Excessive VMware HeartBeat Status Changes

mattolan used Ask the Experts™
I keep getting excessive amounts of email alerts regarding HeartBeats on my Guest OS. Yet I can't seem to figure out why. both the Guest VM and the Host that it is running on are not running anywhere near capacity. The host is spiking to a max of 25% and the guest is spiking to a max of 30% for thier CPU usage. Ram Ussage is sitting around 10 - 20% for both the guest and host as well?

I am running ESX 4.0

[VMware vCenter - Alarm VM HeartBeat] VM HeartBeat changed status from Gray to Red
Target: VCenter
Previous Status: Gray
New Status: Red
Alarm Definition:
([Yellow state Is equal to yellow; Red state Is equal to red])
Current values for metric/state:
 State = Red
Alarm 'VM HeartBeat' on VCenter changed from Gray to Red
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Top Expert 2009

Try restarting guest OS


This was occuring even after restarting the guest OS,
It pops up once in a while and then goes away. I can't figure  out what is causing it.
Top Expert 2009

OK so try reinstalling vmware tools as vm heartbeat relies on it
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Top Expert 2009

If that doesn't fix your problem then i suggest to upgrade to esx4u1


its not just one VM though.  It's only one VM at a time but all of my guest do this from time to time. I'm thinking I may have a setting wrong but am not sure what?
I found on the VMware forums a way to increase the heartbeat delay, this seems to be a very common issue.

you have to log onto each host and modify the following file /etc/vmware/hostd/config.xml so that the VMSVC section includes the new heartbeat time between checks, as below

<heartbeatCheckInSecs> 30 </heartbeatCheckInSecs>

see for more info http://communities.vmware.com/message/1470128

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