How To: Properly Shut Down a vCloud Director Cell

Many folks may or may not know this but there has been a tool added for VMware vCloud Director 1.0.1 to properly Quiesce and shutdown a cell in order to let open tasks finish.  It you simply stop the services you can fail out running tasks.  For vCloud Director 1.0.1 you need to download and install the Cell Management Tool.  You can find all the instructions for this in a very simple VMware Knowledge Base Article.

Now the trick is that the tool listed in the KB and the commands are DIFFERENT for vCloud Director 1.5!  They look close to the same, but there is an added switch required.  Also the documentation is not entirely correct.  It states that is you do not specify the password it will prompt you.  That is 100% not the case, you need to type it in the command line for anything to work.  After much searching I located the new commands and switches and I have provided them below for you.

NOTE:  I have found that SSH does NOT return any information but using the console does.  If anyone else can confirm this I did open a case about it.

  1. Log into the server as root.  
  2. Use the Cell Management Tool to gracefully shut down the cell
    • Retrieve Current Job Status
[root@cell1 /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/bin]# ./cell-management-tool -u administrator -p Pa55w0rd cell --status
Job count = 3
Is Active = true
    • Stop the scheduler to quiesce the cell (This will prevent new tasks from starting, current tasks will run until finished.  To cancel a task you the API or portal.
[root@cell1 /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/bin]# ./cell-management-tool -u administrator -p Pa55w0rd cell --quiesce true
    • When the job count is 0 and the status active=false you can shutdown the cell.  You will need to keep repeating step #1 until you see 0 and active=false
[root@cell1 /opt/vmware/vcloud-director/bin]# ./cell-management-tool -u administrator -p Pa55w0rd cell --shutdown

This information is located in the online library for vCloud Director, but notice the “cell” switch that is new and different from 1.0.1.  That was added for 1.5 and through me for a loop for about an hour, along with the incorrect documentation that the password will prompt if you do not enter it.  Below is the full list of switches and commands.

Cell Management Tool Options, Arguments, Login, and Help

[table id=1 /]

Cell Management Tool Options, Arguments, “cell” subcommand

[table id=2 /]

About Chris Colotti

Chris is active on the VMUG and event speaking circuit and is available for many events if you want to reach out and ask. Previously to this he spent close to a decade working for VMware as a Principal Architect. Previous to his nine plus years at VMware, Chris was a System Administrator that evolved his career into a data center architect. Chris spends a lot of time mentoring co-workers and friends on the benefits of personal growth and professional development. Chris is also amongst the first VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDX#37), and author of multiple white papers. In his spare time he helps his wife Julie run her promotional products as the accountant, book keeper, and IT Support. Chris also believes in both a healthy body and healthy mind, and has become heavily involved with fitness as a Diamond Team Beachbody Coach using P90X and other Beachbody Programs. Although Technology is his day job, Chris is passionate about fitness after losing 60 pounds himself in the last few years.


  1. Hi Chris,
    I tried the above commands with an ssh connection to a vCD v1.5 cell and it returned the status details just fine.

    Great vCD info as usual, thanks!

  2. Chris, the SSH display problem is not just you. I’m having the same problem trying to upgrade from vCloud 1.5 to 1.5.1. I’m using PuTTY from a Windows client, and whenever I run the cell commands, I don’t get any output. I’m going to try another client and see if that works.

    • Well, the problem turned out to be an authentication error. However, the cell management tool doesn’t give any output indicating an error. Also, even when you do the shutdown step, you don’t get any confirmation that the shutdown has actually occurred.

  3. Hi Chris,

    I did not see any results when i used ssh on my mac. Console worked like a charm.


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