Table of contents

Reprovision a machine in vCloud Director

Make sure you are aware what the consequences will be of removing a machine from the rotation and consider who needs to be aware of potential downtime.


  1. Schedule downtime for your host in Icinga using our Fabric scripts. This will prevent Icinga from alerting while you reprovision the machine:

    fab $environment nagios.schedule_downtime:mybox-2.somevdc.production,20
  2. Stop the machine in the vCloud Director using the Flash UI.

  3. Delete the machine in the vCloud Director.

  4. Remove the certificate for the relevant machine on the organisation’s Puppet master, e.g.

    sudo puppet cert clean mybox-2.somevdc.production
  5. Ensure that the Puppet master will sign the certificate for the newly reprovisoned VM; after 5 minutes the Puppet client will timeout and you would need to initiate the signing request again manually.

    An easy way to do this is to run the following loop on and monitor the output:

    while true; do sudo puppet cert sign --all; sleep 10; done

    Don’t forget to kill the screen(1) session when you’re done.

  6. Reprovision the box using the Jenkins job specific to the environment.

  7. Remove any entries for the box from your SSH ~/.ssh/known_hosts file.

  8. Wait for the box to run Puppet so you can log in. It make take a few minutes before you can SSH into the box:

    until ssh mybox-2.somevdc.production; do sleep 10; done
  9. Check /var/log/userdata.log for Puppet run errors, and perhaps re-run Puppet manually to assert that all’s well:

    sudo less /var/log/userdata.log
    govuk_puppet -v
  10. Check all the services are running as expected, and if so, remove the downtime from Nagios (this can be done from the “Downtime” link in the left-hand sidebar).


If you are still unable to connect to the newly reprovisioned VM after a long period of time (e.g. 20 minutes), try connecting to the machine’s console from the vCloud Director Flash UI. VMs have been known to wait at the Grub bootloader screen; if this is the case, press the enter key in the console to start Linux.

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