/computers/clustername

Check for inaccessible Virtual SAN objects
This check performs the check for inaccessible vSAN objects. Inaccessible VSAN objects are an indication of the problem in the cluster. An invalid or inaccessible object is when the VM has objects that have lost the majority of its components or votes, again due to hardware failures.

Check for invalid/inaccessible VMs

This performs the check for any invalid or inaccessible VM’s in the vSAN datastore. This is likely due to the fact that the VM Home Namespace, where the .vmx file resides, is no longer online.

Check for VMs for which VC/hostd/vmx are out of sync

This step performs checks to ensure that the vCenter Server and the ESXi hosts are in agreement with regards to the state of the cluster

Manage vSAN Cluster with RVC commands


This command changes the disk auto claim mechanism. When enabled, Virtual SAN automatically claims any local, empty disks. If it is disabled, it does not claim disks automatically. It
takes a cluster object as an argument.

vsan.cluster_change_autoclaim -e ~/computers/clustername

Manage vSAN Cluster with RVC commands


Once I have enabled the auto claim for the vSAN cluster, Add disks to storage changed to “Automatic”. You can validate it from Web client under vSAN cluster properties.

Manage vSAN Cluster with RVC commands


This is a very useful RVC command for determining if there are enough resources remaining in the cluster to rebuild the missing components in the event of a failure.

The HDD capacity reported below refers to the capacity layer, both for all-flash and hybrid. RC reservations refer to read cache reservations, an option that allows an administrator to dedicate a certain amount of read-cache to a virtual machine through VM storage policy settings, but it is only relevant to hybrid configurations as there is no read cache reservation setting in all-flash configurations.

Manage vSAN Cluster with RVC commands

vsan.enter_maintenance mode

This command Place a host into maintenance mode. It also provides the ability through the ‘-e’ option to evacuate powered off VMs, and also offers the three data evacuation choices that are offered to administrators when they choose to enter maintenance mode via the vSphere web client. These choices are:

  • ensureObjectAccessibility
  • evacuateAllData
  • noAction

To understand detailed information about each of the vSAN data migration option. Take a look at my article ESXi maintenance mode in vSAN Cluster

Manage vSAN Cluster with RVC commands

vsan.enter_maintenance_mode {cluster} {-t, --timeout} {-e, --evacuate-powered-off-vms} {-n,--no-wait} {-v, --vsan-mode} {-h, --help}

vsan.enter_maintenance_mode  -v evacuateAllData ~/computers/cluster/hostname/

Manage vSAN Cluster with RVC commands



This command allows you to enable VSAN on the ESXi cluster. It takes a cluster as an argument.

vsan.enable_vsan_on_cluster {cluster} {-d, --disable-storage-auto-claim} {-e, --enable-vsan-checksum-enforcement} {-h, --help}

vsan.enable_vsan_on_cluster -d ~/computers/Clustername

Manage vSAN Cluster with RVC commands


This command Disable Virtual SAN on the vSAN enabled cluster. It takes the cluster as an argument. Note that this command does not prompt for confirmation, but simply goes ahead and disables Virtual SAN. Use with command with caution.

vsan.disable_vsan_on_cluster {cluster } {-h, --help}

vsan.disbale_vsan_on_cluster ~/computer/Democluster


The command will display the re-syncing of the components that are being rebuilt elsewhere in the cluster. Using this command, it is possible to tell how many bytes are left to sync for that particular VM/Object. The command displays an overview of the resync/rebuild for a snapshot in time.

To get a sense of resync/rebuild progress, either run the command multiple times or use the –refresh-rate parameter to display an updated table at a fixed time interval.

vsan.resync_dashboard {cluster|host} {-r, --refresh-rate} {-h, --help}

vsan.resync_dashboard ~/computers/vsan clustername

Manage vSAN Cluster with RVC commands


This command displays information about proactive rebalancing activities, including whether or not proactive rebalance is running or not. The cluster is the argument for this command.

vsan.proactive_rebalance_info {cluster} {-h, --help}

vsan.procative_rebalance_info ~/computers/Clustername

Manage vSAN Cluster with RVC commands


This command initiates the manual rebalance that looks at the distribution of components around the cluster, and will proactively begin to balance the distribution of components around the cluster. Otherwise rebalancing only begins to occur when a physical disk reached 80% capacity.

Proactive rebalance is not running by default. An administrator will have to initiate the proactive balancing of components with the –start option

Manage vSAN Cluster with RVC commands


This command is the data evacuation part of entering maintenance mode, but it does not do any of the compute/vSphere HA/etc. checks that one gets with maintenance mode. The command will evaluate the data on the host and ensure that VM objects are rebuilt elsewhere in the cluster to maintain full redundancy.

However, this can be overridden with the “–allow-reduced-redundancy” option, which evacuates the host but doesn’t initiate a rebuild due to lack of resources, i.e. a 3 =-node cluster. Another option is “–no-action”, which will run the command but not actually evacuate the host.

vsan.host_evacuate_data {host} {-a, --allow-reduced-redundancy} {-n, --no-action} {-t, --time-out} {-h, --help}

vsan.host_evacuate_data ~/computers/Clustername/hosts/hostname

Manage vSAN Cluster with RVC commands


This commands exits the host evacuation state and allows the disks on the host in question to be reused for virtual machine objects. For this command to be successful, the host should be evacuated earlier as similar to the previous step.

vsan.host_exit_evacuation {host} {-h, --help}

vsan.host_exit_evacuation ~/computers/clustername/hosts/hostname


Manage vSAN Cluster with RVC commands


This command helps you to monitor the upgrade status of vSAN along with the details of the number of objects left to upgrade.You can also include the refresh interval to refresh the upgrade status during every interval. Below command will query the upgrade status every 60 seconds.

vsan.upgrade_status -r Cluster

vsan.upgrade_status -r 60 /localhost/VSAN-DC/computers/VSAN-Cluster/

Manage vSAN Cluster with RVC commands



This command generates a support bundles that includes the output of many RVC commands. This is extremely useful to the technical support personnel (GSS) at VMware. Typically the Virtual SAN cluster will be provided as an argument to the command, but a vCenter or a datacenter may also be provided.

You should only run this command when requested by VMware technical support. The goal is to generate a comprehensive output that can be sent to VMware Support so that a lot of information provided in RVC is readily available to engineers at VMware as part of a support request.

vsan.support_information ~/computers/clustername

Manage vSAN Cluster with RVC commands


I am Rahul Sharma, I am currently working as Subject Matter Expert for SDDC and Cloud Infrastructure Services, Mainly on VMware Virtualization Platform.

I have 9 Year’s of IT experience and have expertise in Designing and Deploying of VMware vSphere, vSAN, vCloud Director, vRealize Automation, SRM, NSX  and modern data center technologies like vBlock, Cisco UCS, DELL, HPE C7000, HPE Synergy HCI etc.

I am vExpert, VCIX6-DCV, Dual VCP – DCV & NV, MSCE – Cloud, CCNA, ITIL v3 Certified.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *