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Why do some of my Virtual Machines lose their network connection when they are power cycled?

Posted on 2008-06-23
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
Greetings -

I have a VMware ESX Server (3.0.2) single host environment and am having some issues with my VM network connectivity.  I have a few real (as in, not Virtual) NIC bonded networks set up and for some strange reason, when I power cycle some of my VMs, they lose their network connectivity.

This is indicated in VirtualCenter by showing an IP address of 0.0.0.0.  If I go into the configuration for the VM, it shows the "Connected" box for the NIC as unchecked.  The fix for this is to check the "Connected" box, switch the network the VM is on to another one temporarily, apply the configuration, and then switch it back to its proper network.  The connection to the VM then returns.  I have seen this behavior since installing 3.0.2 and never saw this in 2.5.4.

Any idea what's happening here?
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Question by:amendala
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Expert Comment

by:HeinoSkov
ID: 21847556
Hmm, this seems strange...

Is your ESX server up to date with patches? Is VMware Tools updated and stated OK in VirtualCenter?

How many physical NICs do you have on your server?

You state that these are NIC bonded? All NICs and does that include the Service Console? And which switches do you use in your physical network?

In the folder where the VM reside on - VMware creates some log files for each VM. Take alook on those to see if you can get any other indications on this error.
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Expert Comment

by:larstr
ID: 21848809
Have you upgraded the virtual hw of these VMs after upgrading to 3.0.2?
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amendala earned 0 total points
ID: 21849482
Thank you for your responses.  As it turns out, VMware support ended up replying to me minutes after posting the question.

VMware support indicates this is a known flaw with ESX 3.0.2 and 3.5 and occurs in very specific architectural designs.  VMware issued me three patches that I had to apply in a specific order to resolve the issue.  I can now power cycle VMs and reboot them at will without them losing their connectivity.
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Author Comment

by:amendala
ID: 21849494
With respect to being up to date for patches, yes, my installation is up to date on publicly released patches.  VMware support indicates that the patches I was sent are "experimental hotfixes" designed to be applied only when experiencing this issue and they are therefore not public.  How reassuring.  :)
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