I replicated the setup in my lab using an ESXi host that was being managed by vMA via vi-fastpass (fpauth) and enabled vilogger for this host. I verified log collection was functional before enabling lockdown mode on the ESXi host, right away vilogger stopped collecting logs when lockdown mode was enabled. When using the "vilogger list" command, the status of the ESXi host goes from "collecting" to "No Permission". I found this to be quite odd and verified what the user was describing in his environment.
I decided to take a look at VMware's documentation to see what the behavior of Lockdown Mode was and the following snippet taken from vSphere's online documentation explains it all:
you cannot run vCLI commands from an administration server, from a script, or from vMA against the hostThis meant that not only the root account was locked out, but all other accounts found on the ESXi host whether they are custom from your environment or from auxiliary systems such as VMware vMA, would be completely disabled. What is even more interesting, even read-only accounts would no longer function, they too had to go to vCenter to be re-proxied to specific ESXi host.
This has a few implications for users considering Lockdown Mode:
- All scripts including resxtop and user authentication must go through vCenter. If vCenter went down, you have no remote way to access your ESXi host. This also meant that you could not remotely start up vCenter if it was hosted in a virtual machine but rather from DCUI after enabling Local Tech Support Mode
- The use of vMA's vilogger is completely useless when Lockdown Mode is enabled for ESXi host. Users may want to consider setting up a traditional syslog server and have the logs forwarded from the ESXi host