vCenter Appliance 7.0 – Disable Services

Deployment of vCenter Virtual Appliance (VCSA) 7.0 gives us many t-shirt sizes from tiny to x-large. But even the smallest “tiny” deployment size requests 2 vCPU and 12 GB of memory that allows up to 10 ESXi hosts and 100 virtual machines. Actually it’s still an overkill for my setup on my MacBook because all I want is to just run one vESXi and a bunch of containers. So for the sake of my very valuable memory resources, I needed to downsize the memory demand of vcsa.

There are many blogs on this common necessity on the internet, suggesting to disable some of the vcenter services, makes great sense. But I could not find a proper way to achieve this simple task for vcsa 7.0. This kb talks about how to stop and start services, but mentions nothing about disabling. As most of them are automatic, they will be running again after the restart. Another article talks about how to modify startup setting of a service but it’s applicable only for 6.x versions as there are no flash based web client any more.

Attention: The solution I’m going to propose here is dangerous and should never be practiced in critical environments.

  • First ssh to your vcsa (you need to enable ssh access if you have not done yet).
  • The appliance shell can be used to start and stop services as the VMware article I mentioned before dictates (with service-control command) but for further configurations, you need to switch to BASH. So type “shell“.
  • Change directory to /etc/vmware/vmware-vmon/svcCfgfiles/

Extra information: Most services that vCenter has are not regular systemd services. They are mostly spawned from one systemd service called VMware Service Lifecycle Manager (vmware-vmon). Just type “systemctl status vmware-vmon” and inspect the result.

  • The configurations of spawned vCenter services as JSON files take place in this directory. To disable content library service, just “vi vdcs.json” and modify StartupType parameter to DISABLED. You can repeat this process for as many services as you like to disable.
  • Reboot vcsa.

After the reboot, login to management interface of vcenter server and expect to see a list similar to this:

Voila! Now I can easily downsize my VCSA.

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