CentOS 7 Boot Hanging Unless Systemd.log_target=console Is Used

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I have multiple VMs that are hanging on boot. Sometimes they’ll boot fine after 5 mins and other times it’ll take over an hour. The problem seems to be related to journald but I’d like to figure out how I can get more information. The VMs are running CentOS 7.1.1503. systemd and journald are both version 208. We are reluctant to upgrade to the newest CentOS because we found that journal-gatewayd is broken on boxes that have been upgraded.

If I add the kernel parameter systemd.log_target=console then they boot up fine without hanging at all. I can’t seem to get into the debug shell (Ctrl+Alt+F9) while the system is hanging after enabling debug-shell. Adding systemd.log_level

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