ESX 3.5 boots into maintenance mode and VM's sit idle.

Posted on 2009-02-20
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
When I power on my ESX3.5 host it automatically goes into maintenance mode.

I want it to go straight into production mode and boot the VM's on the host.

If we lose power to the server, when it is restored the ESX host will boot, but it wont boot all my  virtualised MS servers otherwise we have to manually intervene to get things running. I really want it to all be automated so when power returns all systems get booted.

Any advice on how to do this much appreciated.

Question by:jrb139
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    I would like to know the answer to this as well. We have HA setup on our we dont really run into this issue, but in my test environment anytime we have the ESX reboot, all VMs will stay powered off atfer the ESX comes back online.

    A workaround we created was to create an alarm definition where when the guest system was off it would power back on. Only problem with this is, being that it is not production, sometimes we need to shut it off and it takes an extra step to do so.

    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    Please update the build of the ESX version which you are currently using

    Author Comment

    What does that mean.
    I am using the latest versions, both shipped on cd to us within the last month and downloaded eval copy in the last week.
    This will be a configuration issue not a patch issue I would have thought.
    LVL 21

    Accepted Solution

    By default, ESX VM's are not configured to autostart!
    To configure it depending on whether you use a single ESX server or a Virtual Server, you can configure your ESX server.
    You can alter VM Startup behaviour by doing the following in the VI Client:
    1. Select your ESX server
    2. Click the Configuration Tab
    3. On the Software Menu on the left hand side, click on Virtual Machine Startup/Shutdown item
    4. Click Properties to configure how you want to power on your VM's etc.
    Hopefully this helps.

    Author Comment

    za mkh
    Ok that actually works just the way I want it. This is me being really stupid as I had made it to that dialogue box and ticked the 'Automatically start stop Virtual Machines with the system' but failed to move the VM's into the start automatically field instead of manually.

    Do you know about the shutdown procedure. If I select to go into maintenance mode or reboot or shutdown it warns me about VM's no longer running; will it at this point gracefully shutdown my VM's or just switch them off.

    Points coming your way regardless, I'll shut question later.


    Author Comment

    OK I did a little test.
    I told VI Client to reboot the ESX server and no it didn't shutdown the VM's, it just killed them as they both reported unexpected shutdown when they came back up again.

    Do you know a solution.
    LVL 21

    Expert Comment

    Sorry for the late reply. Good to see that I have managed to help you so far.
    In the configuration for Shutdown, ensure that the Shutdown action is  Guest Shutdown
    This will then do what you want it to do. But for guest shutdown to work you must ensure that each VM has the requisite VMWare tools installed.
    Good luck!

    Author Closing Comment

    Tested this and it works a treat. Thanks for help,feel happier with my setup now.

    The manuals are useless, they say things like 'select one of the three options' without actually explaining what the options do.


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