GeoDave101
Contributor
Contributor

VMware tools needed for host-level HA?

Jump to solution

I have a quick question around having VM tools installed and basic VM HA functionality.  I've seen instances when, during a host crash in a cluster with HA, some or all VMs do not come up on other hosts.  In the inventory they just appear as greyed-out until the host is brought back up.  This was on a 4.0 host (not sure of patch level).

We all know that VM tools are a good idea, but we still have some Linux VMs that do not have them installed for other reasons.  That's something we're working on, but for the sake of this question they don't have them.  None of our VMs are using the "virtual machine failure monitoring" for monitoring the gust OS itself - just HA at the cluster level.  The cluster had plenty of capacity to hold the VMs on other hosts.  Any idea why some VMs would not come up on other hosts automatically after the crash?  Having VMware tools installed in the guests is not required for basic host-level HA to the best of my knowledge (i.e. if a host crashes, vCenter should move all the VMs that were in inventory on that host).

At this point I'm thinking it may have been some sort of bug that is probably corrected in later versions/patches.

Other ideas?

Thanks,

0 Kudos
1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
admin
Immortal
Immortal

> I've seen instances when, during a host crash in a cluster with HA, some or all VMs do not come up on other hosts.  In the inventory they just appear as greyed-out until the host is brought back up.  This was on a 4.0 host (not sure of patch level).

You would have defined the restart priority of the VM's. All the VM's with high priority will restart first and then medium and low. You also have option to disable HA for few VM's. I am not sure if these settings are there for those VM's who have not moved. Also Vm's residing on local datastore or non shared storage will not move.

>We all know that VM tools are a good idea, but we still have some Linux VMs that do not have them installed for other reasons.

For HA to work you dont need vmware tools. This requires only when your vm gos fails and you want to restart your vm's.

>Any idea why some VMs would not come up on other hosts automatically after the crash?

check the restart priority of the VM's? or whether HA is disabled for thos VM's? and these VM's should reside on shared storage.

>At this point I'm thinking it may have been some sort of bug that is probably corrected in later versions/patches.

4.0 is very old release which is not even supported now. However you are using basic functionality of HA so I dont think you are hitting any bug. I find something wrong with your HA settings. Please check it.

Thanks,

DJ

View solution in original post

0 Kudos
4 Replies
a_p_
Leadership
Leadership

I basically agree with you, this looks like a bug, i.e. some issue where the host's did not have the proper HA configuration pushed to them from vCenter Server. VMware Tools only come into play in case of isolation, if the Isolation Response is set to "Shut Down Guest".

André

bspagna89
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Hi,

Just curious, what was the ESX version of the host that crashed and do you know why it crashed? You mentioned something about 4.0.. Just trying to make sure we are still talking about 4.0 or something newer.

I have seen with various purple screens that ESX still has the ability to talk to storage/perform heartbeats. When that happens, HA doesn't see that the host has crashed because it is responding with a connection to the storage/networking. The example I am referring to is the bug with E1000 nics and /windows guest VMs in particular. Hopefully this helps answer why HA did nothing when you had a host failure Smiley Happy.

New blog - https://virtualizeme.org/
0 Kudos
GeoDave101
Contributor
Contributor

It was indeed a purple screen (no idea of the codes, as I didn't seen the console - someone else did). No root cause found, but most likely old drivers, firmware, etc.

It is version 4.0 that we are talking about (we still have a few of those that we are trying to migrate off of).  I've never seen this happen with 5.1 or above when a host crashes.

0 Kudos
admin
Immortal
Immortal

> I've seen instances when, during a host crash in a cluster with HA, some or all VMs do not come up on other hosts.  In the inventory they just appear as greyed-out until the host is brought back up.  This was on a 4.0 host (not sure of patch level).

You would have defined the restart priority of the VM's. All the VM's with high priority will restart first and then medium and low. You also have option to disable HA for few VM's. I am not sure if these settings are there for those VM's who have not moved. Also Vm's residing on local datastore or non shared storage will not move.

>We all know that VM tools are a good idea, but we still have some Linux VMs that do not have them installed for other reasons.

For HA to work you dont need vmware tools. This requires only when your vm gos fails and you want to restart your vm's.

>Any idea why some VMs would not come up on other hosts automatically after the crash?

check the restart priority of the VM's? or whether HA is disabled for thos VM's? and these VM's should reside on shared storage.

>At this point I'm thinking it may have been some sort of bug that is probably corrected in later versions/patches.

4.0 is very old release which is not even supported now. However you are using basic functionality of HA so I dont think you are hitting any bug. I find something wrong with your HA settings. Please check it.

Thanks,

DJ

View solution in original post

0 Kudos