VMware Capacity Planner – Collector Access Denied

I recently experienced a strange issue when implementing the VMware Capacity Planner at a customer site. Once the collector software had been installed and I attempted to run the initial inventory of my target servers, the following error message was displayed in the capacity planners task pane.

ERROR: An unexpected error occurred!  Module = VMware Capacity Planner Collector  Function = ProcessJobs  Source = vcpCollector  Error = Permission denied(70:0:1000070)#

On first glance I thought this was an issue when querying a target server though either the remote registry or WMI. Some further research led me to VMware Knowledge Base article KB 1001396 which detailed the error listed above. Unfortunately the article detailed that this error is usually reported when running the collector on a Windows Server 2003 platform that is utilising hardened security methods, I was however using a Windows XP Professional machine as my collector platform. Ironically the suggested solution for this error in the VMware KB article is to install the collector on a Windows XP workstation.

After removing anti-virus applications, GPO’s and several software re-installations later a colleague recommended resetting the local security policy on my Windows XP collector workstation back to default, in the eventuality the security policy applied via GPO had not removed correctly. After running a secedit command to restore the local security policy and re-running the inventory task in the capacity planner everything was now working as expected. To reset the local security policy of a Windows XP workstation, perform the following steps:

1. Click Start and select the Run menu item.

2. In the Run dialog box type CMD and click ok.

3. In the command prompt window type the following entry, without quotations, and press return on your keyboard:

“secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\repair\secsetup.inf /db secsetup.sdb /verbose”

4. Once you have pressed return on your keyboard you should then receive a “Task is completed” message and a warning message that an item could not be completed. You can safely ignore this message.

5. In the Capacity Planner software re-run the initial inventory task, and you should now see that the access denied error is no longer displayed.

For more information on resetting the local security policy of any Windows based operating system, please see the following URL: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/313222

VMware Capacity Planner – Missing Data

A while ago I was performing a VMware Capacity Plan for a third party company. During the implementation of the planning software I experienced an issue collecting CPU, RAM and disk statistics for two particular servers. I noted that when running an inventory job in the capacity planning software, the following error was being produced:

RetrieveSystemUpTime: PdhVbGetDoubleCounterValue() has bad status. No uptime data 

After a prolonged investigation of the issue I contacted VMware to see if they had experienced this problem. To some surprise, there was no entry in their internal knowledge base for this issue and the problem was passed to their developers in the United States. A week later, and it turned out this error is actually produced if the capacity planning software receives “invalid” data from a server. In my case, rebuilding the Windows Performance Counter Library Values resolved the issue. We could only assume these had become corrupt and were therefore sending incorrect values to the capacity planner. To rebuild your performance counters, please follow the steps detailed in Microsoft KB Article 300956: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/300956