vCenter Server 6.0 – Licensable Entity Does Not Exist


Recently, I worked on an issue where vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 U1 was rebuilt and was not able to assign vCenter Server license key with the following error message:


After a review, it was found out that the license key was not removed before decommissioning the old VC. As a result, old VC asset was registered with the license key and removing the asset thrown up an error:

License entity does not exist


The vSphere environment was set as the following:

  1. 1 x vCenter Server Appliance 6.0 U1
  2. 1 x Windows vCenter Server 6.0 U1
  3. 1 x Appliance External PSC 6.0 U1
  4. 1 x Windows External PSC 6.0 U1
    • 1 x SSO domain
    • 1 x SSO site

What Happened?

  1. Decommissioned VCSA 6.0 U1 without removing VC license key from the license page
  2. Rebuilt VCSA 6.0 U1 with external PSC with the same configuration as before
  3. Existing PSC thinks that the old asset still exists


Worked with VMware Support and they advised that the issue is due to the old entity still reamining in the VMware Directory Service database whereas the old asset was removed. The solution was simple enough, remove the old entity.

To do the work, JXplorer was required. Download it here.

  1. Install JXplorer and run it. On the left top corner, click Connect to a DSA
    • 2
  2. Use the following to connect to VMware Directory Service database:
    • Host: FQDN of the Host
    • Protocol: LDAP v3
    • Base DN: dc=vsphere,dc=local
      • This is the default SSO domain, vSphere.local
      • If it’s not default, change it accordingly
    • Level: User + Password
    • User DN: cn=administrator,cn=users,dc=vsphere,dc=local
      • Again, this is the default SSO domain. If it’s not default, change it accordingly
    • Password: password for administrator@vsphere.local
    • 3
  3.  Once connected, expand out like the following:
    • 4
  4. Search for the LicenseEntity where:
    • vmwLicSvcLicenseName: vCenter Server 6 – vCenter Server Name
    • vmwLicSvcLicenseSerialKeys: Equal to the license key that you cannot remove
    • 5
  5. Before deleting the problematic LicenseEntity,  take snapshot on:
    • 2 x vCenter Servers
    • 2 x external PSCs
  6. Delete the LicenseEntity
  7. Once deleted, SSH to PSC and restart the following services in order:
    1. VMware Security Token Service
    2. vmware-stsd
    3. VMware Identity Management Service
    4. vmware-sts-idmd
    5. VMware License Service
    6. vmware-cis-license
  8. The actual commands below:
    1. service-control –stop vmware-stsd
    2. service-control –start vmware-stsd
    3. service-control –stop vmware-sts-idmd
    4. service-control –start vmware-sts-idmd
    5. service-control –start vmware-cis-license
    6. service-control –start vmware-cis-license
    7. 6
  9. When services are restarted, ensure the Asset is gone from the licensing page
  10. Now, you will be able to remove the license key
  11. Then, add the license key back asssigning it to the new VC
  12. Delete the snapshots

Hope this was helpful and feel free to leave a comment for any clarifiations 😀


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