VMware vRealize Business – Watch Out When Upgrading from 7.0.0 to 7.0.1

At Nubera, we are in the process of designing and implementing a solution at a Service Provider with vRealize Automation and vRealize Business Standard. The versions we are using are vRealize Automation version 7.0.0 and vRealize Business Standard version 7.0.0.

After all the vRealize Automation work was done (design, installation, configuration, blueprint creations, workflow development), we started with the vRealize Business setup. One of the first steps to do after deploying the vRealize Business appliance is to register it with vRealize Automation. After registering vRealize Business with vRealize Automation we experienced however an error when we tried to provision a new blueprint. The provisioning failed with the error “Request failed while fetching item metadata: Error communication with Pricing Service“.

Three days ago however vRealize Business Standard 7.0.1 was released (now rebranded to vRealize Business for Cloud) and we noticed in the release notes that one of the known issues was exactly the error we experienced. There was however a very easy workaround described:

  • Unregister vRealize Business for Cloud with vRealize Automation.
  • Generate the self-generated certificate for vRealize Business for Cloud.
  • Re-register vRealize Business for Cloud with vRealize Automation.
  • Wait for 10 minutes for all services start.
  • Start provisioning vRealize Automation.

So we tried the workaround on our vRealize Business Standard 7.0.0 setup, but unfortunately, the error was not resolved.

Since the workaround was described for vRealize Business for Cloud 7.0.1, we decided to first upgrade vRealize Business Standard 7.0.0 to vRealize Business for Cloud 7.0.1

However when we upgraded vRealize Business Standard form version 7.0.0 to version 7.0.1 we experienced  an additional problem. We did not see the option anymore to register/unregister vRealize Automation. Therefore we could not execute the workaround for our initial problem.

So now we ended up with two problems:

  • The tab ‘vRealize Automation’ is missing in the VAMI which means registering/unregistering with vRealize Automation is no longer possible
  • Every time a blueprint is requested from the vRealize Automation portal the error ‘Request failed while fetching item metadata: Error communicating with Pricing service.’ is thrown.

We called VMware support and they identified two possible causes:

  • vRealize Business Standard 7.0.0 requires 2 vCPUs and 4 GB RAM. However vRealize Business for Cloud 7.0.1 requires 4 vCPUs and 8 GB RAM. When upgrading from 7.0.0. to 7.0.1 without increasing the vCPU en RAM of the VM, some services will fail to start related to memory issues.
  • During the upgrade to vRealize Business 7.0.1, the server can possible ‘think’ it suddenly is only a vRealize Business Data-Collector, and no longer a vRealize Business Server. The server services will no longer start automatically. This includes the pricing-api service that vRealize Automation needs to fetch pricing information from vRealize Business.

To avoid the issues we had you should do the following:

  • Before upgrading increase the number of vCPUs from 2 to 4 and the amount of RAM from 4 GB to 8 GB
  • Recommended best practice (undocumented so far):
    • Unregister vRealize Business v7.0.0 with vRealize Automation before upgrading vRealize Business.
    • After the upgrade make sure all services are up and the tab ‘vRealize Automation’ is visible in the VAMI. If the ‘vRealize Automation’ tab is not visible, proceed to the below mentioned remediation steps. (Unregister, re-generate certificate and re-register can sometimes fix issues as well.)

If you do not see the ‘vRealize Automation’ tab in vRealize Business:

  • If the ‘vRealize Automation’ tab is missing after the upgrade, and vRealize Business and vRealize Automation are still linked (so unregistering is not possible from the VAMI), you can try one of the following procedures.
    • Procedure 1 (this did however not work in our environment):
      • Find out to which URL (= vRealize Automation server) vRealize Business is linked to by running the command on the vRealize Business server console
        • itfm-config-getinfo /usr/local/tcserver/vfabric-tc-server-standard/itbm-server
      • Try to unlink via command line with the following command
        • itfm-config-unregister /usr/local/tcserver/vfabric-tc-server-standard/itbm-server <URL> <username> <password>
          Example: itfm-config-unregister /usr/local/tcserver/vfabric-tc-server-standard/itbm-server v00vra01.nubera.local vsphere.local administrator ‘myPassword!’
    • Procedure 2:
      • run the following command from vRealize Business
        • /usr/ITFM-Cloud/va-tools/bin/va-run-mode-cfg.sh
      • wait for all services to be running
        • monit summary
      • (optional) if some services do not start after 10 minutes, try to force start them
        • systemctl restart pricing-api.service
      • Test vRealize Automation if Business Management is loading again by going to https:///vcac/?debug=true
        • Note: debug=true disables server side caching


Thanks a lot to William De Keyzer and Matthieu Pieters for debugging

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