vCenter Site Recovery Manager installation fails.

This post was updated 2014-01-22 since a KB solving the problem has been published by VMware and can be found here

There is a first time for everything and this will be the first blog post on vcdx56.com with content not experienced by myself. I received this very useful information from a colleague, Patrik Ruthberg, and he didn’t mind me putting the information into a blog post.
It seems like the vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) can’t be installed on Windows 2012 even though it is listed on the VMware Compatibility Guide. Access the compatibility list via this site and select Host Operating System Compatibility for SRM Server. 

Problem description

Customer setup includes the following components:

  • SRM 5.5.0
  • vCenter Server 5.5a
  • MSSQL 2012 SP1
  • Windows Server 2012

All the prerequisites was followed (including e.g. accounts permissions, MSSQL, ODBC) and the installation was carried out according to the VMware SRM installation documentation.

The installation runs just fine until it tries to start the Windows service ”Protected Storage Services”. Since the service was not present in Windows Server 2012 OS installation the SRM installer couldn’t find it. This resulted in an installation rollback (failure)
This is the error captured in the installation log file before the installation rollback starts:

MSI (s) (A0:D4) [11:39:33:624]: Executing op: ActionStart(Name=VMHandleProtectedStorageService,Description=Starting Protected Storage service,)
MSI (s) (A0:D4) [11:39:33:624]: Executing op: CustomActionSchedule(Action=VMHandleProtectedStorageService,ActionType=3073,Source=BinaryData,Target=VMHandleProtectedStorageService,)
MSI (s) (A0:F0) [11:39:33:624]: Invoking remote custom action. DLL: C:WindowsInstallerMSIDC8F.tmp, Entrypoint: VMHandleProtectedStorageService
VMware: Srm::Installation::Utility::GetMsgFromErrorTable: ERROR: MsiGetActiveDatabase() failed. Trying MsiOpenDatabase().
VMware: Srm::Installation::Utility::GetMsgFromErrorTable: INFORMATION: Error message is Could not open service:
VMware: Srm::Installation::ServiceHandler::ServiceHandler: ERROR: Could not open service: ProtectedStorage
CustomAction VMHandleProtectedStorageService returned actual error code 1603 (note this may not be 100% accurate if translation happened inside sandbox)

Microsoft has removed the Protected Storage Service service from Windows Server version 2012 so the SRM installation attempt when using Windows Server 2012 SP1 as the guest operating system failed as well.
Basically the installation had no chance to complete successfully. 


The customer really needed the SRM service in place immediately so the solution was to install SRM 5.5 on Windows Server 2008 R2 and the installation completed on the first attempt without any errors.

If anyone has installed SRM 5.5 successfully on Windows Server 2012, please let me know. I’ll update the blog post as soon as i receive a solution to the problem.

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