Changing vRA ExternalWfStubs Timeouts

I saw a question on Twitter this morning that I thought warranted a quick post:

201511324_111120-CapturFilesThe default timeout for the various workflow stubs is 30 minutes, but they can be changed. As always, take backup copies and be careful! The six stubs that can be changed are:

  • Expired
  • RegisterMachine
  • Disposing
  • UnprovisionMachine
  • BuildingMachine
  • MachineProvisioned

The timeout settings for External Workflow stubs are configured on the Windows server (vRA 6.x) that hosts the Manager role. The file and path required (assuming a default installation) is:

C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\vCAC\Server\ExternalWorkflows\xmldb\ExternalWFStubs.xml

Using your favourite text editor, simply adjust the timeout value for each workflow. Most people tend to require a longer timeout for “MachineProvisioned”, often because they require longer running post-provisioning tasks to complete before handing a Virtual Machine over to the requester.


Save the file and make sure that the same changes are made on the standby Manager if you have a distributed installation. You'll also need to restart the Manager service for the change to take.

One word of warning though, extending the timeout could mean that the DEM worker(s) get clogged up with running workflows. Remember that each worker can run 15 simultaneous workflows. So if you extend the timeouts, you may need more DEM Workers. Best to monitor the number of concurrent workflows for a few days if you're unsure.