Disconnected ESX Host


Apr 4, 2009
We have an ESX 3.5 host at a branch location that went offline in vSphere, but the VMs are still online. When I try to connect to the host in vSphere it gives me the error:

"Unable to acquire licenses because
the license source is unavailable: The
license manager has not been
started yet, the wrong port@host or
license file is being used, or the port
or host name in the license file has
been changed"

I just took over the system admin role and the old admin said this happened around the time we changed ISP at the branch location. Also, I cannot ping the IP shown in our DNS server for the host.

Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.
Oh fun. sounds like networking is hosed between sites. Can you ping the DNS name (not IP)? I expect not...
You are correct. I cannot ping the host name either. We have a site to site VPN. The weird thing is I can see the VMs on the network and RDP into them. From what I could find, it may be port 27000 or something that needs opened on the branch site firewall to allow the host to see the license server...?

To boot, there is no network map or any kind of documentation I can find with the branch site's IPs, etc. Guess you can say I have my hands full.
It doesn't sound like the Service Console is pingable. That sucks major potatoes. Can you connect to one of the VMs and THEN try to ping the service console? Licensing problems alone wouldn't prevent ping from working.

Makes me wonder why it would become unavailable, but a standalone host will keep the VMs online, even if the service console connection to the switch was to become unplugged or err-disabled, etc.

Outside of that... any out of band management... like an iLO? If so, you might be able to get on the service console and verify the network config AND whether it has connectivity to the switch. Its hard to know if he used separate physical nics or not for the service console and the VMs.
902, 443, 80, are the main ones I know, and 2700 for license. off the top of my head...
Thanks to both of you for the help. When I am able to get to the remote firewall, I will be able to see what they did. Could it be that the host may need rebooted for the DNS to get updated after the ISP change? Just a thought...

I will post back when I get into the firewall config.