Decommission a PSC or vCenter Server in vSphere 6.0

This is an (extremely) quick post to cover the steps required to decommission a Platform Services Controller (PSC) or vCenter Server from the vSphere single-sign on (SSO) domain.  The steps below are for a VCSA; steps for a Windows VC are very similar, and are contained in the VMware KB article I used as a reference for writing this post: KB 2106736.

Decommission a PSC

    1. Ensure no vCenter server instances are using the PSC that is to be decommissioned.  Instructions on how to query which PSC a vCenter instance is pointing to and subsequently repoint it are listed in my post here.
    2. Shut down the PSC.
    3. Connect to another PSC in the same SSO domain, either by SSH or using the console.  Enter the shell.
    4. Run the following cmsso-util command:
    5. Remove the decommissioned PSC from the vSphere inventory.

    Once these steps have been completed you can verify via the vSphere Web Client that the PSC has been decommissioned successfully by navigating to Administration > System Configuration > Nodes and ensuring that the decommissioned PSC is not present in the list of nodes.

    Decommission a vCenter Server (VCSA)

    1. Query the to-be-decommissioned vCenter server to identify the PSC it’s pointing to.  Instructions on how to query the PSC vCenter is pointing to are listed in my post here.
    2. Connect to the PSC the VCSA is pointing to, either by SSH or using the console.  Enter the shell.
    3. Run the following cmsso-util command:
    4. Power off the VCSA and remove it from the inventory.

    If you have multiple vCenter instances in a single SSO domain and you have just decommissioned one (or more), you may need to log out and log back into the vSphere Web Client before the decommissioned instance(s) disappear from the vSphere inventory tree.

  • Hello,

    using cmsso-util does not work when deploying a vCenter Server Appliance with external PSC and you want to remove an additionally joined (Windows) vCenter Server that connects as enhanced linked mode to the VCSA PSC.
    On the Windows Instance cmsso-util command will fail with the notification that “this command is supported only on PSC and vCenter with embedded PSC nodes.”
    When logging into PSC with VMRC or SSH Shell, cmsso-util unregister still fails. To resolve this, use the Windows Application Wizard to remove the vCenter Server with external PSC. Reboot the VCSA Server and PCS and the secondary vCenter Server is removed successfully

    • Andrew Richardson

      Hi Sascha,

      Thanks for your comment, I personally haven’t tried that particular combination so appreciate your input!

  • Eric Singer


    Just wanted to say thank you for providing this. Was very helpful.

    – Eric

    • Andrew Richardson

      Hi Eric,

      No problem, glad you found it useful!

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