VMware VI Client Error ‘Call “ServiceInstance.RetrieveContent” for object “ServiceInstance” on Server “IP-Address” failed’

KB ID 0000870 


This is a pretty generic error. It basically means “I cant connect to what you are asking me to connect to, on TCP Port 443 (https)”.

Call "ServiceInstance.RetrieveContent"


Internet searching for this error is very frustrating, everyone who was posting this error was seeing it because, instead of putting the IP address or name in the box (that actually tells you to put in the IP address or name (see image above)). If you put in https://{Name or IP Address}, you will see this error. However this was NOT MY PROBLEM.

This is happening because there is no communication between you and the ESX/vCenter you are trying to connect to. The first thing you need to do is see if HTTPS is open. On the affected machine open a web browser and point it to the same target and make sure you see the web console of the ESX/vCenter server. If you can’t see this, check firewalls (and proxies) and make sure HTTPS is not getting blocked.

VMware web console

In my case I could see this but it still did not work! Then I was reminded we have had strange comms problems on this site before, which I have documented here. Sure enough, when I dropped the MTU on the server I was trying to connect from (which was over a site to site VPN tunnel). It started to work fine.

Windows lock MTU

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Author: Migrated

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