We found a work around and I forgot to come back and post it...
In our case, the DNS name to the vCenter server (externally accessible) is different than the hostname of the server itself, so I believe that to be the problem in our case.
We found the code that specifies the connection in this file:
- connectVmrc("<%= host %>");
And modified it to the following:
- //connectVmrc("<%= host %>");
The above lines of code are at approximately line 536 in the vmrc.jsp file.
The vmrc.jsp file is located in the vCenter installation directory on the vCenter server.
This is working with vCenter 5.1 (haven't upgraded this vCenter to 5.5 yet).
The modifications to the vmrc.jsp file get reset back to default on each reboot of the server.