vCloud Director: Unable to verify the following cells share the transfer spooling area

Today I encountered an issue where, in a multi-cell vCloud Director environment, warnings were popping up in the /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/logs/cell.log:

Warning: unable to verify the following cells share the transfer spooling area.

This article describes what this means and how to fix it.

Basically, this warning shows that something might be wrong with one of the cells in your vCloud Director server group. The warning should contain extra details about the affected cells as well. For example:

Warning: unable to verify the following cells share the transfer spooling area: 192.168.235.10 (UUID) 192.168.235.12 (UUID) 

This shows that cells with indicated IP addresses are having issues writing to the NFS share. Make sure the NFS share is mounted correctly, and is writable from those cells.

In my case, everything seemed to work ok. So why was this warning popping up?

Investigation

After checking the log file, and identifying the UUID’s of my cells, it appears that the warning was actually complaining about a UUID which wasn’t active! So where did this came from?

I guessed this information should be kept in the database and I can confirm the cell entries of your vCloud Director cluster are indeed kept in the dbo.cells table of your vCloud Director database.

Each row represents a cell, shows the UUID and instance (and whether it’s active or not). My “ghost” cell was actually shown as inactive, but that didn’t affect the warnings apparently.

Fixing

Before making any changes, backup your database!

Now, delete the rows that contain non-existant cells inside the dbo.cells table.

Reboot your cells and check the /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/logs/cell.log file to see if everything is running fine now. The log file should mention the following after all vCD services are started up:

Successfully verified transfer spooling area

Now you should be happy as you don’t see the warning anymore! =)

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