vCenter — File system `/storage/log` is low on storage space

After a recent VCSA reboot, I was seeing the infamous `no healthy upstream` error from vCenter.

The first place to check for issues like this is VMware’s Virtual Appliance Management Interface (VAMI), located by default via HTTPS on port 5480. An administrator can use the appliance root password for this particular interface.

When reviewing this issue with the VAMI, I saw the following error:

Now, VCSA by design automatically rotates most logs available on the appliance using the open-source tool but nothing in this directory appears to be managed:

I’d say this particular log partition is going to need some manual cleanup every now and then. To open up the CLI, SSH into vCenter and execute the following command:

First, let’s get an idea of how full the disks are:

Note: The -m switch converts units into Megabytes

The log partition is definitely full. To take an inventory of disk usage, we’ll use the du utility, with the s (summarize) and m (megabytes) switches enabled, and then pass the output to sort with the n (numerical) and r (reverse) switches enabled to focus on the most important first.

Examining these folders further, quite a few of these are old and never rotated. VMware provides the following guidance on what’s safe or isn’t. Generally, Linux has issues with files being deleted out from under it, so obviously rotated logs can be safely removed. If this is a production system, I’d recommend calling VMware GSS instead of taking it upon yourself. The above command ( du -sm * | sort -nr) can be used in any working directory to see what is filling up the logs the most. Here are a few examples of what I deleted to make room:

From here, I like to verify that space is cleared:

Catalina and Tomcat names for the same thing. This software package proxies inbound HTTP requests to specific applications, allowing many developers to build code without having to construct a soup-to-nuts HTTP server. Other similar (but more recent) projects include Python’s

With HTTP Proxies and servers, it is useful to keep comprehensive records indicating “who did what”, both for security reasons (“whodunit”) and for debugging reasons. As a result, Tomcat is a serious log-hog wherever it exists, and it almost never reviews old logs. This is why I evaluated the change as relatively safe.

If this was not an appliance, I would have added a logrotate spec to automatically delete old files from this directory, but it is not recommended to alter VCSA in this way.

Originally published at



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Nick Schmidt

I am a network engineer based out of Alaska, pursuing various methods of achieving SRE/NRE