A friend called and asked me why his vCenter service failed to start after the server reboot. After spending some time in investigation, I finally found the root cause – he uses SQL express to host the DB. And the SQL server port changed to another after the server reboot, which led to the SSO service fail to function correctly.

This is how to troubleshoot:

1) Check if the SSO service is listening. If not stop the SSO service.

netstat -a | find “7444”

2) Disable the dynamic port and set 1433 in TCP port in SQL express (SQL Server Configuration Manager > TCP/IP > IP ALL > then remove port in Dynamic Ports), then restart the SQL express service.

3) Reconfigure the SSO connection

C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\SSOServer\utils\ssocli configure-riat -a configure-db –database-host servername –database-port 1433 -m SSO_Admin_Password

4) Replace the port number with 1433 in the db.url

notepad C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\SSOServer\webapps\lookupservice\WEB-INF\classes\config.properties

5) Start the SSO service, then vCenter service.