March 11, 2014

Default gateway lost after reboot when using Host Profiles

When using Auto Deploy and Host Profiles with static vmkernel ip configuration, default gateway is not getting set as it should.

It is possible to enter the gateway address manually and it will work nicely until the host is rebooted. But when it boots up again it needs to get the gateway set manually again. VMware has a knowledge base article on this topic: Host Profiles do not save default gateway configuration in vSphere 5.1

A solution that doesn't require manual steps after reboot is normally preferred. A solution solution that works is to set the MAC address of the vmkernel nic to the same address as the physical PXE nic and to set the ip address assignment to DHCP. This can be configured in the Host Profiles:
It is because of this also a good idea to reserve these ip addresses to mac addresses on the DHCP server and reserve dns names accordingly.

We have also observed that when applying this profile for the first time the host will loose networking permanently (after 22% of profile remediation) when using Nexus 1000v switches.  The vmkernel log will have repeated messages like these:
Dropped : DP IP address (0x0) not set
The solution is to reboot the server from DRAC/iLO/RSA and it will boot up just fine with the new Host Profile attached.

Products used:
vCenter 5.5 build 1466327
ESXi build 1474528 and 1331820

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