VM may unexpectedly reboot when using HA with Virtual Machine Monitoring

0 Comments ESX 3.5 Tips, ESXi 3.5 Tips, VMware

As mentioned on Scott Lowe and Duncan Epping’s sites, an issue has been uncovered with VMware ESX 3.5 Update 3 in regards to Virtual Machines rebooting when using VMware HA with Virtual Machine Monitoring enabled.

To stay up to date on this VMware KB, please visit their website; VMware KB 1007899


** Virtual Machines may unexpectedly reboot after a VMotion migration to an ESX 3.5 Update 3 Host OR after a Power On operation on an ESX 3.5 Update 3 Host, when VMware HA feature with Virtual Machine Monitoring is active.


** A virtual machine may reboot itself when the following conditions exist:

  • Virtual Machine is running on ESX 3.5 Update 3 Host, either by virtue of VMotion or a Power On operation, and


  • Host has VMware HA enabled with “Virtual Machine Monitoring” option active.

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    Virtual Machine monitoring is dependent on VMware tools heartbeats to determine the state of the Virtual Machines.

    With ESX Server 3.5 Update 3 after a VMotion or Power On operation, host agent running on the ESX server may delay sending the heartbeat state of the Virtual Machine to the Host. VMware HA detects this as a failure of the Virtual Machine and attempts to restart the Virtual Machine

    To work around this problem:

    Option 1: Disable Virtual Machine Monitoring
    1. Select the VMware HA cluster and choose Edit Settings from the right-click menu (note that this feature can also be enabled for a new cluster on the VMware HA page of the New Cluster wizard).
    2. In the Cluster Settings dialog box, select VMware HA in the left column.
    3. Un-Check the Enable virtual machine monitoring check box.
    4. Click OK.
    Option 2: Set hostd hearbeat delay to 0
    1. Disconnect the host from VC (Right click on host in VI Client and select “Disconnect” )
    2. Login as root to the ESX Server with SSH.
    3. Using a text editor such as nano or vi, edit the file /etc/vmware/hostd/config.xml
    4. Set the “heartbeatDelayInSecs” tag under “vmsvc” to 0 seconds as shown here:

    5. Restart the management agents for this change to take effect.  See Restarting the Management agents on an ESX Server
    6. Reconnect the host in VC ( Right click on host in VI Client and select “Connect” )</p>

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