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My ramblings on the stuff that holds it all together
I found this issue recently – working on an environment where the ESX 5.5 hosts (build 1892794) had to be added to the domain. We needed to add a custom domain group in to grant it root access to the ESX host.
We followed this KB article http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2075361 to set the advanced parameter on each host (using PowerCLI) Config.HostAgent.plugins.hostsvc.esxAdminsGroup to be equal to the domain group we want to be granted admin access to the host e.g VMware_Admins so you can use AD credentials for SSH etc without relying on root all the time if you are a member of this group.
However – this did not work – if I connected the VI client directly to the host and logged on as root, I could not see the domain group on the permissions tab, I tried a lot of different things, combinations of DOMAIN\GROUPNAME and just GROUPNAME to no avail – the permission did not apply when I left & re-joined the domain.
It turns out that, in my environment despite the article saying no reboot required a reboot was actually required to enact the change and make it work (thanks to Julian Wood on twitter for sharing his identical experience).
I’ve provided some feedback to the KB article, but if you come across this issue – this is the cause! I did join/leave the domain a number of times with this host whilst testing so maybe this was a factor.