After almost a year, I have had problems with the VMware WebServices (the Tomcat web apps packaged into vCenter server) not working properly. At every upgrade, I have had issues where the apps that were “fixed” by support break again. I knew I had to be doing something wrong. I thought that vCenter was just not “good” at using a non-standard Microsoft SQL Server port. The windows app seemed to work great, but the Tomcat apps seemed to be the affected.
So, my DSN was originally configured with the server string as the server name only. I suspected this was the culprit after realizing the port was likely the issue from investigating logs with VMware support. If I added the port number in the registry the Tomcat apps would go to working. However, this caused the main vCenter service to break communications with the Microsoft SQL server. After a restart and eventually while running, the service would fail to communicate.
Today, I discovered that I was on the right track, but my syntax was just wrong. While waiting on a call back from support, I stumbled onto this community post by another user, posted on May 27, 2011. The screenshot is the biggest help for me, because finally, it showed the correct syntax for ports in the Native SQL Server DSN. I am NOT a SQL Server DBA and I guess it was just a lack of knowledge on my part. Perhaps other sysadmins are in the same situation, so here is an easy solution to try.
I changed my System DSN to the syntax of <host>,<port> and magically everything broken began working again.
See the link above for more information and links to the KB articles I had been using, also. Thanks to VMware Communities user pdelliott for his post!