In this blog I will explain how you can troubleshoot vCloud Director 9.7 SMTP settings when you receive a Fail – Error while configuring the SMTP server.

Before we start, I would like to explain the different log files vCloud Director uses:
All the logs for a cell can be found at /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/logs.

vCloud Director Logs
Log NameDescription
cell.logConsole output from the vCloud Director cell.
cell-management-toolCell Management Tool log messages from the cell.
cell-runtimeRuntime log messages from the cell.
cloud-proxyCloud proxy log messages from the cell.
console-proxyRemote console proxy log messages from the cell.
server-group-communicationsServer group communications from the cell.
statsfeederVirtual machine metric retrieval (from vCenter Server) and storage information and error messages.
vcloud-container-debug.logDebug-level log messages from the cell.
vcloud-container-info.logInformational log messages from the cell. This log also shows warnings or errors encountered by the cell.
vmware-vcd-watchdog.logInformational log messages from the cell watchdog. It records when the cell crashes, is restarted, and so on
diagnostics.logCell diagnostics log. This file is empty unless diagnostics logging is enabled in the local logging configuration.
YYYY_MM_DD.request.logHTTP request logs in the Apache common log format.

The official VMware article can be found here

vCloud Director 9.7 – Troubleshooting SMTP server settings

Now, let’s zoom into  the issue.
SMTP server has been configured, but when I choose “Test SMTP settings” I receive a Fail / error as shown below.
Unfortunately it is not a very useful error..

vCloud Director 9.7 - Troubleshooting SMTP server

vCloud Director 9.7 – Troubleshooting SMTP server

  • The first check you could do is perform a PING check from the vCloud Director cell, but most of the time that’s not very helpful either.
    If  the SMTP server is not responding to PING, it can have a variety of reasons. However, it will point you in the right direction if you do get a response.
  • Setup a SSH connection to your vCloud Director cell and start a PING command.
    In this example, the SMTP server replies to PING:
Ping to SMTP server

Ping to SMTP server

In previous screenshot you can see the SMTP server is reachable.. It might have something to do with a blocked port or so?
Let’s check out the vCloud Director logs!

# Perform a recursive search for the SMTP server
grep -r SMTP /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/logs/

The search result will look like the example below.
If it doesn’t it likely that you’re running a multi cell vCloud Director environment and you need to perform the search on one of the other cells.

In our example you can see that the cell is not able to connect to the SMTP server on port 25. (the connection timed out)
You need to allow outbound traffic on port 25 on your firewall.

/opt/vmware/vcloud-director/logs/vcloud-container-debug.log

/opt/vmware/vcloud-director/logs/vcloud-container-debug.log

After the port has been opened, you’ll be able to send a test e-mail.

Test mail send successfully

Test mail send successfully

Check our other vCloud Director related articles here

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