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VCF – Delete Domain Failed

VCF – Delete Domain Failed

Delete Domain Workflow Fails

The Issue – Delete Domain Workflow Failed?

Deleting a Workload Domain in SDDC Manager may result in the Delete Domain workflow failings. In this particular case, the workflow halted on the decommission vCenter sub-task, no amount of retries resolved the issue.

The screenshot below displays the error as seen in SDDC Manager.

SDDC Manager Delete Domain failed workflow

The Fix?

Ensure you have cleaned any Edge Cluster associated with the Workload Domain first, the instructions to achieve this can be found here.

Next, SSH onto the management domain vCenter, and launch bash.

vCenter bash

Navigate to the folder /usr/lib/vmware-vmdir/bin.

Power off the vCenter that manages the Workload Domain you are attempting to delete. Ensure you are powering off the vCenter for the domain you are attempting to delete and NOT the vCenter that manages the Management Domain.

power off VC before fixing failed delete domain workflow

Run the command below on the Management vCenter. Pay attention to the node-pnid, it is the hostname of the vCenter that manages the workload domain to be deleted.

remove ELM

Once the process is complete, enhanced-linked mode will have been removed, which can be seen in the screenshot below. Ordinarily, any linked vCenter will be displayed under System Configuration.

Now you can re-run the workflow in SDDC Manager, the Workload Domain vCenter can remain powered off. You should now see the workflow succeed.

Once the Delete Domain workflow completes, the hosts will still need to be decommissioned, notice in the image below, the host status is ‘Needs Cleanup’.

Navigate to Hosts -> Unassigned Hosts, Select all hosts to be decommissioned, and then click on ‘Decommission Selected Hosts’.

Once the hosts are decommissioned, you will have successfully removed the Workload Domain.


There are many reasons why a workflow may fail in SDDC Manager, it’s important to remember that manually deleting objects, such as, vCenter, NSX-T Managers, Hosts, etc, is not the right way to remove them. Any manual intervention means there will still be remnants of the object in SDDC Managers database. This article has walked through one potential process to ensure the Delete Domain workflow succeeds.

This article provides more insight on the process of using the cmsso command.

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