When using VMware vSphere, you may notice vCenter OVF Import and Datastore File Access Issues, when performing various tasks with OVF Imports, as well as uploading and/or downloading files from datastores.
These issues can cause a number of symptoms including errors, unexpected status codes, and also just simply failing for an undetermined reason.
For this situation, the symptoms will occur when performing one of the following tasks:
- Cannot Upload File to datastore
- Cannot Download File from datastore
- Cannot Import OVF Template
- Cannot Export OVF Template
An example of errors that the user may see:
The operation failed for an undetermined reason.
The operation failed.
HTTP 500 Error
See below for some example screenshots of errors you may see.
Please note, that this condition can cause other issues and errors as well.
When using VMware vSphere, the vCenter server acts as it’s own Root Certification Authority, and uses SSL certificates to facilitate communication and encryption between various services in the solution, as well as the communication between the vCenter Server, ESXi hosts, and any client computers accessing vCenter via the web HTML5 interface.
This Root Certification Authority running on the vCenter Server creates and issues certificates to these services and hosts, which are issues under the Root CA Certificate.
While vCenter automatically handles the certificate trusts between the services, as well as the communicate between the vCenter Server and ESXi hosts (this is automatically setup when adding hosts to vCenter), it cannot automatically make your (client) computer trust the entire certificate authority, as well as all the child certificates.
To resolve this issue, you’ll need to download and install the trusted root CA certificates that belong to your vCenter server:
- Open your web browser to the FQDN of your vCenter server (do not go to the login page).
- Right click on “Download trusted root CA certificates”, and click on save link as.
- Save this ZIP file to your computer, and extract the archive file (you must extract it first).
- Navigate through the applicable folders (certs/win in my case) and locate the certificates.
- For each file that has the type of “Security Certificate”, right click on it and choose “Install Certificate”.
- Change “Store Location” to “Local Machine”
- Choose “Place all certificates in the following store”, click Browse, and select “Trusted Root Certification Authorities”.
- Finish the wizard, and you will get the acknowledgement “The import was successful.”
- Repeat this for each file in that folder with the type of “Security Certificate”.
You’ll have to close all web browser instances and reload the vCenter UI, however you should now be able to successfully upload and download files from the datastores, and also import and export OVF files.
Additionally, you should no longer receive any SSL errors when connecting to your vCenter server.