Remote restart ESXi management agents

Today I had a problem with all of our vSphere hosts in my cluster. To resolve the problem I needed to restart the management agents on each host. In the past with ESX there was the service console to which you could connect by using SSH and then execute the restart commands from the CLI. But since ESXi doesn’t ship with the service console this is not an option.

The correct method stated in KB 1003490 by VMware is to restart the management agents from the console of the host. Because we have over 15 hosts this is time consuming task so I decided to look for an alternative method, and found it 🙂

First you have to enable ‘remote techsupport’ (SSH access) to your hosts, this can be done at the configuration tab of your host under the ‘security profile’;

Click the ‘Properties…’ link to enable or disable services.

Now highlight the SSH service and click ‘Options…’

Click ‘Start’ to start the SSH service, now you’re able to remote connect to your host using SSH.

Now you can restart the management agents by executing the following command

/sbin/ restart

This command will restart the management services, the VMs running on the host are not affected.

When you’re done is recommended to disable SSH for security purposes.

5 thoughts on “Remote restart ESXi management agents

  1. This fine as long as the management services are responsive. If you’re needing to to restart management agents because you’ve lost connection to the host that is otherwise running fine (guest machines are OK), and SSH is not enabled, only solution I know of is restarting agent at the console or restarting the host.

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